debra smith :
coastal migration, smh, 2005
Debra Smith :
beachcombers ended up in Australia.
Smith (Science Editor) :
first beachcombers ended up in Australia
Herald: Weekend Edition, May 14-15 2005 ,
News, page 13.
Reporting recently published research developments by
and Matsumura: Evolution:
Enhanced: Did Early Humans Go North or South?
308 Pages : 965-966
They stuck to
the coast and they moved quickly until they reached
Modern humans who left East Africa more than 65,000 years
ago and eventually populated the globe were beach-combers
who headed south first, moving around the shores of the
Indian Ocean at up to four kilometres a year, new genetic
research of indigenous people in South-East Asia suggests.
This southern journey - dubbed the coastal express train
route - which started with crossing the Red Sea, explains
how Australia was inhabited thousands of years before
modem humans colonised Europe.
challenges the theory that the first successful wave of
people leaving east Africa went north into Egypt and the
"It's much easier to move quickly along a coast," said the
Australian National University's David Bulbeck, a member
of an international research team that studied people in
the Malaysian peninsula.
have been plentiful, and the travellers would have had to
adapt to only one environment, rather than learn how to
survive in the deserts, rainforests and shrublands of an
Most scientists agree the human species
arose in Africa about 150,000 years ago.
To find out where they went next, two teams
of researchers studied the DNA of indigenous people in
South-East Asia, one testing isolated tribal groups on the
Andaman Islands, off India's east coast, and the other the
Orang Asli, or original people of Malaysia.
They looked at mitochrondrial DNA, which is
passed down from mother to daughter and can be used as a
historical clock, based on the mutations that have
accumulated in different populations.
The teams came to similar conclusions, published in the
journal Science yesterday, that the two
different populations in South-East Asia were descendants
of people who lived in India about 65,000 years ago.
The team that studied the Orang Asli calculated that the
journey around the Indian Ocean coast to Australia was
rapid, "most likely taking only a few thousands years",
requiring speeds of between 700 metres and four kilometres
Aboriginal people inhabited the south of Australia by
46,000 years ago, yet in Europe the earliest known remains
of modem humans are only about 35,000 years old.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge commented in
the journal that isolated, indigenous populations like the
Orang Asli were dwindling, so time was running out to
study their DNA.
the research would also inspire archaeological studies in
the Arabian peninsula, where more clues about these early
beachcombers could stilI lie.
Cater (2005-2014) :
: Coastal Migration, SMH, 2005.