Jul 7, 2022

DNA Analysis of Ancient Micronesians Shows New and Unexpected Results

Far out in the remote Pacific Ocean, the 2,000 islands of Micronesia were only peopled about 3,500 years ago, archaeological evidence shows. Now scientists find it didn’t happen quite as had been assumed.

Micronesia is a country that consists of roughly 2,000 small islands spread over a vast region in the Pacific. Micronesia should not to be confused with the neighboring nations of Polynesia or Melanesia, which also consist of small islands in the Pacific. Now, a new study casts light on the origin of early Micronesians and it is more complicated than had been assumed.

It had been thought that Micronesians shared origins with southwest Pacific peoples, and that Micronesians likely stemmed from a single origin. Now, analysis of ancient and modern Micronesian DNA has detected five separate waves of migration to Micronesia in antiquity: three streams from eastern Asia, one from Polynesia, and one of people related to mainland Papua New Guineans, Yue-Chen Liu and David Reich of Harvard Medical School reported with colleagues last week in Science.

You can read the full story in an article by Ruth Schuster posted in the Haaretz web site at:

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