How did humans move from South-East Asia to the Pacific thousands of years ago? Scientists are piecing together the records of the movement ‘ thanks to the ancient pig remains from the Flores hobbit cave.
Based on the age-old belief that humans spread east from Taiwan to the Pacific, an international team informs that the humans’ moving out pattern of South-East Asia with their animals is much more complex than thought.
Tracking the movement of the pigs would be a good substitute for human migration routes, because humans have been domesticating the animals for a long time as a source of meat, according to Professor Alan Cooper of the University of Adelaide.
An expert in ancient DNA, Cooper analyzed the pigs’ mitochondrial DNA in a number of South-East Asian countries, comparing it with the DNA of pigs that historically populated the Pacific.
The oldest pig DNA, the team found till date, is from the tooth of a pig found in the hobbit cave – dated to 6,000-7,000 years old.