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A Historical Linguistic Hypothesis for Austronesian Expansion

Map Creator:  Erin A.S. Crabb
Data Sources:  Bellwood, Peter. 2006. Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives. Australian National University E Press. 103-114.
Date Created:  21 April 2011.

Map Description:
This map broadly outlines a series of migration paths as described by Bellwood (2006). He states that the hypothesis best supported by current linguistic and archaeological research is that the proto-Austronesians migrated out of mainland China around 4000 BC and across the Taiwan Strait into Taiwan. From there, they migrated south through the Philippines, resulting in the formation of the Malayo-Polynesian subgroup. Over time, they continued to migrate further east and west, and advancements in maritime technology allowed the Austronesians to spread out across the Pacific and Indian oceans, reaching such far-flung locations as Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the Pacific and Madagascar in the Indian (Bellwood 2006). This hypothesis is challenged by emerging genetics research, such as Li et al. (2008).

Related LL-MAP Resources:
Southeast Asia: Expansions from Daic (Li et al.)
Austronesian Migration (Cribb)