A new study of the 37,000-year-old remains of Deep Skull, the oldest modern human to have been discovered on a Southeast Asian island, has revealed this ancient person was not related to Indigenous Australians as originally thought.
Furthermore, Deep Skull was also likely to have been an older woman, rather than a teenage boy.
Jun 28, 2016 07:19 AM EDT The 37,000-year-old skull was not related to Aboriginal Australians, researchers found. The ancient cranium fragments nicknamed "Deep Skull" by anthropologists were discovered 50 years ago on the island of Borneo and were believed to belong to the first human species who arrived on the island, the Aboriginal Australians.
“We’ve found that these very ancient remains most closely resemble some of the Indigenous people of Borneo today, with their delicately built features and small body size, rather than Indigenous people from Australia.”
New analyses challenges the long-held view that Deep Skull represented early modern humans closely related, or even ancestral, to Indigenous Australians. Asian Scientist Newsroom | June 28, 2016 | In the Lab AsianScientist (Jun.
Among primitive peoples in Borneo: a description of the lives, habits & customs of the piratical head-hunters of North Borneo, with an account of ... antiquity discovered in the island
The Deep Skull from Niah Cave in Sarawak (Malaysia) is the oldest anatomically modern human recovered from island Southeast Asia. For more than 50 years its relevance to tracing the prehistory of the region has been controversial. The most widely held view, originating with Brothwell"s 1960 description and analysis, is that the Niah individual is related to Indigenous Australians.
According to the present study, in Borneo at least, the earliest people to inhabit the island were much more like Indigenous people living there today rather than Indigenous Australians, and suggests long continuity through time.
It also suggests that at least some of the Indigenous people of Borneo were not replaced by migrating farmers, but instead adopted the new farming culture when it arrived around 3,000 years ago.
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