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26 October 2007

Prehistoric dispersal routes in South Asia

Julie S. Field, Michael D. Petraglia and Marta Mirazón Lahr. 2007. The southern dispersal hypothesis and the South Asian archaeological record: Examination of dispersal routes through GIS analysis.
Journal of Anthropological Archaeology
Volume 26, Issue 1, March 2007, Pages 88-108

This research advances a model for coastal-based dispersals into South Asia during oxygen isotope stage (OIS) 4. A series of GIS-based analyses are included that assess the potential for expansions into the interior of South Asia, and these results are compared with known archaeological signatures from that time period. The results suggest that modern Homo sapiens could have traversed both the interior and coastlines using a number of routes, and colonized South Asia relatively rapidly. Use of these routes also implies a scenario in which modern H. sapiens, by either increased population growth or competitive ability, may have replaced indigenous South Asian hominin populations.

Keywords: South Asia; Human dispersals; Coastal routes; GIS; Modeling

Article Outline
Paleoenvironmental reconstruction
A GIS-based model of dispersals across South Asia
Methodology I: friction surface
Methodology II: least cost routes
Result of the direct routes analysis
Result of wandering routes analysis
Proposed routes, colonization issues, and the archaeological record of South Asia

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