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What Is the Evidence That the First Wave of Pacific Islanders Were Papuans

  • Date Submitted: 10/08/2013 06:59 PM
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Course Title:   Pacific History
Assessment: 1
Name: Selai Cavunisautu
Student ID: s11096210

Essay Topic:  
What Is The Evidence That The First Wave Of Pacific   Islanders were Papuans?

It is a generally accepted fact that the first inhabitants of the Pacific Islands were of two major categories known as the Papuans and the Austronesians. Various   remains found across the Pacific have provided   concrete evidence that the first wave of Pacific Islanders were Papuans who arrived between fifty to sixty thousand years ago and were hunters and gatherer’s that migrated across the Pacific during the Pleistocene era.
To begin with, questioning the origins of Pacific Islanders spawns both serious theory as well as fanciful myths. The two important continents of Sunda as well as Sahul are important landmarks in providing evidence of Papuans being the first Islanders. Sunda now known as Southeast Asia and Sahul now known as Australia or Australinea were connected as one massive continent during the Pleistocene era, this as such is an important consideration with regards to the first wave of Pacific Islanders in the Pacific.
“Sunda or sub-continental Southeast Asia, was already home to the hominid species Homo erectus by the beginning of the Pleistocene epoch some 1.8 million years ago’’. These Homo erectus migrants from Sunda were believed to have been defeated   by the Wallace Line; a boundary separating   Sunda from Indonesia . The arrival of the Homo sapiens or the modern humans also known as Papuans had quickly spread across Sahul; modern day New Guinea and Australia. According to Alfred Wallace; he suggests that due to the Pleistocene era of ‘maximum glaciations’ in which there were lower sea levels that exposed greater land surfaces,   had affected human migration. The low sea level , would in fact enable much travel by water across straits and between islands...


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