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30 October 2021

At https://phys.org/news/2021-10-team-evidence-prehistoric-human-falkland.html … a Univerisity of Maine led study has found evidence of humans in the Falkland Islands going back deep into the Holocene. In particular, between AD 150 and the 1400s, as well as in the 1700s. The latter corresponds with the arrival of European settlement but the former appears to indicate people from Patagonia were able to reach the Falklands by boat from roughly what we might describe as the Roman Warm Period until the outbreak of the Black Death pandemic in the 1400s. That is an interesting observation as it is not thought the plague got as far as the Americas as they were isolated. If it did it would enhance the theory the plague, and some other diseases, are spread, or seeded from the atmosphere. However, the paper doesn't dwell on anything controversial but only on the evidence, they found on the ground, duly dated by modern sicentific methodologies. However, they particularly pick out the dates of AD1275 – 1420, as one of the periods in which human hunters were active in the Falklands. British navigator John Strong turned up in 1690 – and the islands were unoccupied at the time [unlike Patagonia]. However, the mainland populations were far from dense, leading to rapid colonisation by Europeans. See the full article at www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abh3803

At https://cosmosmagazine.com/history/civilisations/ancient-dna-rewrites-ja… … a DNA study in Japan has come up with some interesting factoids. A study in Science Reports has found 3 strands of migration into the islands. The new one occurred between the 3rd and 7th centuries AD – an influx of East Asians during the Kofun period. Previously, Jomon hunter gatherers sustained a population of around 10,000 in the Late Pleistocene, having arrived prior to the Late Glacial Maximum, it is thought. Rising sea levels at the end of the LGM left them isolated. They continued in their lifestyle until the adoption of rice farming by the Yayai people who arrived via Korea.

At https://sciencenorway.no/archaeology-history-society-culture/new-researc… … new research seems to support the Thor Heyerdahl theory which led to the Kon Tiki expedition in 1947, and the book of the same name that was a best seller around the world. Evidence of settlers from South America has been found, as well as evidence of Polynesians in the opposite direction. It is once again a genetic study that appears to be opening us up to a lot of new ideas on the past.

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