Isotopic evidence for initial coastal colonization and subsequent diversification in the human occupation of Wallacea

Patrick Roberts, Julien Louys, Jana Zech, Ceri Shipton, Shimona Kealy, Sofia Samper Carro, Stuart Hawkins, Clara Boulanger, Sara Marzo, Bianca Fiedler, Nicole L. Boivin, X Mahirta, Kenneth Aplin, Susan O'Connor

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The resource-poor, isolated islands of Wallacea have been considered a major adaptive obstacle for hominins expanding into Australasia. Archaeological evidence has hinted that coastal adaptations in Homo sapiens enabled rapid island dispersal and settlement; however, there has been no means to directly test this proposition. Here, we apply stable carbon and oxygen isotope analysis to human and faunal tooth enamel from six Late Pleistocene to Holocene archaeological sites across Wallacea. The results demonstrate that the earliest human forager found in the region c. 42,000 years ago made significant use of coastal resources prior to subsequent niche diversification shown for later individuals. We argue that our data provides clear insights into the huge adaptive flexibility of our species, including its ability to specialize in the use of varied environments, particularly in comparison to other hominin species known from Island Southeast Asia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2068
    JournalNature Communications
    Volume11
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Isotopic evidence for initial coastal colonization and subsequent diversification in the human occupation of Wallacea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this