Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/2440/122875
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Type: Journal article
Title: Early human settlement of Sahul was not an accident
Author: Bird, M.I.
Condie, S.A.
O Connor, S.
O Grady, D.
Reepmeyer, C.
Ulm, S.
Zega, M.
Saltré, F.
Bradshaw, C.J.A.
Citation: Scientific Reports, 2019; 9(1):8220-1-8220-10
Publisher: Springer Nature
Issue Date: 2019
ISSN: 2045-2322
2045-2322
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Michael I. Bird, Scott A. Condie, Sue O’Connor, Damien O’Grady, Christian Reepmeyer, Sean Ulm, Mojca Zega, Frédérik Saltré, Corey J.A. Bradshaw
Abstract: The first peopling of Sahul (Australia, New Guinea and the Aru Islands joined at lower sea levels) by anatomically modern humans required multiple maritime crossings through Wallacea, with at least one approaching 100 km. Whether these crossings were accidental or intentional is unknown. Using coastal-viewshed analysis and ocean drift modelling combined with population projections, we show that the probability of randomly reaching Sahul by any route is <5% until ≥40 adults are 'washed off' an island at least once every 20 years. We then demonstrate that choosing a time of departure and making minimal headway (0.5 knots) toward a destination greatly increases the likelihood of arrival. While drift modelling demonstrates the existence of 'bottleneck' crossings on all routes, arrival via New Guinea is more likely than via northwestern Australia. We conclude that anatomically modern humans had the capacity to plan and make open-sea voyages lasting several days by at least 50,000 years ago.
Keywords: Humans
Archaeology
Australia
New Guinea
Oceans and Seas
Human Migration
Rights: © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-42946-9
Grant ID: http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/CE170100015
http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/FL140100044
http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/FL120100156
http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/FT120100656
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 4
Earth and Environmental Sciences publications

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