February 1, 2011

More Austronesian genetics: Dayaks are mostly pre-Austronesian (as most other Austronesians)

I just had to mention a paper on Austronesian genetics at one of the great open access publications, Bio Med Central (BMC), and now I have to mention another at the other major open access magazine: Public Library of Science (PLoS):


Because good things always come in batches, right?

Well whatever the case, the Sea Dayaks or Iban people do not cluster well with Taiwan Aborigines or other possible source populations for the fabled Austronesian colonization of Island SE Asia. Nope, they cluster best with mainland SE Asia, notably Vietnamese, Thais and peninsular Malays.

For example, for autosomal DNA, we get the following graph (fig 2):



Where the Iban cluster best with some Indonesian (but not others) and Thais (again some but not others) but not with Taiwan Aborigines (and only poorly with Filipinos).

Not convinced? I cannot blame you because PC analysis suck and specially for autosomal genetics. They also provide a K=3 admixture analysis (fig. S1):


Here we can spot three components, neither of which is too specific. Still the red component seems strongest among Malaysian (not the Iban however), the blue component is most common among some Indonesians, while the green component is widespread by dominant in the mainland if anything (specially Japan/North China). Not too clear anyhow but for deeper clustering you probably want something else, like the HUGO paper.

Let's see the Y-DNA then (fig. 3):


This is more clear, right: here the Iban are almost like Vietnamese and then like other Sundaland Malays but not like Taiwan Aborigines nor Filipinos. So Y-DNA-wise they do not look particularly Austronesian recent arrivals but older arrivals from Indochina if anything.

MtDNA? Let's see:


Seems not again: Philippines and Taiwan are far away, while Sundaland, Orang Asli, Thais and Chinese are closer.

The authors conclude:

The majority of mtDNA haplogroups and the greatest proportion of NRY lineages identified in our Iban sample are associated with population movements that occurred prior to this expansion. More NRY haplogroups than mtDNA haplogroups were introduced into this population during the Neolithic expansion, but the proportion of NRY haplogroups attributed to this more recent event is still less than half of the total NRY haplogroups identified. Therefore, it appears that migrations during the Neolithic did not eradicate pre-Neolithic groups.

Another blow against Neolithic replacement nonsense.

23 comments:

  1. "the Sea Dayaks or Iban people do not cluster well with Taiwan Aborigines or other possible source populations for the fabled Austronesian colonization of Island SE Asia. Nope, they cluster best with mainland SE Asia, notably Vietnamese, Thais and peninsular Malays".

    Do you really find that so surprising? Surely no-one believes that the Austronesians consisted of a single Y-hap and a single line of mtDNA for the whole of their existence. It's obvious that as the Austronesians moved out from Taiwan and the Philippines they mixed with other people they met along the way. Austronesian-speaking people are found along the Vietnamese coast, so they obviously reached there. But were they still predominantly mtDNA B4a and Y-hap O1a? I doubt it.

    "Another blow against Neolithic replacement nonsense".

    But it fits perfectly with a Neolithic arrival in Borneo, in spite of what the authors claim.

    "Philippines and Taiwan are far away, while Sundaland, Orang Asli, Thais and Chinese are closer".

    So most of the mtDNA didn't arrive from Taiwan either, but from the neighbouring regions. Again no surprise.

    "here the Iban are almost like Vietnamese and then like other Sundaland Malays but not like Taiwan Aborigines nor Filipinos".

    So, like the women, the men mostly arrived from the mainland, specifically Vietnam. But when?

    "So Y-DNA-wise they do not look particularly Austronesian recent arrivals but older arrivals from Indochina if anything".

    It doesn't necessarily follow at all that they were 'recent arrivals'.

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  2. "Do you really find that so surprising?"

    Not really but for some it's surely good to know.

    "But it fits perfectly with a Neolithic arrival in Borneo, in spite of what the authors claim".

    Do you mean?

    "So most of the mtDNA didn't arrive from Taiwan either, but from the neighbouring regions. Again no surprise".

    What I've been saying for a while now is that there is genetic continuity. neighboring regions is as good as saying "same place", right? No arrival from anywhere, just the natural flow and shared ancient origins with neighbors, right?

    "So, like the women, the men mostly arrived from the mainland, specifically Vietnam. But when?"

    That's the crux of the matter: was there an "Austroasiatic" first Neolithic wave? Or is all the Indochina connection we see older, Paleolithic? Or something in between?

    I'm rather inclined to something in between. I really do not think that there were ever major population replacements before the 18th century anywhere.

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  3. "neighboring regions is as good as saying 'same place', right?"

    Not really. That's like saying Spain is the same place as Germany, or Ireland.

    "No arrival from anywhere, just the natural flow and shared ancient origins with neighbors, right?"

    Actually 'arrival'. From a neighbouring region. It seems that most people on Borneo 'arrived' from Sumatra according to one of the links you provided a few weeks ago. Can't remember which one now.

    "was there an 'Austroasiatic' first Neolithic wave?"

    There certainly was. But did it involve Borneo? I realise it sounds strange that people could have reached Sumatra long before they got to Borneo but overall the evidence suggests that's probably what happened.

    "Or is all the Indochina connection we see older, Paleolithic?"

    Again certainly an Indochina Paleolithic, but basically confined to the mainland. Obviously some people reached New Guinea/Australia but their pathway there appears to have been very narrow.

    "I really do not think that there were ever major population replacements before the 18th century anywhere".

    I'm inclined to agree. But that's what is so surprising about the complete dominance of Austronesian languages in Borneo. It seems unlikely that the language spread by a dominant elite, especially seeing that the Iban moved from Central Borneo to the coast. If movement had been the other way it would not be so unbelievable.

    "but for some it's surely good to know".

    Myself for one. By the way thanks for your stimulating questioning of my ideas. Your questioning has led me to examine, and so understand and get a firmer idea of, the ancient movements around island SE Asia.

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  4. "It seems that most people on Borneo 'arrived' from Sumatra according to one of the links you provided a few weeks ago. Can't remember which one now".

    Me neither. Nor I can remember why would you think that. :?

    "I realise it sounds strange that people could have reached Sumatra long before they got to Borneo but overall the evidence suggests that's probably what happened".

    Not strange at all, specially in a post-glacial context (Sumatra is much closer to the mainland than Borneo is). But I'd like to know why you think this.

    "But that's what is so surprising about the complete dominance of Austronesian languages in Borneo. It seems unlikely that the language spread by a dominant elite"...

    Austronesians have tended through history to form aristocracies and chiefdoms/realms, right? Anyhow the case can maybe made for: migration, assimilation, migration, assimilation, etc.

    So you really do not need a clear-cut elite but enough "supremacy" (cultural, technological, economical) to get your native neighbors to become somewhat dependent and be gradually incorporated. When the next migration happens, the Austronesians (replace by whichever other group anywhere at any time) do speak Austronesian, have Austronesian identity but their Austronesian bloodline has been rather strongly diluted. As this process repeats once and again, the dilution is greater and greater.


    "... especially seeing that the Iban moved from Central Borneo to the coast".

    Is that true? How do you know it? I'm skeptical as you present no evidence and I have never read anything like that.

    "By the way thanks for your stimulating questioning of my ideas. Your questioning has led me to examine, and so understand and get a firmer idea of, the ancient movements around island SE Asia".

    You are welcome and I'm glad that it has been useful to you. I must say I do enjoy a good debate and I often also get interesting feedback from commenters, including you. Thanks for that.

    However I hate it when you mud the waters instead of helping to clarify things. It's not a matter of victory or defeat, not for you or me, not for this or that hypothesis, it is only a matter of victory or defeat for knowledge and truth. And I think we all agree that it's better that these triumph (on risk of a new Dark Age), right?

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  5. "Is that true? How do you know it? I'm skeptical as you present no evidence and I have never read anything like that".

    Says so in the article:

    "The Iban, also referred to as Sea Dayaks, are one of the largest indigenous groups in Sarawak today [6]. They are believed to have migrated from the headwaters of the Kapuas River in the central highlands of Borneo and down into the coastal plains of present-day Sarawak in several distinct waves, the first of which took place 16 generations, approximately 400 years, ago".

    "it is only a matter of victory or defeat for knowledge and truth. And I think we all agree that it's better that these triumph (on risk of a new Dark Age), right?"

    Very much so, and I'm worried about what I see as the rise of a new Dark Age. The religious right is on the rise in the USA, not to mention much of the Middle East.

    "I hate it when you mud the waters instead of helping to clarify things".

    I aplogise for that but I have a limited time available for the few blogs I follow and don't have time to search all the information, especially if I can't remember where I first read it.

    "Me neither. Nor I can remember why would you think that. :?"

    It was on your blog somewhere. Subject: Austronesians or SE Asia. If I get time I'll try to look back.

    "When the next migration happens, the Austronesians (replace by whichever other group anywhere at any time) do speak Austronesian, have Austronesian identity but their Austronesian bloodline has been rather strongly diluted".

    But that doesn't apply to the Iban, especially if it is the case that they moved from the highlands. However I'm sure that applies to the neighbouring regions such as Sumatra, where the Austronesian languages appear to overlay some other substrate (presumably Austro-Asiatic).

    "Not strange at all, specially in a post-glacial context (Sumatra is much closer to the mainland than Borneo is). But I'd like to know why you think this".

    Several reasons but the haplogroup evidence from this blog supports such a position. Y-haps. I realise you believe Y-hap O is SE Asian but exctly the same clades are widespread, not just confined to Borneo. So unless they all originated in Borneo they must be a recent arrivals there. The C is C3 and so from way to the north and Chinese in origin. That leaves just the very minor proportion of the K and F haplogroups as being possible pre-Neolithic in the Iban. The same holds reasonably true for mtDNA. None spring up as being pre-Neolithic in Borneo apart from that listed as M*. E is derived from M9, not listed as being present in the Iban, and M7 almost certainly originated on the SE Asian mainland. That leaves just the F and B haplogroups. I still have no idea as to where in SE Asia they originated, but I doubt it was Borneo.

    But the examination of the distribution of other species shows it is extremely unlikely that Borneo was ever connected to mainland SE Asia. Examples from Wiki: elephant:

    "The species is found primarily in India, Sri Lanka, Burma and parts of Nepal and Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, China, Bhutan, and Sumatra".

    Not Sumatra but not Borneo. And, from another link, tigers:

    "There are six species of tigers, bengal tiger, siberian tiger, sumatran tiger, malayan tiger, indochinese tiger, south china tiger".

    The Malayan tiger is 'The Malayan Tiger is only found around the Malayan Pennisula', not on the Borneo parts of Malaysia. And the Asian rhino is found in Sumatra and Java, but not Borneo.

    All this suggests there has never been a wide open route into Borneo. And most articles on the Austronesian presence there start with the assumption that it was basically uninhabited before then.

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  6. Vale. Notice anyhow that, per the HUGO paper, the "Dayaks" of Indonesia and the Bidayuh (Land Dayaks) of Malaysia have quite different genetic components.

    Very interesting also what you say about Borneo fauna or lack of it thereof. But it does not make much sense, does it? There were elephants even in Flores (across Wallace Line), why not in Borneo?

    Still I strongly doubt Borneo was not inhabited by humans in the past. It does not make any sense. And also Borneo offers the best passages to both Philippines and Wallacea...

    "The religious right is on the rise in the USA, not to mention much of the Middle East".

    According to Andrew, the number of atheists and agnostics in the USA is rising very fast. Also in the "Middle East" we see nowadays the push of secular revolutions, often with strong class consciousness, as is the case in Tunisia. I'm not afraid: they cycle has changed (as happens regularly, see "Anti-Oedipus") and the reaction is hiding away: there's been 3 decades of Reaganism and now should come 3 decades or so of revolutionary progress, I guess.

    The seeds we sowed are flourishing.

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  7. "Notice anyhow that, per the HUGO paper, the 'Dayaks' of Indonesia and the Bidayuh (Land Dayaks) of Malaysia have quite different genetic components".

    But we're considering here only the Indonesian Dayaks, specifically the SEa Dayaks of Borneo.

    "But it does not make much sense, does it? There were elephants even in Flores (across Wallace Line), why not in Borneo?"

    Implies very strongly that through most of the past it has been easier to get to Flores than to Borneo.

    "Still I strongly doubt Borneo was not inhabited by humans in the past".

    I'm sure it was. Ancient human remains have been found in parts of it after all. But presumably it was sparsely inhabited for some reason or other. Dense tropical rainforest?

    "And also Borneo offers the best passages to both Philippines and Wallacea..."

    Possibly. But humans may have reached Australia via Sumatra, Java, Bali and via Sumba to Timor and Australia. In other words via Nusa Tengarra. It's difficult to account for the survival of H. erectus on Java, the Hobbits on Flores and the Komodo dragon on its islands under this scenario however. Y-hap K and mtDNA M may have later moved rapidly along the same route but bypassed any already occupied islands, eventually reaching New Guinea as well as Australia. The Austronesians seem to have similarly bypassed already occupied islands on their later journey east.

    "According to Andrew, the number of atheists and agnostics in the USA is rising very fast".

    Still very much a minority though. And such people as Sarah Palin seem to be gathering a large and influential following.

    "Also in the 'Middle East' we see nowadays the push of secular revolutions"

    Let's hope they remain secular. But history tells us that revolutions very seldom go smoothly. Unscrupulous individuals wait in the wings to take over when the time is ripe. And I'm sure they are waiting right now.

    "there's been 3 decades of Reaganism and now should come 3 decades or so of revolutionary progress, I guess".

    I hope, but I see danger looming in the USA. Obama may be able to drum up support by the next election but if he doesn't we're straight back to Reaganism and Bushism backed by religious fundamentalism. And through much of the Middle East, including Israel, fundamentalist religion is very influential. And dangerous.

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  8. I'm not so "wise" about Dayak ethnology, so I am considering all the info on Dayaks I have at hand.

    "Implies very strongly that through most of the past it has been easier to get to Flores than to Borneo".

    Why nobody has raised this "obvious" issue before you did? Looks like something is amiss.

    Why did nobody draw a "Wallace line" of sorts West of Borneo?

    "Dense tropical rainforest?"

    That should not be any obstacle for tigers, for instance.

    "... humans may have reached Australia via Sumatra, Java, Bali and via Sumba to Timor and Australia. In other words via Nusa Tengarra".

    Not so long ago you were arguing for exactly the opposite: that this route was not used because it shows evidence of H. erectus and H. floresiensis survival.

    "But history tells us that revolutions very seldom go smoothly. Unscrupulous individuals wait in the wings to take over when the time is ripe".

    Nearly all Revolutions have their Thermidor... but the important thing is not the reaction, which is powerless in the long run and just a product of panic, but the continuity along time of the revolutionary process. Napoleon did not win nor did his even more reactionary enemies... the Revolution succeeded in the end.

    Defeat after defeat, till final victory!

    "I see danger looming in the USA".

    I do too. But I also reckon it is only its own self-destruction.

    We must fight against it, of course, but they are powerless because they cannot deliver to the people and, if you cannot deliver, you will be deposed sooner than later.

    Medicine men who are unable to muster rain (or whatever they promise) year after year... do not keep their influence on the community. People is not that stupid.

    Also even such a shadowy character as Z. Brzezinski reckons that, while governments can now gather and manage a lot more info than before, people also has much wider access to info and has become "globally aware" and is organizing itself.

    This is unprecedented in all the history of Humankind and should lead us to a totally new stage: a radically democratic one.

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  9. "This is unprecedented in all the history of Humankind and should lead us to a totally new stage: a radically democratic one".

    I tend to agree although I'm a bit sceptical.

    "Not so long ago you were arguing for exactly the opposite: that this route was not used because it shows evidence of H. erectus and H. floresiensis survival".

    I've partly changed my mind. I've recently noticed that at times of extremely low sea level Australia stretches out considerably towards the string of islands to the southwest of Timor. Australia and the nearest of those islands are separated by, roughly, 75 km. Still a formidable crossing, but perhaps the first Australians were castaways blown off course while travelling between the much more closely spaced islands southwest of Timor. Such a route would explain the survival of the Hobbits on Flores. Flores was a dead end, not on the main route to Australia. But I'd bet big money that Flores formed part of the route mtDNA M and Y-hap K took to New Guinea. That still leaves the problem of H. erectus of Java and the Komodo dragon.

    "Why did nobody draw a 'Wallace line' of sorts West of Borneo?"

    Because the separation between placentals and marsupials is much more significant. Many smaller mammals crossed to Borneo. Even the orangutan. The only conclusion I can come to regarding Sundaland is that, apart from Java, Sumatra and the Malay Peninsular, it was never one interconnected landmass. Elsewhere just a scattering of islands managed to emerge. However that would have been a perfect region to learn how to travel from one island to another by boat. As, presumably would have been at least parts of the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the South China Sea.

    "That should not be any obstacle for tigers, for instance".

    But it probably limited the human population of Borneo until the Neolithic. The clearing of the jungle for agriculture provided a living for a greater number of people.

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  10. We all know that Iban people live in western part of Borneo. Let's compare the Y-DNA data of Borneo according to Karafet et al. 2010:

    Borneo(n=86, Karafet 2010)
    19/86 = C-RPS4Y*(xC2-M38, C3-M217)
    2/86 = F-P14*
    1/86 = H1-M52
    5/86 = KMNOPS-M526*
    14/86 = O3a3-P201*(xM7, M134)
    17/86 = O3a3b-M7
    1/86 = O1a-M119*(xP203, M110)
    2/86 = O1a1-P203
    5/86 = O1a2-M110
    18/86 = O2a-M95*(xO2a1-M111)
    1/86 = R2a-M124
    1/86 = R1a1a-M17

    http://ranhaer.com/viewthread.php?tid=14800&page=1#pid218464

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  11. "Let's compare the Y-DNA data of Borneo according to Karafet et al. 2010"

    Interesting. The current paper has the C as being C3. C(xC3,C2, etc) makes sense. C3, being a Chinese haplogroup, seems unlikely in any isolated Borneo population. Unless it's a recent arrival. The other variations in haplogroup proportions are just what we would expect in a population spread through a fairly large, jungle-clad, mountainous island.

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  12. Well spotted Terry. So the Iban have C3 while regular Borneo people have C*(xC2,C3).

    Also the Iban have much greater apportion of O2a than regular Borneo people. O2a was considered pre-Austronesian by Karafet, as was O3*(xO3a3).

    It's plausible therefore that Y-DNA-wise the Iban are almost 100% pre-Austronesians who speak an Austronesian language.

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  13. This regardless of C3...

    C3 is not a "Chinese lineage" as much as a NE Asian one (Chinese have frequencies under 10% normally, south of Manchuria at least). Yet there is also some C3 in SE Asia, at least that is what this map suggests (seemingly based on Zhong 2010, ppv). It should be C3d (M407).

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  14. "O2a was considered pre-Austronesian by Karafet, as was O3*(xO3a3)".

    And by me, for what it's worth. I'm sure it expanded with the Austro-Asiatic-speaking people.

    "It's plausible therefore that Y-DNA-wise the Iban are almost 100% pre-Austronesians who speak an Austronesian language".

    But it's more likely that the majority arrived in Borneo with the Austronesians. Especially seeing that C3 is present. O2a came from Sumatra, O3 from the SE Asian mainland and O1 is the basic original Austronesian Y-hap.

    "C3 is not a 'Chinese lineage' as much as a NE Asian one"

    It's certainly not an SE Asian haplogroup.

    "Yet there is also some C3 in SE Asia"

    Yes, but almost certainly a relatively recent arrival. Perhaps it came south as early as the early Chinese Neolithic though.

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  15. Another paper on Austronesian genetics has seen light these days but it's PPV for six months so I'm in no condition to discuss it.

    Yet I imagine you'd be interested: Soares et al., 2011. AJHG.

    It's also commented at SD.

    Most interestingly both abstract and press release suggest that there had been a pre-Austronesian SE Asian colonization up to the Bismarks, population that was then "Austronesized" cultural and linguistically.

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  16. Thanks for the links. Dienekes has already blogged on the paper, and pointed out some deficiencies. I've also posted comments there. From the second link:

    "'Although our results throw out the likelihood of any maternal ancestry in Taiwan for the Polynesians, they don't preclude the possibility of a Taiwanese linguistic or cultural influence on the Bismarck Archipelago at that time,' explains Professor Richards".

    But then contradict themselves:

    "'In fact, some minor mitochondrial lineages back up this idea'".

    In fact, as I've always maintained:

    "'Our study of the mtDNA evidence shows the interactions between the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific was far more complex than previous accounts tended to suggest and it paves the way for new theories of the spread of Austronesian languages'".

    Not really so new. Journalistic exaggeration.

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  17. Maju, check this out!

    Abstract:
    http://ranhaer.com/thread-15255-1-1.html
    The full paper:
    http://ranhaer.com/viewthread.php?tid=15255&page=1#pid223368

    An updated tree of Y-chromosome Haplogroup O and revised phylogenetic positions of mutations P164 and PK4

    Shi Yan et al.

    Y-chromosome Haplogroup O is the dominant lineage of East Asians, comprising more than a quarter of all males on the world; however, its internal phylogeny remains insufficiently investigated. In this study, we determined the phylogenetic position of recently defined markers (L127, KL1, KL2, P164, and PK4) in the background of Haplogroup O. In the revised tree, subgroup O3a-M324 is divided into two main subclades, O3a1-L127 and O3a2-P201, covering about 20 and 35% of Han Chinese people, respectively. The marker P164 is corrected from a downstream site of M7 to upstream of M134 and parallel to M7 and M159. The marker PK4 is also relocated from downstream of M88 to upstream of M95, separating the former O2* into two parts. This revision evidently improved the resolving power of Y-chromosome phylogeny in East Asia.

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  18. Thanks for the download link, Natsuya. :)

    Any idea on how does that apply to the discussion?

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  19. "Any idea on how does that apply to the discussion?"

    We won't know until we can work out the new tree. I've not been able to do so with the limited information in the abstract. However I'm reasonably confident that O3 will not be SE Asian in origin.

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  20. http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2011/04/haplogroup-o3-downstream-structure.html

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  21. M168 > P143 > M89 > L15 > M9 > M214 > M175 > P31

    NatGeo YDNA markers for a typical aborigine (Dusun) from North Borneo. That Halpgroup O2(P31).

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  23. According to the iban pilgrimage from Yunnan, in China from Yunnan people move le iban covers Indochina Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand from Indochina Iban migrated to Barr Xinor Barr Chin (Malaya) Malay land known today, from Malaya Iban people move to the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. According to myth, the pilgrimage to the iban mainland or Southeast Asia is caused by the world's great flood. Iban are known as "Master of Language" by the world. Prof. Derek Freeman was one of the researchers among the Iban language that is Master of the Iban language . Prof. Derek Freeman also stated that The Iban good at using language, in every line, to create and build a poem with a beautiful, wise in choosing and arranging sentences sereta have many types of poetry that uses the appropriate sentence arrangement with the sound, as used in poems and prose in English. The Iban who have their own language, the Bahasa Iban, Iban language is different in each place not only in Sarawak but in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, West Malaysian and Brunei. Iban language is the language of a uniform (homogenous). Dayak-Iban society is one of the natives races in Malaysia which has a system of writing called 'Turai. It has no less than 59 letters that represent sounds, such as Roman letters written references. The Iban have a tradition of 'betusut' or examine the lineage of descent. Through this tradition descent they can refer up to 20 generations earlier with an amazing degree of accuracy and also record important events. An important event in the history of the Iban is the 'Battle of the Belting Maro' (1849), which is the first largest ethnic fighting against colonial in nature Iban of Borneo, where they break the colonial advance of the attacks "Ngayau" [Headhunter] and bring back the head of a beheaded enemy.

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