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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Genetic diversity of SE Asian chickens


An interesting read for those curious about the origins of domestic chicken, its genetic diversity within and across breeds and the interactions between domestic and wild animals within the Gallus gallus species at their likely ancestral homeland.

14 comments:

manju said...

One more study supporting northern route (after bacterial distribution). I suppose Veddas were the earliest SE people moved to South Asia. That also supports archeological finding that Sri Lanka has the earliest proof of South Asian colonization by modern humans.

Maju said...

So you think that there was nobody in South Asia until... advanced Neolithic? We're talking chicken domestication here, not Middle or Upper Paleolithic.

I make no sense of that, seriously, specially considering mitochondrial DNA diversity and the extremely old age of microlithic industries in South Asia, by far the oldest worldwide. Plus other key elements such as the persistence of dark skin (and even some thinly curled hair) among Tropical Eurasians, something you don't find in American Natives at all (precisely because they had to migrate by a northern route, where they lost such genes for good).

In contrast there's absolutely not a single piece of evidence for your "northern route".

manju said...

If I know correctly southern route is a recent hypothesis. The old hypothesis was northern route. So, there must be arguments for that (which I know not).

So, all it requires chickens (man's best food) need to be domesticated 40000 years ago.

Maju said...

"So, there must be arguments for that (which I know not)".

Intellectual laziness?

I don't know of such arguments either other than the once widespread (and probably Eurocentric) belief that Eurasian humankind would have first developed in West Asia, something we now know to be wrong.

"So, all it requires chickens (man's best food) need to be domesticated 40000 years ago".

There is no such evidence nor this paper advocates for it either. In general poultry is believed to have been domesticated in Asia in the Neolithic, not earlier, and possibly after other animals such as the boar (pig), as this is common in New Guinea but chicken is not.

The fact that the highest chicken diversity seems to be in SE Asia does not in any case talk of any "northern route".

You are hijacking this post with no apparent reason nor logic into some far fetched argument that not even you seem to comprehend, right?

terryt said...

"So, all it requires chickens (man's best food) need to be domesticated 40000 years ago".

An extremely unlikely scenario. Although I very much suspect some elment of the northern route for human development I'm certain the genetic diversity of chickens is completely irrelevant as a supporting argument.

terryt said...

"and possibly after other animals such as the boar (pig), as this is common in New Guinea but chicken is not".

The chicken was introduced to New Guinea way back. In fact it was one of the four animals the Polynesians took with them, one possibly accidently (the rat). The other one was the dog (along with the pig). Only the dog and the rat made it as far as New Zealand, although some Maori claim the kunekune pig was brought in (unlikely).

Maju said...

"In fact it was one of the four animals the Polynesians took with them"...

Exactly: Polynesians. I'm talking Papuans, who largely eat boar and sago tree, neither of which are, AFAIK, of Austronesian origin but quite older.

Is it a "Hoabianian", "Toalean" or whatever other origin? I can't say. It seems we are still lacking data for the pre-pottery Neolithic in SE Asia and Melanesia.

terryt said...

"Exactly: Polynesians. I'm talking Papuans, who largely eat boar and sago tree, neither of which are, AFAIK, of Austronesian origin but quite older".

So is the chicken in New Guinea. In fact all four animals were widespread through SE Asia and Papua by the time the Polynesians developed.

"Is it a 'Hoabianian', 'Toalean' or whatever other origin?Is it a "Hoabianian", "Toalean" or whatever other origin? I can't say".

Probably Hoabinhian. We know anyway thet there was already some basic movement by sea through the region some time before the Polynesians developed their superior ocean-going technology.

Maju said...

Hoabinhian sounds good to me... 10,000 years ago or so, right?

But if it's Hoabinhian, then it's not Austronesian but a lot older and from a different origin.

And we have a pre-pottery Neolithic, related to Hoabinhian and the origin of Papuan silviculture. Studying Austronesian pottery you can't determine when Neolithic first arrived to the area, and Hoabinhian polished adzes are probably not less Neolithic than corded ware. Certainly it's totally in the old definition of Neolithic as "polished stone age" but the key would be to determine if there was a Hoabinhian Neolithic and a Papuan Neolithic. I understand that the latter is pretty clear but I can't find references in either direction right now (talking from memory).

terryt said...

"But if it's Hoabinhian, then it's not Austronesian but a lot older and from a different origin".

I agree, but I was refering to your comment regarding lack of chickens in New Guinea. They've been there for quite some time. Before the Austronesian expansion at least.

"Hoabinhian polished adzes are probably not less Neolithic than corded ware".

The Hoabinhian could be called 'non-ceramic Neolthic', if such a term is possible under a European-based nomenclature. Their agriculture did not involve rice, but yams, taro etc. But what I find really interesting is that polished stone axes appear in SE Asia long before they appear in the Middle East, as does pottery.

"the key would be to determine if there was a Hoabinhian Neolithic and a Papuan Neolithic".

I strongly suspect there was some sort of connection between them. Not as strong as the widespread Austronesian cultural grouping, because their sea-going ability was less.

Maju said...

"They've been there for quite some time. Before the Austronesian expansion at least".

Can you document this claim? I never heard of this before and I can't recall a single chicken from any documentary on Papuan peoples (while pigs are common and central to their lives).

"The Hoabinhian could be called 'non-ceramic Neolthic', if such a term is possible under a European-based nomenclature".

It's absolutely possible. Remember PPNA and PPNB, which stand for Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and Pre-Pottery Neolithic B in the context of the Levant.

In Europe, AFAIK, all Neolithic seems to have pottery (Greek Neolithic is one of the oldest Neolithics with pottery in this half of Eurasia) and all pottery seems Neolithic or younger. But in East Asia, where pottery was first produced probably, we know of many cases of pottery without a clear Neolithic, normally associated to high production coastal economies (fishing and such).

Pottery is not automatically Neolithic nor vice versa, farming and animal husbandry is. However this is sometimes hard to prove.

"Their agriculture did not involve rice, but yams, taro etc."

Enough. That is Neolithic.

"But what I find really interesting is that polished stone axes appear in SE Asia long before they appear in the Middle East, as does pottery".

Sure, it's interesting. Hard to get to any conclusions though.

terryt said...

"Can you document this claim?"

I'm sure you'll find this (fairly old) article about New Guinea interesting:

http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/jso_0300-953X_1975_num_31_46_2688

As you suspected it claims the chicken was probably introduced by Austronesians.

Maju said...

Thanks a lot, Terry. That's a great relevant paper, incidentally supporting Neolithic in New Guinea since at least 5000 or 6000 years ago, pig included (but seemingly not chicken yet). There's one case mentioned of pig tooth from a much older date but it's hard to assess it's relevance alone.

terryt said...

"There's one case mentioned of pig tooth from a much older date but it's hard to assess it's relevance alone".

There seems also to be evidence of clearing in New Guinea, presumably for some sort of cultivation, dating back to 10K. This fits the time of Hoabinhian activity. I'm pretty sure there's other evidence for some connection to the Hoabinhain as well. Can't remember what I'm afraid.