The importance of this site cannot be underestimated because of the unusually diverse ethnic types of the skulls found there: the Upper Cave people were apparantly both polygamous and cosmopolitan.
The legend of the sunken continent of Atlantis has been popularized through Western literature and film. A less known, but similar legend from Asia is that of the sunken continent sometimes called Lemuria.
The Lemuria legend is interesting because geologists have confirmed that large sections of land mass formerly connected to Asia were indeed submerged thousands of years ago. The largest chunk of such submarine real estate is known as Sundaland,
Sundaland formerly connected mainland Southeast Asia with Indonesia. Nearly all the islands of Indonesia formed one great land mass extending to Palawan in the Philippines. By the time the Holocene period was over 8,000 years ago, Southeast Asia had lost well over half of its surface area. Island groups in the Philippines and Eastern Indonesia were also formed during this period.
What makes this pertinent to the Lemuria myths is that the whole region of Sundaland and the neighboring islands were believed to have been populated before the ocean levels began rising. Not only populated, but rather relatively densely populated. Scientists have determined this by studying the current population levels along the "Asian waterfront" and also by evidence of extensive land clearance in early times.
During the 1930s, James Churchward made the legends of Lemuria known to the public after he studied the extensive myths of peoples living from India in the West to Hawai'i in the East.
For example, the old Tamil Sangam tradition contradicts modern theories that the Tamils were driven into South India by invading Aryans. Tamil legend states that they came from a sunken continent somewhere south of India.
Similar beliefs are dispersed throughout the equatorial Asia Pacific region.
If Sundaland and nearby regions were as heavily populated in pre-Holocene times as some specialists believe, the rising sea levels must have cause massive migrations.
Buckminster Fuller, a noted engineer and futurist, formulated a theory that the great voyages of the Malayo-Polynesian peoples were stimulated by whole populations losing their land to the sea.
Fuller was followed by Thai ethnographer Sumet Jumsai who correlated a mass of beliefs along the Asian waterfront and the Pacific and theorized that they belonged to the migrating peoples of sunken Sundaland.
The overall argument is rather reasonable. Although the drowning of Sundaland occurred over many thousands of years, during some periods sea levels rose rather drastically. The Holocene era saw such a dramatic rise.
The experience of relatively large numbers of peoples driven from their homelands by rising seas would definitely leave a mark on the collective psyche and cultures of these peoples.
Although the legends of Lemuria have been used by New Age types to devise various far-out theories including those involving extraterrestrials, the case of Sundaland argues that there may well be more behind these legends than pure myth.
Sacred Symbols of Mu on Sacred Texts:
Churchward's Mu theory hasn't achieved even the marginal credibility of Atlantis. For one thing, his science is absurd. The Pacific appears to have been free of large land masses for billions of years. In fact, the Pacific basin may mark the place where the Moon was expelled from the proto-earth. Coral atolls that dot the Pacific have taken millions of undisturbed years of activity to form. And the Pacific was one of the last regions on the planet to be settled by humans; this is proven by linguistic evidence, and the well-documented oral traditions which describe the history of the Polynesian migrations.
It doesn't help matters that Churchward's books are largely absent of apparatus such as footnotes or bibliography, and his basic source material cannot be independently confirmed. In his Mu-monomania, he employs circular and tautological reasoning. Often, he will make a startling assertion, and before supporting it, will move on to some other train of thought. At other times, he writes factually about, say, Egyptian mythology, without any clue for the reader as to why this proves anything about Mu. The reader is simultaneously entertained and irritated by this intellectual shell game.
However, Churchward may have the last laugh yet. There was a large land mass in the Pacific that was submerged during prehistoric times: Sundaland, the continental shelf around Indonesia, which was exposed during the ice ages. It was most certainly the route that humans used to get to Australia, as only a few kilometers of water separated Sundaland from Australia at that time. Although it was submerged slowly as the result of rising sea levels at the end of the ice age, the region has some of the most violent volcanoes on Earth (such as the famous Krakatoa). A documented eruption in that region about 60,000 years ago may have decimated the human race, producing a 'population bottleneck' during which our species was reduced to a few hundred individuals; this has emerged from mitochondrial DNA studies. Some have hypothesized that Sundaland may have been home to an early lost civilization, perhaps the home of the mysterious voyagers who charted the anomalous ice-age maps which the early modern map-makers incorporated in their atlases. While not Mu or Lemuria, of all of the nooks and crannies where a lost civilization might have existed, Sundaland is one of the most plausible; only time will tell. [-JB Hare]
The coloured ovoid in the latter map indicates the influence of Sundaland on cultures, trade and Ethnic types at the period of the end of the Ice Age, approximately 15000 to 10000 BC. Note that the map above includes both transAtlantic and transPacific crossings at that remote age, at least.
|Genetic Bottleneck caused by eruption of Toba volcano|
|Wadjak I, Front, Java|
|Wadjak I, Left side, Java|
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
12. A Phylogenetic Tree
Note the column on the right, a listing of various musical characteristics, mostly drawn from Cantometrics but not all. In the map I treat these as analogous to what geneticists call "haplotypes," grouped together by analogy with "haplogroups." [Correction (as of July 29, 2007): I now believe my terminology to be in error. The musical characteristics in this column are analogous to genetic markers, i.e., mutations, not haplotypes.] All "haplogroups" beginning with the letter A represent styles or style variants originating in Africa and surviving more or less intact in other parts of the world to this day. All those beginning with "B" represent styles that appear to have originated as the result of a major bottleneck, both genetic and cultural, that occurred during an early phase of the Out of Africa migration. (Bottlenecks are severe reductions in population, due to the splintering off of certain groups or some form of mass destruction due to a catastrophe of some sort, a famine, flood, war, etc.) For more on this, see my essay.
A second display, a set of maps, is an attempt to apply the "haplogroups" presented in my tree to a hypothetical picture of the evolution of musical style according to the "Out of Africa" migration picture featured in my monograph, essentially the one presented by Steven Oppenheimer in his book "The Real Eve."
Mini-map 2, "Bottleneck Event," is an attempt to picture a catastrophic event that could account for the musical gap we find between Yemen and Myanmar, where little or no evidence of Pygmy/Bushmen style can be found today. According to Oppenheimer, there is a very similar gap in the genetic evidence, though, as I understand, not everyone agrees about this. As I see it, only some sort of catastrophe at some point from, say, 75,000 to 50,000 years ago, can explain all the very different musical styles we find in the world today, especially the styles represented in the phylogenetic tree as B2 and B3 and their derivatives. So this map, unlike any other I've ever seen, is not based solely on continuity, but contains an abrupt break, representing the effects of the bottleneck on the various surviving groups.
Oppenheimer seems convinced that the Toba explosion can account for the bottleneck, but since that theory is controversial, I decided to present an alternative possibility that could have had a very similar effect, a Tsunami centered somewhere south of the "point" of India, occurring sometime between, say, 80,000 and 50,000 years ago. If in fact "Out of Africa" was a coast-oriented culture, then such an event could have wiped out all or almost all the various colonies strewn along the coast of the Indian Ocean -- but spared those who had already made it around the corner, to the coast of E. Asia and some of the Islands to the East of Sundaland. As I see it, this would explain a great deal about a lot of things, not just music.
The other two little maps should be more or less self explanatory, but of course there would be a great deal to say about each and every arrow represented.
All of the above makes a great deal of sense, at least to me. But I'm afraid that to most others it will look extremely speculative, if not meaningless. I would appreciate comments and questions, nevertheless, to help me get a sense of whether or not others are able to find anything interesting or useful in this. I'd also very much appreciate suggestions for improving it, especially from anyone with experience in concocting phylogenetic trees.
It has been suggested that Luzia resembles the Oriental Pygmies known as Negritos and if so, she joins a number of similar remains known from both North and South America which appear to be Negrito in character. Other early South American skulls tend to look more like actual Australian Aboriginals or else Melanesians.
It is also perhaps useful to know that the name "Mu" in Hawaiian mythology applied to a race of black Pygmies rather than to a vanished landmass.
The Pygmy Negritos are related to the Pygmies of Africa with a 100000 year old split and they also represent an independant very old movement Out of Africa, presumably also surviving Toba in pockets.
|Recent photo of some Negrito girls smiling for the camera.|
Map showing distribution of Negritos, generally to the East of the superimposed line but traces of them are also known in Sumatra, Java and Borneo (Where they are thought to be extinct) There are fairly sizeable populations left in the Andaman Islands, in the Philippines and in New Guinea: Tasmania had been a population center but the British settlers deliberately killed them all off.
|Hongshan Pygmy (Negrito)|
Representations include ones very similar to the Egyptian god Bes
|New Guineans,Probably Representative of the Ancient Lemurian Voyagers of the Pleistocene Pacific|
|Very Robust Melanesian Male from Coon.|
common in some parts of the Pacific
|A modern Australian Aboriginal Woman|
Mana-True Face of the Lapita
While something like this is becoming common internationally, this is the first time a face from the Lapita era in the Pacific, has been revealed. The face of Mana was reconstructed using a model of her skull which was discovered by a member of a research team from USP and the Fiji Museum which excavated an early human settlement at Naitabale in the south of Moturiki Island , central Fiji (Map 1) in June-July 2002. The team was led by Patrick Nunn, Professor of Geography at USP, aided by Mr Sepeti Matararaba of the Fiji Museum and Ms Roselyn Kumar (USP’s Institute of Applied Science ).
The Naitabale settlement was probably established about 1000 BC by a group of Lapita people whose ancestors had come from the Solomon Islands . The distinctive Lapita pottery that identifies the culture of these early settlers was found in abundance at the Naitabale settlement.
In the course of excavations at Naitabale in 2002, a complete human skeleton was discovered in beach sand more than 1.5 metres below the ground surface. The skeleton was covered by undisturbed layers of sediment (sand and silt) in which Lapita pottery was found. The discovery of the skeleton was exciting because it appeared certain to be of Lapita age.
Lapita-age skeletons are few. Some have been found in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu , but this skeleton was perhaps only the 16th found. What was also remarkable about this skeleton was the excellent state of preservation of the skull.
The discoverer of the skeleton at Naitabale, a Solomon Island student from USP named Chris Suri, named it “Mana” which means “truth” in the Lau dialect of Malaita Island in the Solomon Islands . The bones of Mana were removed from Naitabale with the permission and cooperation of the landowners. Initial analysis was undertaken at USP, and thence at the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University in Japan .
In December 2003, the bones of Mana were returned to Fiji from Japan , placed in a coffin and re-buried at Naitabale.
While the skeleton of Mana was in Japan , a model was made of her head. This is the first time that the skull of a Lapita-era skeleton had been so well preserved that it was possible to faithfully reconstruct the head. This therefore represents the first time that the face of a person from the Lapita era (1350 BC to 650 BC) has ever been seen. It is the face of one of the very first people to have lived in the Fiji Islands .
During detailed analysis at Kyoto University , the skeleton was determined to be that of a female who had died between the ages of 40 and 60 years. She appeared to have been 161-164 cm tall and to have given birth to at least one child. She was probably right-handed.
Mana’s body would have been tall, muscular and tough. Like other Lapita-age skeletons, Mana’s body was adapted to heavy mastication, and strenuous physical activity involving the neck, arms and feet. The roots of Mana’s teeth were stained brown, perhaps from chewing roots of kava ( Piper Methysticum ).
To determine the age of Mana, shells associated with the skeleton were subjected to radiocarbon dating. These include a big shell ( Trochus Niloticus ) placed beneath the neck, and another between the knees. The bones of Mana were also dated directly. Dating was overseen by Professor Nunn, and undertaken at Nagoya University in Japan and the University of Waikato in New Zealand .
The results suggested that Mana lived in the year 800 BC, perhaps earlier.
The face of Lapita
Using computer modelling, it was possible to re-create the head of Mana from the well-preserved remains of her cranium. The results represented the first time it was possible to see what one of the earliest occupants of the Fiji Islands looked like.
It is clear that certain aspects of the face of Mana resemble what are commonly regarded as ancestral Polynesian, Fijian, and Asian people, but that her features do not allow her to be readily classified into any such category.
No DNA was recovered from the skeleton of Mana.
The Lapita people were the first humans to colonise the western tropical Pacific Islands . They remain visible as a distinctive cultural group for only a few hundred years, starting about 1350 BC in the Bismarck Archipelago of Papua New Guinea and ending about 650 BC in Fiji , Samoa and Tonga . Around the beginning of this period, from bases in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands , they set out eastwards on intentional voyages of colonisation. They encountered groups of islands ( New Caledonia , Vanuatu , Fiji , Tonga and Samoa ) that were not occupied by humans. The first place they landed in Fiji is believed to have been at Bourewa, near Natadola in southwest Viti Levu Island . The Naitabale settlement was probably established a few generations later (Map 2).
Today the remains of the Lapita-age settlement at Naitabale are about 300 metres inland from the coast. But at the time the settlement existed, it was much closer to the shore, occupying the back of a beach ridge and part of the estuary at the mouth of the Mataloaloa Stream (see Map 3).
When the Lapita people were living at Naitabale, the sea level was about 1.5 metres higher than it is today. This is why the shoreline was farther inland. Since that time (until quite recently), the sea level has been falling causing the shoreline to extend seawards at this location.
The first indication that a Lapita settlement existed at Naitabale was when the research team was walking along the sides of the Mataloaloa River , and Mr Matararaba discovered one of the most elaborate pieces of Lapita pottery ever found in Fiji . After the settlement was excavated, Professor Nunn mapped the geology and was able to reconstruct its geography about 1000 BC (more than 3000 years ago) (see Map 3B).
During the excavation process at Naitabale, more than 17,000 pieces of pottery were collected from the Lapita-age settlement there and analysed at USP. Of these, only 92 pieces displayed decoration characteristic of the Lapita culture. Pottery analysis was carried out by Roselyn Kumar (USP), William Dickinson ( University of Arizona , USA ), and Tomo Ishimura ( Kyoto University ).
Analysis of the decorative style of the 92 Lapita potsherds showed that they had more affinities with Lapita pottery made in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands rather than that made at other sites in Fiji . This surprising result implied that Naitabale was one of the very first places to be settled by the Lapita colonisers of Fiji . Analysis of the sand tempers of selected potsherds showed that only around 70 per cent were made at Naitabale from locally-available materials. Around 30 per cent were imported from elsewhere in Fiji (perhaps beyond Fiji), including about 10 per cent from the Rewa Delta (Viti Levu Island), 10 per cent from Kadavu Island in southern Fiji, and 10 percent from the Lau Group of eastern Fiji. This result demonstrated that the Lapita people who occupied Naitabale from about 1000 BC to about 650 BC had links with people living at the same time in these other places.
On evidence of life at the time, much of the material that the research team excavated from Naitabale was the remains of food that the Lapita-age people living them had consumed. This material included animal bones and shellfish. These materials were analysed by Tomo Ishimura (Kyoto University, Japan), Frank Thomas (formerly USP), and Janet Davidson (New Zealand).
What was clear was that marine foods dominated the diet of the Lapita people who occupied Naitabale. Most of the fish bones are from species that live within the reef and can be caught from the shore (such as Scaridae and Serranidae) rather than from boats at sea. Large numbers of turtle bones were found.
Other animal bones found at Naitabale included pigs, dogs, chickens, rats and fruit bats. It is unclear which of these were eaten and which were not. [Presumably ALL were eaten-DD]
Most shellfish remains found at Naitabale are from the inner reef zone. They include large specimens of Trochus Niloticus and huge numbers of the tiny surf clam Atactodea striata.
The field research was funded by USP.
This news item was published on 11 Aug 2005