The study of the prehistory of East Asia is developing very rapidly. In uncovering the story of the flows of human migration that constituted the peopling of East Asia there exists widespread debate about the nature of evidence and the tools for correlating results from different disciplines.

Drawing upon the latest evidence in genetics, linguistics and archaeology, this exciting new book examines the history of the peopling of East Asia, and investigates the ways in which we can detect migration, and its different markers in these fields of inquiry. Results from different academic disciplines are compared and reinterpreted in the light of evidence from others to attempt to try and generate consensus on methodology. Taking a broad geographical focus, the book also draws attention to the roles of minority peoples – hitherto underplayed in accounts of the region’s prehistory – such as the Austronesian, Tai-Kadai and Altaic speakers, whose contribution to the regional culture is now becoming accepted.

Past Human Migrations in East Asia presents a full picture of the latest research on the peopling of East Asia, and will be of interest to scholars of all disciplines working on the reconstruction of the peopling of East and North East Asia.

part |19 pages


chapter |17 pages

Methodological issues

Linking genetic, linguistic and archaeological evidence

part 1|137 pages

Archaeology and prehistory

chapter 1|17 pages

Austronesian cultural origins

Out of Taiwan, via the Batanes Islands, and onwards to Western Polynesia

chapter 3|21 pages

Livestock in ancient China

An archaeozoological perspective

chapter 4|28 pages

Stratification in the peopling of China

How far does the linguistic evidence match genetics and archaeology?

chapter 5|25 pages

The expansion of Setaria farmers in East Asia

A linguistic and archaeological model

part 2|151 pages


chapter 6|21 pages

The integrity of the Austronesian language family

From Taiwan to Oceania

chapter 7|29 pages

The Formosan language family

chapter 11|24 pages

Comparing Japanese and Korean

chapter 12|23 pages

The speed of language change, typology and history

Languages, speakers and demography in North-East India

part III|132 pages


chapter 13|21 pages

The GM genetic polymorphism in Taiwan aborigines

New data revealing remarkable differentiation patterns

chapter 15|7 pages

Mitochondrial DNA diversity of Tao-Yami and Batan islanders

Relationships with other Taiwanese aborigines

chapter 16|20 pages

A genetic perspective on the origins and dispersal of the Austronesians

Mitochondrial DNA variation from Madagascar to Easter Island

chapter 19|11 pages

Y-chromosome phylogeography in Asia

Inferring haplogroup origins and polarity of haplogroup dispersion

chapter 20|16 pages

Understanding yak pastoralism in Central Asian Highlands

Mitochondrial DNA evidence for origin, domestication and dispersal of domestic yak