First Migrants Ancient Migration in Global Perspective

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-09-10
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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The first publication to outline the complex global story of human migration and dispersal throughout the whole of human prehistory. Utilizing archaeological, linguistic and biological evidence, Peter Bellwood traces the journeys of the earliest hunter-gatherer and agriculturalist migrants as critical elements in the evolution of human lifeways.

  • The first volume to chart global human migration and population dispersal throughout the whole of human prehistory, in all regions of the world
  • An archaeological odyssey that details the initial spread of early humans out of Africa approximately two million years ago, through the Ice Ages, and down to the continental and island migrations of agricultural populations within the past 10,000 years
  • Employs archaeological, linguistic and biological evidence to demonstrate how migration has always been a vital and complex element in explaining the evolution of the human species
  • Outlines how significant migrations have affected population diversity in every region of the world
  • Clarifies the importance of the development of agriculture as a migratory imperative in later prehistory
  • Fully referenced with detailed maps throughout

Author Biography

Peter Bellwood is Professor of Archaeology at the Australian National University. A renowned authority in a field driven by contesting paradigms, his vast experience and detailed empirical research have informed his widely-translated publications, especially covering South East Asia and the Pacific. Recent key works include The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration, Volume 1: Prehistory (2013), co-edited with Immanuel Ness, First Farmers (Wiley-Blackwell, 2005), Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago (second edition 1997, reprinted 2007), and Examining the Farming/Language Dispersal Hypothesis (2002), co-edited with Colin Renfrew. His research integrates a range of techniques from archaeology, linguistics, and human biology, and he is currently engaged in archaeological research in Vietnam and the Philippines.

Table of Contents


A Note on Dating Terminology


1. The Relevance and Reality of Ancient Migration

2. Making Inferences about Prehistoric Migration

3. Migrating Hominins and the Rise of our Own Species

4. Beyond Eurasia: the Pioneers of Unpeopled Lands - Wallacea and Beyond, Australia, the Americas

5. Hunter-gatherer Migrations in a Warming Postglacial World

6. The First Farmers and their Offspring

7. The Fertile Crescent Food Production Complex

8. The East Asian and Western Pacific Food Production Complexes

9. The African and American Food Production Complexes

10. The Role of Migration in the History of Humanity

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