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Hemudu/Liangzhu's link to Austronesian tenable?

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theSinitic View Drop Down

Joined: 08-Jun-2014
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  Quote theSinitic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Hemudu/Liangzhu's link to Austronesian tenable?
    Posted: 17-Jun-2014 at 17:24
I had once been reassured by people on another forum, that because there exists a physical relation chart which positioned ancient neolithic peoples of China (living on the Yangtze) with modern Malaysians, there was reason enough to presume ancient Hemudu/Liangzhu peoples were not Sinitic.  It is a claim by which most other evidence does not point to.  Hemudu/Liangzhu were made out to be Austronesian peoples based on conceptualized physical traits and male markers.  I would like to take the opportunity to discuss linguistically applied archaeological methods and materials which have more pragmatic meaning to point out the absurdity of that claim.  In the end I'll let viewers decide on whether to take a physical relation chart or Y markers as seriously as some people would.
Now before I go on about Austronesians let me first make sure people know what I'm talking about when I say Hemudu/Liangzhu.  Why are those two connected?
For now, all you need to understand is that Hemudu was the neolithic culture known to have initialized black pottery culture, which had been the characteristic pottery indicator used to show that a later culture belonged to the Longshan horizon.  The Longshan Horizon is a term which means the same thing as "the Chinese interaction sphere", which didn't emerge until the late neolithic period of China and was a cultural-historical range which lasted between 3500 BCE and 1600 BCE.

Hemudu, while being the initializer of black pottery, was a good 1500 years prior to the formation of Liangzhu culture and the actual Longshan period.  However, Liangzhu, while displaying the civilizational advancements of the Longshan horizon, continued nonetheless to spread the culture of this ancient craft, which was well received by all areas known to be Longshan.  While Hemudu's culture began in 5000 BCE, Liangzhu's culture began in 3500 BCE and could be seen as a continuation as they were both resident within the same areas of China.  Liangzhu was situated at the beginning of the Longshan horizon and for various other reasons, including the noted black pottery, considered to be the actual start of the horizon.  One final thing, they both farmed rice, little millet, if any.

Polished black pottery styles helps us define the Longshan Horizon and connects Liangzhu to Hemudu
Now onward to Austronesians.
The main thing for Austronesians is to consider the fact that many linguists trace their beginnings to Austronesians in Taiwan, in other words, where their proto linguistic variations of Austronesian or PAN, proto-Austronesan, came out of.  However, prior to PAN's formation there were areas in China to which PAN can and ought to be ancestrally traced/referenced to.  PAN obviously cannot exist Ex nihilo ("out of nothing").  So the obvious question is where did they come from?  Linguists like Laurent Sagart now trace this pre-PAN to the millet farming communities of Cishan-Peiligang.

Cishan-Peiligang first existed around 6500 BCE, a good 1500 years prior to even Hemudu.  Their communities farmed millet and had a distinctive painted pottery style in the subsequent phase of their culture, the Yangshao.

But should one ask why was millet so important, how do we make sense of millet?  Well, aside from Austronesians, there are Tibeto-Burmans.  These are people to whom Laurent Sagart traced pre-Pan to, within the context of mainland China.  Millet is the sacred crop for Tibeto-Burmans living in Nagaland and for Austronesians living in Taiwan alike.  So it was by directly observing that Sagart came to see the deeper connection between Austronesians and Tibeto-Burmans.  However, the domestication of millet first took place in Cishan-Peiligang, in the upper Yellow River, which isn't exactly the place one would expect to find either population given their current coordinates.  Yet that is the place where Sagart's attention naturally turned in order to investigate the known phenomenon of millet harvesting in both Tibeto-Burman and Austronesian societies.

Sagart made a comparison of Taiwanese Austronesian to Tibeto-Burman cultural root words and a great deal of them matched.  Apparently anything over 10 percent of the Swadesh checklist guaranteed a connection.  The key thing he found was that the term for millet, the staple crop for both their diets, matched in lexical morphology as well as phonology.  Therefore, both Tibeto-Burmans in China and Austronesians in Taiwan received the tradition of the sacred millet harvest directly out of linguistic developments which extended from Cishan-Peiligang.

In recognition of the importance of foxtail millet for both Sino-Tibetan and Austronesian, both as a staple and as a sacred plant, I have proposed (1995) that the origin of the PSTAN macrophylum is in the area of the earliest foxtailcultivating villages: the Císhān-Péilĭgāng culture area of northern China, mainly in Hébĕi, Hénán and south Shănxī,6 beginning cal. 8500 BP. I think of Proto-STAN as the language of these earliest foxtail farmers.

When Sagart says Sino-Tibetan here he really means Tibeto-Burman only as his study only made comparisons of Austronesian with Tibeto-Burman words.

Millet and cord-impressed/painted pottery connected Tibeto-Burmans to Austronesians in Cishan-Peiligang
So where does this information leave us?  How would we possibly make a comparison of Hemudu/Liangzhu to Austronesian if:

1) Hemudu/Liangzhu didn't farm millet (they farmed rice)
2) No pottery/artifacts relating to the Cishan-Peiligang/Dapenkeng such as painted/cord-decorated ware, urn burials, pit dwellings, tooth pulling, can be found (they had polished black pottery, tenon mortise architecture, burial mounds, jade, silk, etc.)
3) No Austronesian substrate exists within the current linguistics of the area in question; if other substratums exist they must surely come from back migrations of the Austronesians, providing linguistic loans (also explained by Sagart, ie the infusion of Daic via the Hainan entry point)

This is the physical relation chart I mentioned at the beginning.  The Hemudu/Liangzhu are not present within the comparisons but even if we were to assume that they clustered along with modern Malaysians then they would have had to also cluster with ancient Henan people as well.  Ancient Henan on the chart clusters more closely towards Malaysian than to Hans of modern times either north or south.  Hans north and south cluster more closely with modern Inuits and Koreans respectively.  That would make ancient Henan Miaodigou people Austronesian which although I'm tempted to say makes sense ultimately doesn't as Austronesians have been developing in Taiwan's Dapenkeng while the Miaodigou were obviously the Tibeto-Burman branch which stayed behind.
On another forum, I was also told that Liangzhu's influence was minimal because O1 haplotype was pronounced in Liangzhu burials but the modern day face of China stems from a patriline abundant with O3, not O1.  I was almost convinced by the lack of O1 in China that Liangzhu's influence was minimal even if it civilized China in the past heydays...

Then I watched Stephan Lansing's lecture about Austronesian expansion and noted the way he agreed with geneticists in coming to terms with drifting and bottlenecks.  It's a situation where novel mutations can get introduced into a system but which are balanced in reverse with diversification being weeded out.  Different patches of the globe have came to experience drift and bottleneck.  So I don't think O1 can be marked as non Sinitic just because most Chinese don't have it.  Sinitics actually have O1 O2 and O3 but bottlenecking produced the concentrations differently from Austronesians, which have all three.

Other linguistic families also have the different haplotypes within O but bottlenecked in similar situations.  Therefore each region had had arrived at concentrations for each type in random events. The areas were not synchronized to a patriline, before patriarchal social organization allowed for natural selection of those best organized.  So it is incredibly naive to just say O1 on the mainland was not Sinitic simply because other areas beyond it contain higher ratio concentrations of O1.  You have to contend with the fact that society was not always patrilineal and when it finally became that way populations were already bottlenecked to a great degree.

Professor Stephan Lansing works with geneticists and mathematicians to override all previous notions of anthropological dominancy models by male competition. When accounting for the Austronesian genetic data it appears what can be modeled instead is Austronesian matriarchal expansion.

Matrilocal residence is ancestral in Austronesian societies
Fiona M. Jordan, Russell, D. Gray, and Ruth Mace

The nature of social life in human prehistory is elusive, yet knowing how kinship systems evolve is critical for understanding population history and cultural diversity. Post-marital residence rules specify sex-specific dispersal and kin association, influencing the pattern of genetic markers across populations. Cultural phylogenetics allows us to practise ‘virtual archaeology’ on these aspects of social life that leave no trace in the archaeological record. Here we show that early Austronesian societies practised matrilocal post-marital residence. Using a Markov-chain Monte Carlo comparative method implemented in a Bayesian phylogenetic framework, we estimated the type of residence at each ancestral node in a sample of Austronesian language trees spanning 135 Pacific societies. Matrilocal residence has been hypothesized for proto-Oceanic society (ca 3500 BP), but we find strong evidence that matrilocality was predominant in earlier Austronesian societies ca 5000–4500 BP, at the root of the language family and its early branches. Our results illuminate the divergent patterns of mtDNA and Y-chromosome markers seen in the Pacific. The analysis of present-day cross-cultural data in this way allows us to directly address cultural evolutionary and life-history processes in prehistory.

The sex-biased dispersal model of early Austronesian matrilocality fits the predominant pattern seen in the Pacific genetics: restricted Asian-derived maternal lineages and a more diverse set of NRY variants (Hurles et al. 2002). Our results do suggest, for instance, that Y-chromosome variants from as far west as Halmahera should not be unexpected in Remote Oceanic populations. Disentangling the interactive effects of residence and migration will be complex, but given the known ethnographic and molecular data, we should now be able to address the issue directly rather than through inference, by modelling different scenarios about kinship structures and their effect on genetic diversity (c.f. Veeramah et al. 2008).

A cursory look at the top 10 countries listed to be Austronesian speaking shows their most highly concentrated O type admixtures to be O2 and O3, not O1.
Total population count for each of the Austronesian countries on upper right.
National pies data by country

Indonesia O2 dominated followed by O3, O1, O
Philippines O3 dominated followed by O1, O, O2
Madagascar O2 dominated, followed by O1
Malaysia O3 dominated, followed by O2, O1, O
Papua New Guinea O3 dominated, followed by O1
Timor Leste O3 dominated
New Zealand O3 dominated, followed by O1, O, O2
Brunei O3 dominated, followed by O2, O1, O
Singapore O3 dominated, followed by O2, O1, O
Solomon Islands O3 dominated, followed by O1
So we now know Austronesian's expansion was matrilocal, and had O2 as its primary male carrier.  They came from the Yellow River and farmed millet as a sacred crop, which neither Hemudu nor Liangzhu grew as staple.

Tibeto-Burman and Austronesian women matriarchs share the same system of facial tattooing to make the face integrate into a zoomorphic pattern of a butterfly.

When the women entered into areas such as Philippines and beyond, they encountered Papuan society and began to intermarry out of their usual east Asian male selections.  That's why the study I cited asserted there were "restricted" east Asian derived matrilines while male genetic components could be sourced from anywhere, which would be reflective of matrilineal society.
The exception may be MTDNA E.  It is found in very miniscule amounts within the context of East Asian specific haplotypes.  MTDNA behaves somewhat differently when speaking of bottlenecking in male haplotypes because men still carry their mother's mitochondrial dna.

mtDNA haplogroup E in Southeast Asia

Mol Biol Evol. 2008 Mar 21 [Epub ahead of print]

Climate Change and Post-Glacial Human Dispersals in Southeast Asia.

Soares P, Trejaut JA, Loo JH, Hill C, Mormina M, Lee CL, Chen YM, Hudjashov G, Forster P, Macaulay V, Bulbeck D, Oppenheimer S, Lin M, Richards MB.

Modern humans have been living in Island Southeast Asia (ISEA) for at least 50,000 years. Largely because of the influence of linguistic studies, however, which have a shallow time depth, the attention of archaeologists and geneticists has usually been focused on the last 6000 years - in particular, on a proposed Neolithic dispersal from China and Taiwan. Here we use complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genome sequencing to spotlight some earlier processes that clearly had a major role in the demographic history of the region but have hitherto been unrecognised. We show that haplogroup E, an important component of mtDNA diversity in the region, evolved in situ over the last 35,000 years and expanded dramatically throughout ISEA around the beginning of the Holocene, at the time when the ancient continent of Sundaland was being broken up into the present-day archipelago by rising sea levels. It reached Taiwan and Near Oceania more recently, within the last approximately 8000 years. This suggests that global warming and sea-level rises at the end of the Ice Age, 15,000-7000 years ago, were the main forces shaping modern human diversity in the region.

I've also been shown articles, such as the one I link below, which are erroneously interpreted by those who don't want Hemudu/Liangzhu to be Sinitic.  The articles are skewed beyond their original representation as saying something about a specific haplotype when the aim of the article analyzes a haplotype for its behaviors in order to make very specific statements about specific population clusters.  People incorrectly take Sino-Tibetan and say it is canvassed by these articles to be O3 only.

Y-chromosome O3 Haplogroup Diversity in Sino-Tibetan Populations Reveals Two Migration Routes into the Eastern Himalayas

The eastern Himalayas are located near the southern entrance through which early modern humans expanded into East Asia. The genetic structure in this region is therefore of great importance in the study of East Asian origins. However, few genetic studies have been performed on the Sino-Tibetan populations (Luoba and Deng) in this region. Here, we analyzed the Y-chromosome diversity of the two populations. The Luoba possessed haplogroups D, N, O, J, Q, and R, indicating gene flow from Tibetans, as well as the western and northern Eurasians. The Deng exhibited haplogroups O, D, N, and C, similar to most Sino-Tibetan populations in the east. Short tandem repeat (STR) diversity within the dominant haplogroup O3 in Sino-Tibetan populations showed that the Luoba are genetically close to Tibetans and the Deng are close to the Qiang. The Qiang had the greatest diversity of Sino-Tibetan populations, supporting the view of this population being the oldest in the family. The lowest diversity occurred in the eastern Himalayas, suggesting that this area was an endpoint for the expansion of Sino-Tibetan people. Thus, we have shown that populations with haplogroup O3 moved into the eastern Himalayas through at least two routes.

There was no admission Qiang invented Sinitic civilization's attributes nor lingua franca.  However, they can be considered the oldest within the category of those speakers whom use the language family of Sino-Tibetan.  To be specific they are Tibeto-Burman and genetically related to Austronesian linguistics.  Qiang may have been the earliest predecessors of the Zhou demographic whom arrived into China from northwest.  Prior to setting up shop in the north, they may have been situated alongside the Qiang.  For info on Zhou/Tibeto-Burman linguistics:
And remember the reference to professor Stephan Lansing?  It would appear the Qiang were matrilocal for a very long time since they retain the greatest diversity of men's haplotypes.
While it didn't make a difference whether Austronesian was O1 O2 or O3 due to matrilocal residence patterns, it would make a difference for Liangzhu because Liangzhu was patrilocal.
Archaeology shows us the patrilocal nature of the Liangzhu. Bruce Owens is a college professor and his course notes reveal the nature of the Longshan HORIZON and how Liangzhu was the start just like D.C. was the start of America's Federalism.

−the Liangzhu culture is another example of the Regional Neolithic trend towards veryelaborate burials for some high-status people
−some very rich graves, often spatially segregated from poorer burials in the same cemetery
−especially in the later stages of the Liangzhu culture
−a rich burial at Ssu-tun
−a young adult male
−4 ceramic vessels, 14 stone and jade implements, 49 jade ornaments
−24 jade rings and 33 jade cong tubes (written ts'un g in Wade-Giles orthography)
−cong tubes are apparently ritual objects, usually jade, that are rectangular blocks with faces carved on the outside and a large round hole through the center
−the rings are also probably ritual, votive, etc.; they are not finger rings or personalornaments
−suggesting that this person was heavily involved in ritual activities, either as a ritual specialist himself or a patron of specialists
−the jades were very well made in very hard stone, implying a lot of wealth
−some of the jades and the male's femora (thigh bones) were partially burned,suggesting some kind of burial ritual involving fire
−burial mound at Sidun, 20 meters high (65 feet!)
−burial of a young man
−with over 100 jade artifacts
−body and jades were partly burned
−other burned burials around the mound are thought to be sacrifices
−square dirt platform at Yaoshan
−containing rich burials
−burials with "extra" crania at Chang-ling-shan

−The Longshan horizon (Lung-shan), started around 3500 BC with Liangzhu culture, became widespread by 2500 BC; lasted until about 1500 BC
−also written Longshan or Longshan
−a “horizon” that spread across northern China
−a “horizon” is the extension of a style (usually of pottery) over a very wide area
−horizons make convenient time markers
−because sites that contain objects in the horizon s tyle must be roughly contemporarywith each other
−horizon styles allow us to correlate what was happening in many different places at thatsame time
−but since a horizon style may take a while to spread, appearance of the style in different places may not actually happen at the same moment
−a horizon typically starts somewhere, and gets to its periphery later
−horizons are also interesting because they imply widely shared ideas, probably beyond the pottery style that marks them
−the Longshan horizon apparently started on the lower Yangtze river, in the Liangzhu culture, as early as 3500 BC
−and for whatever reason, spread from there to the rest of an area of interacting cultures called the Neolithic "Chinese interaction sphere"
−markers of the Longshan horizon
−wheel-made, thin-walled black ceramics
−pedestal vases with cutouts in pedestal (tou)
−tripod pots (ting)
−certain axe types
−jade cong tubes (square outside with faces; large round hole inside)

Edited by theSinitic - 18-Jun-2014 at 16:38

Liangzhu was typified by hallmarks which glorified 5000 years of China.
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