An integrated perspective on the Austronesian diaspora: The switch from cereal agriculture to maritime foraging in the colonisation of Island Southeast Asia

01st December 2008

David Bulbeck

This paper reviews the archaeological evidence for maritime interaction spheres in Island Southeast Asia during the Neolithic and preceding millennia. It accepts that cereal agriculture was well-established in Taiwan during the Neolithic but finds minimal evidence for the transmission of agriculture from Taiwan to Island Southeast Asia. Accordingly, the scholarly dispute in early Austronesian culture history between farming and maritime perspectives is deemed to be based on a vacuous opposition. In terms of a foraging/ farming dichotomy, Austronesians’ origins were evidently associated with cereal agriculture in the region of the Taiwan Strait, but their southward expansion was predicated on maritime foraging and trade.

David Bulbeck
An integrated perspective on the Austronesian diaspora: The switch from cereal agriculture to maritime foraging in the colonisation of Island Southeast Asia
December 2008
67
31-52
Article
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