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A Holistic Picture of Austronesian Migrations Revealed by Phylogeography of Pacific Paper Mulberry

  • ​Speaker: Chung Kuo-fung, Associate Research Fellow at the Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica
  • Moderated by: Sophy Chen, Assistant Research Fellow at the Institute of History and Philology & Executive Secretary of the Academia Sinica Center for Digital Cultures
  • Date: 2:30-4:00 PM, Wednesday April 25, 2018
  • Venue: Lecture Hall, 2nd floor, Research Building, Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica.
  • Organizers: Academia Sinica Center for Digital Cultures & Digital Humanities at the Institute of History and Philology
  • Partners: Taiwan Digital Humanities Forum


  • Abstract:
    Human migrations in the prehistoric Remote Oceania marks the last chapter of Neolithic human settlements on Earth. Questions of where this great voyage fared by the ancestors of the Austronesians led to and how they expanded through migration have remained not only a heavily-contested subject but also one of the most important topics in anthropology. Recent evidence from historic linguistics, archeology, and human genetics tends to suggest the validity of the "Taiwan Exodus" hypothesis that the Austronesians originally come from the island. It also holds that the ancestors of the Austronesians were originally farmers, and their outgoing, seafaring expansion was motivated by the pressure caused by the growth of population boosted by agricultural production. 
    In this lecture, the audience will be taken to survey how the biological features of pacific paper mulberry and the plant's bioinformatics can serve as the proof that its cutting seedlings originating from southern Taiwan were taken by the proto-Austronesian sailors on their sea adventure and spread all over the remote Oceanic islands. Pacific paper mulberry provides materials for fabricating tapa i.e. bark cloth which is crucial to Austronesian culture, and it stands as a firm piece of biological evidence in support of the "Taiwan Exodus" hypothesis. 

  • The lecture will be delivered in Chinese with free admission.
  • Bring your own cup.


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