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Le Touquet – Paris-Plage, France

The indigenous inhabitants of the Andaman Islands were considered by many early anthropologists to be pristine examples of a "negrito" substrate of humanity that existed throughout Southeast Asia. Despite over 150 years of research and study, questions over the extent of shared ancestry between Andaman Islanders and other small-bodied, gracile, dark-skinned populations throughout the region are still unresolved. This shared phenotype could be a product of shared history, evolutionary convergence, or a mixture of both. Recent population genetic studies have tended to emphasize long-term physical isolation of the Andaman Islanders and an affinity to ancestral populations of South Asia. We reexamine the genetic evidence from genome-wide autosomal single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data for a shared history between the tribes of Little Andaman (Onge) and Great Andaman, and between these two groups and the rest of South and Southeast Asia (both negrito and non-negrito groups). © 2013 Wayne State University Press. Source


The "negrito" hypothesis predicts that a shared phenotype among various contemporary groups of hunter-gatherers in Southeast Asia-dark skin, short stature, tight curly hair-is due to common descent from a region-wide, pre-Neolithic substrate of humanity. The alternative is that their distinctive phenotype results from convergent evolution. The core issues of the negrito hypothesis are today more relevant than ever to studies of human evolution, including the out-of-Africa migration, admixture with Denisovans, and the effects of environment and ecology on life-history traits. Understanding the current distribution of the negrito phenotype dictates a wide-ranging remit for study, including the articulation of the relationship between foragers and farmers in the present, the development of settled agriculture in the mid-Holocene, and terminal Pleistocene population expansions. The consensus reached by the contributors to this special double issue of Human Biology is that there is not yet conclusive evidence either for or against the negrito hypothesis. Nevertheless, the process of revisiting the problem will benefit the knowledge of the human prehistory of Southeast Asia. Whether the term negrito accurately reflects the all-encompassing nature of the resulting inquiry is in itself questionable, but the publication of this double issue is testament to the enduring ability of this hypothesis to unite disparate academic disciplines in a common purpose. © 2013 Wayne State University Press. Source


Willman J.C.,Washington University in St. Louis | Shackelford L.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Demeter F.,Musee de lHomme
American Journal of Physical Anthropology | Year: 2016

Objectives: A detailed assessment of intentional incisor ablation among the Late Upper Paleolithic people of Tam Hang (northern Laos) was undertaken to understand how this cultural practice, in addition to age and sex, influenced an individual's inclusion in the mortuary context. The covariation of ablation status with occlusal variation and anterior dental pathology was addressed to study the implications of this cultural practice on oral health. Materials and Methods: Sex, age, caries, antemortem tooth loss, and occlusal variation were assessed through standard osteological methods for 12 individuals. An observational protocol to identify intentional ablation was developed specifically for this sample. Results: Four ablation states were identified that range from no ablation to the removal of two, three, or four lateral (I2) incisors. The timing of ablation was attributed to ritual extractions during early adolescence. Adult age-at-death was the strongest indicator of inclusion in the main burial context and a child burial was isolated from those of adults. Ablation status does not strongly influence inclusion in the mortuary context. Individuals lacking ablation tended to have a higher incidence of anterior caries, pathological tooth loss, incisor crowding, and canine rotation. Conclusions: This study identifies the oldest case of intentional incisor ablation in Late Pleistocene Mainland Southeast Asia. We conclude that ablation does not always “compromise” the dentition; instead, it may have unintentional oral health benefits in some contexts. Am J Phys Anthropol 160:519–528, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source


Chaubey G.,Evolutionary Biology Group | Singh M.,CSIR - Central Electrochemical Research Institute | Crivellaro F.,University of Cambridge | Tamang R.,University of Tartu | And 44 more authors.
European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2014

The northern region of the Indian subcontinent is a vast landscape interlaced by diverse ecologies, for example, the Gangetic Plain and the Himalayas. A great number of ethnic groups are found there, displaying a multitude of languages and cultures. The Tharu is one of the largest and most linguistically diverse of such groups, scattered across the Tarai region of Nepal and bordering Indian states. Their origins are uncertain. Hypotheses have been advanced postulating shared ancestry with Austroasiatic, or Tibeto-Burman-speaking populations as well as aboriginal roots in the Tarai. Several Tharu groups speak a variety of Indo-Aryan languages, but have traditionally been described by ethnographers as representing East Asian phenotype. Their ancestry and intra-population diversity has previously been tested only for haploid (mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome) markers in a small portion of the population. This study presents the first systematic genetic survey of the Tharu from both Nepal and two Indian states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, using genome-wide SNPs and haploid markers. We show that the Tharu have dual genetic ancestry as up to one-half of their gene pool is of East Asian origin. Within the South Asian proportion of the Tharu genetic ancestry, we see vestiges of their common origin in the north of the South Asian Subcontinent manifested by mitochondrial DNA haplogroup M43.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 26 March 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.36. Source


Chaubey G.,Evolutionary Biology Group | Singh M.,CSIR - Central Electrochemical Research Institute | Crivellaro F.,University of Cambridge | Tamang R.,Osmania University | And 33 more authors.
European journal of human genetics : EJHG | Year: 2014

The northern region of the Indian subcontinent is a vast landscape interlaced by diverse ecologies, for example, the Gangetic Plain and the Himalayas. A great number of ethnic groups are found there, displaying a multitude of languages and cultures. The Tharu is one of the largest and most linguistically diverse of such groups, scattered across the Tarai region of Nepal and bordering Indian states. Their origins are uncertain. Hypotheses have been advanced postulating shared ancestry with Austroasiatic, or Tibeto-Burman-speaking populations as well as aboriginal roots in the Tarai. Several Tharu groups speak a variety of Indo-Aryan languages, but have traditionally been described by ethnographers as representing East Asian phenotype. Their ancestry and intra-population diversity has previously been tested only for haploid (mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome) markers in a small portion of the population. This study presents the first systematic genetic survey of the Tharu from both Nepal and two Indian states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, using genome-wide SNPs and haploid markers. We show that the Tharu have dual genetic ancestry as up to one-half of their gene pool is of East Asian origin. Within the South Asian proportion of the Tharu genetic ancestry, we see vestiges of their common origin in the north of the South Asian Subcontinent manifested by mitochondrial DNA haplogroup M43. Source

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