Ancient genomes document multiple waves of migration in Southeast Asian prehistory

Mark Lipson*, Olivia Cheronet, Swapan Mallick, Nadin Rohland, Marc Oxenham, Michael Pietrusewsky, Thomas Oliver Pryce, Anna Willis, Hirofumi Matsumura, Hallie Buckley, Kate Domett, Giang Hai Nguyen, Hoang Hiep Trinh, Aung Aung Kyaw, Tin Tin Win, Baptiste Pradier, Nasreen Broomandkhoshbacht, Francesca Candilio, Piya Changmai, Daniel FernandesMatthew Ferry, Beatriz Gamarra, Eadaoin Harney, Jatupol Kampuansai, Wibhu Kutanan, Megan Michel, Mario Novak, Jonas Oppenheimer, Kendra Sirak, Kristin Stewardson, Zhao Zhang, Pavel Flegontov, Ron Pinhasi, David Reich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

179 Citations (Scopus)


Southeast Asia is home to rich human genetic and linguistic diversity, but the details of past population movements in the region are not well known. Here, we report genome-wide ancient DNA data from 18 Southeast Asian individuals spanning from the Neolithic period through the Iron Age (4100 to 1700 years ago). Early farmers from Man Bac in Vietnam exhibit a mixture of East Asian (southern Chinese agriculturalist) and deeply diverged eastern Eurasian (hunter-gatherer) ancestry characteristic of Austroasiatic speakers, with similar ancestry as far south as Indonesia providing evidence for an expansive initial spread of Austroasiatic languages. By the Bronze Age, in a parallel pattern to Europe, sites in Vietnam and Myanmar show close connections to present-day majority groups, reflecting substantial additional influxes of migrants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-95
Number of pages4
Issue number6397
Early online date17 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2018

Bibliographical note

We thank I. Lazaridis, V. Narasimhan, I. Olalde, and N. Patterson for technical assistance; N. Adamski and A.-M. Lawson for aiding with lab work; and T. T. Minh, R. Ikehara-Quebral, M. Stark, M. Toomay Douglas, and J. White for help with archaeological samples.
Funding: This work was supported by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (T.O.P.), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (grant 16H02527; H.M.), Statutory City of Ostrava (grant 0924/2016/ŠaS; P.C.), Moravian-Silesian Region (grant 01211/2016/RRC; P.C.), Irish Research Council (grant GOIPG/2013/36; D.F.), Thailand Research Fund (grant MRG5980146; W.K.), University of Ostrava (IRP projects; P.F. and P.C.), Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (project OPVVV 16_019/0000759; P.F. and P.C.), National Science Foundation (HOMINID grant BCS-1032255; D.R.), National
Institutes of Health (NIGMS grant GM100233; D.R.), an Allen Discovery Center of the Paul Allen Foundation (D.R.), and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (D.R.).


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