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.
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.).