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1 Prehistoric migration and the rise of humanity

Prehistory

Prehistory Introduction

  1. Peter Bellwood

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm801

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Bellwood, P. 2013. 1 Prehistoric migration and the rise of humanity. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

Abstract

The focus in this first volume of the Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration is on the founding, through migration, of the human world as we can reconstruct it at the dawn of written history. Using information from human biology, archaeology, and comparative linguistics (the latter discipline only available for societies within the past 10,000 years), the authors travel in time and space from the initial migrations of the incipient genus Homo, around two million years ago, to the relatively recent but still prehistoric migrations of populations such as the Eastern Polynesians and Thule Inuit. They introduce to us an enormous array of past human groups, both hunter-gatherer and agriculturalist. The prehistoric migrations of many of these populations were essential foundations for the ethnic and linguistic patterning that spanned the globe before 1500 ce, and indeed still does in many regions today.

Keywords:

  • archaeology;
  • linguistics;
  • Pleistocene;
  • Holocene;
  • human biology