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The Human Landscape: Population Origins, Settlement and Impact of Human Arrival in Aotearoa/New Zealand

  • Elizabeth Matisoo-Smith
Chapter
Part of the Atlantis Advances in Quaternary Science book series (AAQS, volume 3)

Abstract

The settlement of the Polynesian Triangle, culminating with the settlement of Aotearoa/New Zealand within the last 750 years, represents the last major migration event of humans as they dispersed across the globe. Despite this relatively short human history in the region, humans have had a significant impact on the island environments they inhabited. Reconstructing the process of Polynesian settlement, including population origins, the timing of arrival and size of colonising populations as well as those of the animals they introduced, will not only allow us to better understand the true impact of human arrival in Aotearoa, but help us appreciate the broader impact of humans on the environment and of the environment on humans. Both ancient and modern DNA studies of humans and the plants and animals they introduced to the island environments they settled can help us to reconstruct these population histories and therefore better address these important questions. Similarly, ancient DNA analyses of the remains of native fauna can provide key information regarding the true impacts of human arrival in island ecosystems.

Keywords

Founding Population Before Present Human Genome Diversity Project Austronesian Language Human Arrival 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnatomyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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