Journal article

New evidence of megafaunal bone damage indicates late colonization of Madagascar

Atholl Anderson, Geoffrey Clark, Simon Haberle, Tom Higham, Malgosia Nowak-Kemp, Amy Prendergast, Chantal Radimilahy, Lucien M Rakotozafy, undefined Ramilisonina, Jean-Luc Schwenninger, Malika Virah-Sawmy, Aaron Camens



The estimated period in which human colonization of Madagascar began has expanded recently to 5000-1000 y B.P., six times its range in 1990, prompting revised thinking about early migration sources, routes, maritime capability and environmental changes. Cited evidence of colonization age includes anthropogenic palaeoecological data 2500-2000 y B.P., megafaunal butchery marks 4200-1900 y B.P. and OSL dating to 4400 y B.P. of the Lakaton'i Anja occupation site. Using large samples of newly-excavated bone from sites in which megafaunal butchery was earlier dated >2000 y B.P. we find no butchery marks until ~1200 y B.P., with associated sedimentary and palynological data of initial human impact ..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant DP0986991 to AA; The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.