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Arawaks once occupied much of the Southeastern United States

Arawaks once occupied much of the Southeastern United States


(Image Above) – In 1909, W. H. Roberts found the stela above in the center of a hilltop stone circle, overlooking the Chattahoochee River in what is now Sweetwater Creek State Park.  For almost a century it was on display at the Georgia Department of Archives and History without any serious attempt to study it.  Like the equally enigmatic Tugaloo Stone, Georgia archaeologists labeled it “some early form of Cherokee writing.”  Okay!  The stone was in Creek Indian territory until 1827. The stela is now on display at the Sweetwater Creek Visitors Center. In 2011, with the help of anthropologists from the University of Puerto Rico, I was able to explain the artifact. It is a Taino “guardian spirit,” whose presence warned travelers that they were entering another province or sacred cave or religious shrine. This style of art was typically placed on stone slabs 3-5 tall, which were located on hilltops or beside major trails.

The word, Tennessee, is derived from a Creek word, Taenasi, that means “Descendants of the Taino.” Until around 1785, the Little Tennessee was named the Tanasi River and the Tennessee had an Itza Maya name . . . Callimaco . . .  which means “House of the King.”  Other place names, derived from Arawak words, include Toa, Towasee, Tallikoa, Salicoa, Saticoa, Stecoah, Citigo, Toccoa, Ohoopee and Annewakee. Several members of the Creek Confederacy were Arawak Provinces in South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama! 

Throughout the lower Southeastern United States are many ancient place names, which 20th century academicians, operating in an ethnological vacuum, mislabeled “Creek” or “Cherokee” words. They are neither Muskogean nor Cherokee words, they are Itza Maya, Caribbean Arawak, Middle Arawak or Southern Arawak and Panoan words from Peru.  Sixteenth and seventeenth century French explorers knew that the Arawaks were a major indigenous ethnic group in Southeastern North America. The Spanish didn’t care, while Anglo-American scholars assumed that whatever tribes existed at the end of the War of 1812, had always existed and that they was they had always lived in the same location. Nobody in academia seemed interested in the etymologies of Southeastern indigenous words.

I first became aware that there was something terribly wrong with the “official” Pre-British history of the Southeast in 1988.  Archaeologists, employed by the National Park Service, found an Adena village and a Hopewell Culture village at my farm on Toms Brook in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.  A Confederate artillery redan about 200 feet behind my barn had originally been a Hopewell mound!  At the time, I was only vaguely aware of what those words, Adena and Hopewell, meant.  After checking out books on the Adena and Hopewell Culture from the Shenandoah County Library, I quickly made an appointment with the Department of Anthropology at the nearby University of Virginia.  I showed the professor the artifacts that the NPS had given me.  The professor ridiculed me and said that those artifacts could have only come from Ohio. He glanced at the archaeological report from the National Park Service and tossed it back on the table . . . then told me that he didn’t have time for such nonsense.

This is something that you are never told.  The oldest “Hopewell” style artifacts were found at a culturally isolated town site at the confluence of the Cipola (Cibola) and Apalachicola Rivers in the Florida Panhandle.  However, Cipola or Cibola was originally the name of an indigenous province along the Middle Chattahoochee River between Atlanta and Columbus. The Seven Cities of Cibola were actually in the Georgia Gold Belt, not New Mexico.  The founders of the Hopewell Culture came from either the Caribbean Basin or South America!

Once our colonial farm, surveyed by George Washington in 1754, was restored, I dived into a series of fascinating historic preservation projects in northwestern Virginia.   Over and over again strange Native American artifacts began coming out of the ground at sites in the Shenandoah River Botttomlands between Strasburg and New Market, VA.   They looked like that they belonged in Central Mexico, the Caribbean Basin, or South America.  These strange artifacts included ornately painted pottery, stone metates and rectangular slate “cassava” grills. 

On the telephone, I couldn’t even get past the secretary at the UVA Department of Anthropology. She was simultaneously speaking to me and a professor standing near her.  When she transmitted my plea that I had studied in Mexico, he shouted, “Mexico? . . .  laughed and walked away.

It would be another 20 years before I would stumble across a downloadable copy of Sam Kercheval’s landmark (1833) book, A History of the Valley of Virginia.  In it, Kercheval specifically stated that early settlers found their farmlands “littered” with Indian artifacts, which looked like they came from Mexico or South America.  I also learned that the name of the tribe in that part of the Valley was Petun . . . which is the Tupi (South American) word for tobacco.  They were known to the British as the Tobacco Indians.  By then, I was long gone from Virginia.  The Tupi also lived on the South Atlantic Coast near present day Midway, GA.

The “Timucua” were Arawaks, originally from Venezuela

In 1990, at the same time that I was first struggling to get explanations for strange artifacts in the Shenandoah Valley, the brilliant University of Florida linguist, Julian Granberry, succeeded in producing a glossary and grammar for Timucua, the language family spoken by a group of indigenous provinces in Northeast Florida and the interior of Southeast Georgia.  He traced the language to Warao-Arawak, which is spoken today, 2,500 miles to the southeast in Venezuela.

First, we should explain.  Timucua is a word coined by early 17th century Spanish invaders of Florida to label a group of provinces, which spoke similar languages. The word is derived from the name of the Tamakoa, a tribe that lived on the lower Altamaha River in Southeast Georgia . . . which then was also considered “La Florida” by the Spanish.  Tamakoa is a combination of the Totonac-Itza Maya word for “trade” – tama – with the Middle Arawak word for “people or tribe.” 

Ironically, the actual Tamakoa really despised the Spanish and soon moved up the Altamaha and then the Oconee Rivers, into northeast Georgia. By the 1700s, they were members of the Creek Confederacy.  Dutch-speaking Jewish gold miners in northeaster Georgia called them the Thamacoggin, while the Anglo-American settlers later called them Thamagua.  Their capital was at a 40 feet tall mound on the Middle Oconee River near present day Commerce, GA. The mound still exists in pristine condition, but is little known, even within the county, where it is located. In fact, the original name of Commerce was Thamagua.  

Granberry’s professional paper (1990) stated that Timucua included several words, which were “borrowed” from the Creeks.  They were definitely not Muskogean words, per se.  They were all Itza Maya words, such as tama.  Granberry did not realize that many branches of the Creeks were not real Muskogeans such as the Choctaw, but actually immigrants from southern, east-central and northwestern Mexico. Apparently, somewhere along their route from the Orinoco River to the St. Johns River, the “Timucua” had come in direct contact with Chontal Maya traders.

During 2012 through 2014, (The Mayas In Georgia Controversy) references to the connection between Timucua and Warao were removed from Wikipedia.  Obviously, if the Warao could travel 2,500 miles to settle in large numbers in Florida and Georgia then the much more-sophisticated Itza Maya could easily take two short hops between Yucatan and Cuba then Cuba and Florida . . . then sail along the coasts of eastern North America.  However, the Warao-Timucua articles have now returned.

This is the original appearance of Ocmulgee around 900 AD.  The Great Temple Mound was built over the chief’s house.

Ocmulgee’s Acropolis founded by Arawaks around 900 AD

During the largest archaeological excavation ever carried out in the United States, between 1933 and 1939 on a plateau overlooking the Ocmulgee River, archaeologist Arthur Kelly discovered that the original inhabitants lived in super-sized teepee shaped structures about 35 feet in diameter. Shell-tempered, Plain Redware pottery* was found in association with the big houses.  There were some smaller, but older round structures, containing Swift Creek pottery, underneath the large round structures, so Kelly assumed that all of these round structures were the founders of the large town of mound builders. Not having the technology of radiocarbon dating, he assumed that the rectangular houses were contemporaneous with the round ones.  For the next 75 years the only radiocarbon dates were obtained from mounds, so no archaeologist was aware of the actual chronology of the large round houses. 

When archaeologists and art historians from the Midwest and Northeastern United States designed the exhibits at the Ocmulgee National Monument museum, they wanted visitors to think that all advanced indigenous culture came from the NORTH.   It was a very subtle form of regional propaganda.  They intentionally left out any mention of the large round houses, plus all artifacts associated with Mayan culture.  Hundreds of 2-3 feet diameter salt drying pans were found at Ocmulgee, which were clearly a technology straight from the Mayas.  Within a few years even the archaeology profession forgot about the missing information.

Rock owls can be found near Atlanta, Georgia and in the Toa River Valley of Cuba.

On a town site atop Browns Mount, over six miles to the south of the Ocmulgee Acropolis, Kelly’s team of archaeologists found a concentration of pottery with owl motifs.  Any owl motif pottery found at the acropolis was traced to potters on Browns Mount.  A decade later, Tennessee archaeologists, Thomas Lewis and Madeline Kneberg, found very similar owl motif pottery on Hiwassee Island in the Tennessee River. For the next 80 years, no Georgia of Tennessee archaeologist realized that the owl motif pottery was very similar to produced by the Toa Arawaks in the Toa River Valley of Cuba!   The main town in that region is Barracoa!

In 2012, as his dissertation project of for the University of Georgia, Daniel Bigman carried out a comprehensive ground radar survey of the Ocmulgee Acropolis, plus obtained some radiocarbon dates for residential structures.  He discovered that the Arawak style houses had typified Ocmulgee for over a century.  Rectangular, Mesoamerican style houses only began appearing only after around 1000 AD, when Itza Maya style houses were first constructed two miles south at Itzasi (the Lamar Village).  Thereafter, more and more rectangular houses were built to the point by the time of the acropolis’s abandonment around 1150 AD, almost all houses were rectangular.

*During the period when the Ocmulgee Acropolis was occupied, shell-tempered, Plain Redware pottery typified the utilitarian ware of both Maya Commoners and the peoples of the Caribbean Basin. 

These Ashinanka dancers are identical in appearance to Spanish descriptions of “Florida Apalache” dancers.

De Soto visits a Peruvian Arawak province in the Florida Panhandle

In the late autumn of 1539, the Hernando de Soto Expedition entered a province, which from then forward would be mistakenly be labeled the Apalachee. One of the first towns, he visited in this province was named Apalachen . . . which is the plural of Apalache in the hybrid Panoan-Itza-Muskogean language that was spoken by the ancestors of the Creek Indians.  In fact, the real Apalache were in northeast Georgia.

This fact was pointed out by French ethnologist, Charles de Rochefort, in 1658.  De Rochefort stated that the real Apalache HAD established a trading colony among this tribe in Florida, but the Floridians never called themselves Apalachee, until the Spanish repeatedly told them that was their name. De Rochefort stated that the Floridians were Arawaks from Peru.  Their capital town was named Anihaica.

Charles de Rochefort didn’t have access to an Ashinanka-Southern Arawak dictionary, but he was somehow correct.  Anihaica is an Ashinanka word meaning “Elite – Place of.”  In fact, most of the “Florida Apalachee” village names can be translated with an Ashinanka dictionary. 

There is more evidence.  Until the 20th century, bot Ashinanka men and women wore grass skirts like the Polynesians.   The chroniclers of the De Soto Expedition stated that the Florida Apalachee wore grass skirts.

De Soto visits an Arawak province in central Georgia

In early March of 1540, the Hernando de Soto Expedition entered the Province of Toa on the Lower Ocmulgee River in central Georgia.  The chroniclers of the expedition stated that the conquistadors immediately noticed that the people of Toa were much more culturally advanced than those in present day Florida.  The Toa me also averaged a foot taller than the Spanish. The men wore mustaches and turbans.  The women leaders also wore turbans.  In contrast to the “Florida Apalachee,” both the men and women wore brightly colored and patterned woven clothing.  They worshiped a single, invisible God.  In short, they appear in every cultural detail to be standard Creek Indians.   However, there is a problem.

The people of Toa established colonies in what is now east central Alabama . . . along the Lower Coosa River and in the vicinity of Birmingham, AL.  These colonists were called Toasi or Towasee in English, which means “Offspring of Toa.”   In the late 1700s, a glossary of Toasi words was developed.  Their language was a mixture Taino Arawak and Itsate Creek . . . but the basic grammar was Arawak!  

Stelas, very similar to the Sweetwater Creek Stela, can be found in the Toa Province that once existed around present-day Arecibo, Puerto Rico.  The indigenous peoples of the Toa River in Cuba originally lived in large round, teepee shaped houses like those that were built at Ocmulgee National Monument for over a century.  There must be a connection.

The Taenasike on Hiwassee Island, TN were visited by explorers De Soto and Pardo. They were of mixed Taino, Muskogean and Itza Maya heritage.

De Soto on the Coosa River: The chronicles of the De Soto Expedition provided little detail on the villages along the Coosa River.  However, they did list the names of these communities.  They were not Muskogean or Itza Maya words.  Several of the names were the same or similar to villages or towns on the Georgia Coast . . . which had a South American Culture at the time of European Contact.

The Miami Circle probably represents the arrival of Arawaks from Cuba or Puerto Rico.

Did the Arawaks originate in the Lower Southeast?

The biggest surprised comes from the writings of French ethnologist, Charles de Rochefort.  His landmark book, Histoire naturelle et morale des îles Antilles de l’Amérique, initially published in 1558, also contains several chapters on the indigenous peoples of the Lower Southeast . . . in particular, northern Georgia. De Rochefort interviewed several of the few surviving Arawaks in the Greater and Lesser Antilles, plus Richard Briggstock, who spent much of 1653 in what is now Georgia. 

According to the Taino elders, the Arawaks originated in the Coastal Plain of Georgia and South Carolina.  They constructed the shell rings there and probably were responsible for the earliest known pottery in North America.  Most of the Arawaks began migrating southward until they eventually reached Peru and the Amazon Basin.  They then began migrating back north again.  De Rochefort stated that at one time there were many Arawaks in the North Carolina Mountains, but they had been mostly replaced by Apalachete (Itza Maya & Creek Indians).  Some Arawaks still remained.  That would explain the presence of Arawak town names, such as Satikoa (Colonist People).  The first map to show Cherokees, living in the North Carolina Mountains . . . the 1721 Barnwell Map of the Southern Colonies . . . lists some villages near present-day Franklin, NC that have a “O” prefix or suffix, attached to a Muskogean or Itza word.  That “o” is Southern Arawak grammar.  It means “principal town.” 

De Rochefort’s version of the Lower Southeast’s Native American history is both different and far more detailed than taught students today.  However, his statements should be taken very seriously.  Most of the architectural information that De Rochefort provided about Proto-Creek towns was not discovered by North American archaeologists until the late 20th century.  Even though he never himself, visited Southeastern North America, he knew many Itsate Creek words and customs.  The picture he has painted of the migrations of the Arawaks is exactly opposite current orthodoxies, but in reality, archaeology backs up much of what he said.



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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.



    Most outstanding-we appreciate your efforts & work.

    • Thank you! There is much more we need to know. I have been unable to find any photographs of the round house that typified Ocmulgee for over a century. It is another case of Native American history being erased.


    Richard, another Thank you. The so called “Hopewell” artifacts found first by the Apalachicola / Chattahoochee river area sounds like another migration of people from the Western Amazon Ohio. Many peoples made their way there for some reason to include some Jews and left some Geophytes? The “Tanase” people as described by the Cherokees were short “very white”, “moon eyed” most likely elongated head…a very ancient people of Tennessee. Do the Uchee friends of yours have any lore about them? The truth is out there somewhere.

    • Because of the horrific, multiple traumas of being forced repeatedly to move farther west as many people were dying from disease, the Uchee today have little cultural memory. I have to go back to the early colonial archives of Georgia to get detailed information about their culture.


    Having read somewhere that the Beothuk mtDNA lineages of A2, B2, C1, and D1 are not descended from the Maritime Archaic branches in those respective haplogroups (only the Beothuk lineage of X2 is from M.A.), and regarding the presence of D1 at all (being so rare in Algonquian, Iroquoian, northern Mexico, and North America in general between Paleo times and Hopewell), i wonder if Beothuk come from the Caribbean?

    • There is a very good possibility. We are finding very strong linguistic and oral history evidence that there was much movement of individual groups throughout much of the Americas. For example, the Mayas remembered that there homeland was a land of ice far to the north of Yucatan . . . not northwest as in Alaska, but north. They migrated due south until they found a land that had no ice.


    Richard T., Have you ever read or heard of the following article?

    On the genetic affiliations of Timucua, an indigenous language of Florida – Journal of the American Society – pages 359-376 – 1965 – by G. Kingsley Noble
    (Journal de la société des américanistes) Link:

    The link is from a French website ( where you and those who are interested can search for ‘old’ articles, books and info on a variaty of topics.

    In this particular article “On the genetic affiliations of Timucua, an indigenous language of Florida” there is a comparative word list which compares Timucuan words with a multitude of other native American languages including Uto-Aztecan, Arawakan and Andean languages (and dialects?).
    Since I’m familiar with Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian, Oceanic) languages it surprised me to actually recognize certain Austronesian-like words in the “Timucuan” comparative word list.

    I present to you a comparative word list to see the similarities between Austronesian and certain Native American languages included in the “Timucuan” article.

    Austronesian Comparative Dictionary (ACD)
    Proto Austronesian (PAN); Proto Malayo-Polynesian (PMP); Central Malayo-Polynesian (CMP); South Halmahera-West New Guinea (SHWNG); Proto Oceanic (POC); Oceanic (OC)

    The Timucuan word meaning “ashes” and “salt” is “api” while the Arawakan word for “ashes” is “apu”; “apui”; Macro-Panoan is “apo”/”apu”/”abo”.

    In MP and SHWNG languages examples of the word meaning “fire” are “hapoy”/”hapuy”; “apoy”/”apuy”; “api”/”apu”; “afi”/”afo” and “afu”.
    Examples in OC languages of the word meaning “fire” in Tonga and Samoa is “afi” while in Maori and Hawaiian it is “ahi”.

    In MP and SHWNG languages examples of the word meaning “ash”/”ashes” (“dust”) are “abu”/”abo”; “apu”/”apo”; “afu”/”afo”; “avu”/”avo” and “awu”/”awo”.
    Examples in OC languages of the word meaning “ash”/”ashes” (“dust”) are “kăbu”; “havu” and “avu”.

    Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database (ABVD)

    The Timucuan word meaning “bone” is “abi”; Arawakan “api”; Andean “abwi” (Koto/Tucano), “ep”; Uto-Aztecan “oovi”; “oomi”, “umi”/”ume”.
    In OC languages examples of the word meaning “bone” are “iwi”/”ivi”/”ibi” (Hawaiian, Maori, Marquesan, Rapa Nui) and “imi” (Mooriori/Moriori from Rēkohu also known as Chatham Islands).

    The Timucuan word meaning “red” is “iro”; Arawakan “era” and “irai”; Tupian “ira”.
    In MP, CMP, SHWNG and OC languages examples of the word meaning “red” are “mirah”/”mira”/”mirai”; “merah”/”mera”/”merai”; “mero”.
    Other examples in OC languages of the word meaning “red” are Hawaiian “‘ula”; Tahitian “‘ura”; Rarotongan “kura” and Maori “whero”.

    The Timucuan word meaning “water” is “ibi”; Arawakan “hui” and “wi”; Macro-Chibchan “ubi” and “pi”/”pe”; Ge-Panoan-Carib “ubi”/”uvi” and “uwu”; Hokan-Siouan “bi”/”we” and “oue”/”ive”.
    In MP, CMP, SHWNG and OC languages examples of the word meaning “water” are “tubig”; “uwoi”; “uβoi”; “uβe”; “ue”; “èbŏ”; “oai”/”oei”; “owai”/”owei”; “owe”/”uwe”; “wai”; “wa”; “wi” and “we”.
    Other examples in OC languages of the word meaning “water” and or “river” in Maori (1773) is “hewai”; in Tahiti (1773) is “avy”

    The Timucuan word meaning “wind” is “a” and “age”; Awarakan “ana” and “an”; Tupian “an”; Taino “anze”; Taparita “anga”; Rama-Rama “ango”; Cariri “anhi” (‘breathe’); Katukina (Macro-Tucanoan) “hu” and “any”.
    In MP, CMP, SHWNG and OC languages examples of the word meaning “wind” are “hangin”/”angin”/”aŋin”/”aŋen”; “aŋi”; “cagi”/”agi”; “sangai”/”saŋai”/”saŋay”.
    Other examples in OC languages of the word meaning “wind” are “matangi”/”mataŋi”; “matani”/”makani” and “hau” (Maori).

    – Interestingly the Taino “guardian spirit” depicted on the pictures/photos look similar to the dendroglyphs (carved figures in wood) of Rēkohu also known as Chatham Islands to the east of Aotearoa also known as New Zealand.
    The figure in the picture/photo of “La Cueva Jose’ Maria” in the Dominican Republic is most similar to the Rēkohu dendroglyphs.
    Pictures/drawings of the similar figures can be found in the following article: Volume 64 1955 > Volume 64, No. 4 > The Dendroglyphs of the Chatham Islands, by Christina Jefferson, p 367-441 – The Journal of the Polynesian Society.
    – Perhaps this is indirect proof of at least some cultural and linguistic link between some native Americans inluding Arawak; Taino and Oceanic people (Melanesian, Micronesian and Polynesian).

    Source/Links ACD and ABVD: – *Sapuy : fire – *qabu : ash, cinder, powder – bone – red – water – wind – The Dendroglyphs Of The Chatham Islands

    • You do know that there are hundreds of Arawakan languages . . . most of whom are not mutually intelligible? About 15 years ago, a Florida linguist was able to match Timucua to the Warao Language of the Orinoco River Basin. I don’t doubt the ties with Polynesia. It appears that the people of the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age periods were far more mobile than people can imagine.


        Richard T., Indeed there are many Arawakan languages and hundreds of other native American languages which are not mutually intelligible.
        Having said that, It is the fact that bronze age seafaring people (some more than others) show ;at least to some extent; a cultural link and in this case linguistically Austronesian or a branch of the Austronesian especially Malayo-Polynesian language to be more precise. A good example is the Austronesian language area which stretches from Taiwan in the north off the coast of East Asia, Rapa Nui (Easter island) to the east relatively close to South America, Aotearoa (New Zealand) to the south relatively close to Tasmania and Australia; and Madagascar off the eastcoast of Africa.
        The question is how long ago has there been contact and seemingly intermixing between seafaring people and native Americans?

        In 2018 there was a publication by José Victor Moreno Mayar from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México regarding the peopling of the Americas.

        Early human dispersals within the Americas – November, 2018 – J. Victor Moreno-Mayar –

        The publication is an interesting read and contains important information. There is a migration map included which shows at least two admixture events between South Native Americans (SNA) and North Native Americans (NNA) which includes Kennewick man in northwest America; the other being in northeast America.
        Also a migration from MesoAmerica into both north America and south America is shown. The surprising (or maybe not so surprising) find is a possible Australasian (meaning Australo-Melanesian and Negrito) signal in and around the Panama Colombian border area which is in the vicinity of Venezuela. This possible Australasian (Australo-Melanesian and Negrito) signal in the Panama Colombian border area could be the dispersal place of Oceanic (Austronesian; Malayo-Polynesian, Polynesian) language speakers into the rest of the Americas, especially Central America, South America and the Caribbean basin.
        There is however a big quetionmark on how Australo-Melanesian people who seemingly showed up in the Americas at least 14,000 years ago could have spoken an Austronesian (related?) language which is relatively young (only 6,000-5,000 years?), unless the Austronesian language is older than linguists theorize it to be.

        Interestingly there was an publication and article in 2017 on the 40,000 year old Tianyuan Man skeletal remains in China who is said to be not only a distant relative of the Karitiana and Surui of Brazil yet also related to people of Papua New Guinea and Australia.
        “But the Tianyuan Man is most closely related to living people in east Asia—including in China, Japan, and the Koreas—and in Southeast Asia, including Papua New Guinea and Australia”
        “The Tianyuan Man also was a distant relative of Native Americans living today in the Amazon of South America, such as the Karitiana and Surui peoples of Brazil and the Chane people of northern Argentina and southern Bolivia”
        “This is welcome news to Skoglund, who found in a separate study in 2015 that the Karitiana and Surui peoples are closely related to indigenous Australians, New Guineans, and Andaman Islanders.”

        The fact that the 40,000 year Tianyuan Man is related to people of Papua New Guinea and Australia could mean that Australo-Melanesians (Australasians) already spoke a form of Proto-Austronesian language during their presence in mainland East Asia.

        If that wasn’t interesting enough, perhaps the Andamanese languages will interest you. The Andaman islands are populated by negritos (Australasians) who’s population was in the thousands before it dropped in late 19th and early 20th century to just a couple hundred today. There are basically two languages spoken on the Andaman islands which are Great Andamanese and Onge (Ongan).
        The Great Andamanese language was at one time (1971) proposed by Joseph Greenberg to be of the Indo-Pacific language stock that includes the non-Austronesian Papuan languages of Papua New Guinea and surrounding areas and the indigenous languages of Tasmania.
        On the other hand, the Onge (Ongan) language is proposed by Juliette Blevnis to be Proto-Austronesian. That must be a shock to everyone who is interested in the linguistic research area. How can an isolated negrito people of the Andaman islands speak a proto-Austronesian language while the Austronesian language is believed to have originated in Taiwan or possibly southern China?

        Either the Australasian (Australo-Melanesian and Negrito) already spoke a form of proto-Austronesian language during their early migration into the Americas or a later separate migration wave of Austronesian speakers (from Taiwan and or southern China and probably from the Polynesian Islands) introduced the Austronesian language to the Australasians and various native Americans somewhere around 6,000-5,000 years ago.

        The peopling of the Americas is truly fascinating.

        – Eventhough Australo-Melanesians are basically Australian Aboriginal and Papuan in origin, around 6,000-5,000 years they started mixing with Austronesian speaking people in coastal areas of Papua New Guinea as far west as Sulawesi (Celebes), as far north as the Philippines and as far east as the Melanesian islands including Fiji islands.
        – It is theorized that Austronesian people are originally Taiwanese Aboriginals with a possible homeland in southern China.

        Map – Distribution of the Austronesian Language Family and Major Subgroupings:

        Map (Figure 1) – Native American dispersal and divergence over time:

        Map (Figure 7) – Schematic depiction of the processes of human dispersal and divergence in the Americas, arranged chronologically:

        Was this ancient person from China the offspring of modern humans and Neandertals? – October 12, 2017 – by Ann Gibbons

        Great Andamanese languages:

        Austronesian-Ongan languages:

        A Long Lost Sister of Proto-Austronesian? Proto-Ongan, Mother of Jarawa and Onge of the Andaman Islands – 2007 – by Juliette Blevnis


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