6,000 km trip to reveal migration route of ancestors of ancient Polynesians

November 7th, 2008 - 5:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Nov 7 (ANI): A 6,000 km trip is expected to reveal clues about the migration route of the ancestors of ancient Polynesians and their animals.

The trip, called Lapita-Voyage, will be crewed by two Polynesians, two scientists, a cameraman and the initiators James Wharram, Hanneke Boon and Klaus Hympendahl, author and organiser of the project.

The voyage, which would be undertaken by Drs Keith Dobney and Greger Larson, both from the Department of Archaeology, Durham University, will be the first ever expedition to sail in two traditional Polynesian boats, attempting to re-trace the genuine migration route of the ancient Austronesians.

Though the main aim of the voyage is to find out where the ancestors of Polynesian culture originated, the researchers will also be examining the local wildlife.

Dr Larson will be joining the expedition as it sets off from the Southern Philippines in late October, and Dr Dobney will join it in February with another researcher linked with the University, Prof Atholl Anderson, when it leaves the southern Solomon islands en-route into the Pacific.

They will be furthering their own research work along their way, taking hundreds of samples from animals such as dogs, cats, chickens and pigs to use in their ongoing investigations into the origin of these important farmyard animals which the ancient Polynesians carried with them into the remote Pacific.

At the end of the voyage, the two double canoes will be presented to the inhabitants of the small Polynesian islands of Tikopia and Anuta, acknowledging the debt owed by Western yachtsmen to the Polynesian inspiration for their modern catamarans. (ANI)

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