The Penetration of East Asia and Indonesia

Australia was not the only destination for the first settlers of Asia. While some people crossed the straits from Sunda to Sahul, others presumably continued eastward around the southern borders of Sunda. They would have followed the coastline northward, up the eastern coast of China until they reached Japan and the Kamchatka peninsula, leaving a trail of settlements in their wake.

These groups, finding the coastlines in either direction inhabited, would eventually have started to push inland. They would have used rivers as highways into the interiors of India, Indochina, China and Central Asia, according to a reconstruction by the medical geneticist Stephen Oppenheimer. "Geography and climate decided the newly arrived occupants of Asia where to go next," he writes. "The rules would have been simple: stay near water, and near reliable rainfall; when moving, avoid deserts and high

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