Skip to comments.BONES TELL STORY OF THAI ORIGIN
Posted on 11/04/2006 7:22:03 PM PST by JimSEA
DNA tests on ancient skeletons in the Northeast suggest our ancestors may have migrated to this part of the region long before we first thought.
The tests were conducted by scholars and archaeologists at the Fine Arts Department in a bid to find the origins of Thai people. The team started its work in 2003, using the testing of mitochondrial DNA on skeletons in selected graveyards in Nakhon Ratchasima and groups of living people in China, and some countries in Southeast Asia.
Mitochondria are small energy-producing organelles found in egg cells which, unlike nuclear DNA that is equally inherited from both father and mother, is passed only from a mother to her children.
The result showed genetic similarities in the skeletons and people in China and Southeast Asia, which means migration might have taken place about 3,000 years ago.
''We want to know more about the origin of Thais. We used DNA tests which scientists employ for medical purposes to learn about our history and our origins,'' Rachanie Thosarat, former archaeologist at the department, told a seminar on Friday.
She said the technology has been used widely by foreign archaeologists since 1980s. But local archaeologists applied it for the first time only in recent years.
''We want to know whether a theory which says that our ancestors migrated from China's lower region about 700 years ago is true or not,'' she said.
The researchers extracted mitochondrial DNA samples from the teeth of skeletons in ancient Noen U-Loke and Ban Lum Khao graveyards, near Pimai historical park in Nakhon Ratchasima province.
Almost unknown to the public, compared to the country's popular Ban Chieng archaeological site, the researchers chose the two sites as more than 200 skeletons there were in perfect condition.
Noen U-Loke contained 130 skeletons aged 1,500-2,500 years while Ban Lum Khao site is home to 113 skeletons aged 2,500-3,500 years.
Details of the DNA samples were put in a computer model that contained the DNA of 20 living ethnic people, 10 from countries in Southeast Asia and another 10 from eastern China.
The method constructed the so-called ''Phylogenetic tree'' or ''genetic evolution tree'' that indicates links between ancient skeletons and people in China and Southeast Asian countries, said Prof Samoerchai Poolsuwan, anthropologist from Thammasat University's sociology faculty and also a member of the research team.
''The DNA test confirmed that the genes of the people and the skeletons are close,'' he said.
''In lay terms, you may say that Thai ancestors may have shared the same ancestors from people in China and Southeast Asia.
''You may say that people in this region may share the same origins, and Thais may go back more than 700 years,'' he said.
He said the findings are just a small part of the whole picture and more DNA tests were needed, adding the Fine Arts Department had agreed to use DNA tests at other archaeological sites.
This is really interesting....
I love stuff like this!
I appreciate your concern yet,a nagging thought is
"destination " becomes increasingly important as one
ages. Unless you are a racist where you come from is irrelevant, its where you end up thats important.
Please explain why where a person comes from is so damn important.
Isnt how a person acts more important?
We are all about the same and our individual efforts define us, not our heritage, however, heritage is the story of mankind.
We carry a lot of cultural baggage and understanding it and other peoples histories accurately seems very important to me.
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I thought this was a Star Trek thread. Sorry.
My instincts say the people 'flowed' the other way. Thais going north and becoming Chinese. I think Oppenheimer's DNA studies show that type of flow.
In fact, the Northern Chinese are descended from the Southern Chinese who are themselves descended from people in SE Asia, Thailand.(?)
I'm still just astounded by the Cheddar Man story.
If you've not been to the Ban Chieng archaeological site you should do so.
"Here is a very advanced culture seemingly springing up 7,000 years ago where there were hunter / gatherers before. It is like a detective novel."
Maybe they figured out agriculture and a few related things 7000 years ago, just like the other people who emerged from being hunter-gatherers.
One of the more-difficult-to-understand (for me) mental fixations of historians and archaeologists is the idea that knowledge has to "move" from one place to another. Middle Eastern people are not exceptionally smart or exceptionally dumb. It is generally recognized that settled agriculture began there several thousand years ago. But then comes the assertion - based on what? A few shards here and there; mostly, I think, a mental prejudice, that sees agriculture spreading out from there, along with alphabets and other inventions. There seems to be a limited capacity for human belief that 58 different cultures, at varying times, all independently invented agriculture, and pottery, and clothmaking, etc., the staples of "advanced" early civilization.
Fortunately, we DO have the fact that agriculture certainly developed completely independently in at least two separate areas: MesoAmerica and the Middle East.
There is no very good reason to believe it did not ALSO independently develop in, say, Western Europe and India and China as well.
I think that there is just a preference for things to trace back to a single origin, which makes everything simpler (and also establishes a "pecking order" among civilizations, which people definitely prefer making, probably for the same reason that people like to root for sports teams even though there's nothing very distinguishable one to the other...Yankees, Red Sox...what's the difference?).
I agree with your Ideas. It seems likely that we have better knowledge of civilization in the Mideast because studied the area for a longer period of time, because we have the bible as a guide, and because it is a desert and preserves the past well.
Of course, there is the even more radical idea that the first home of the Thai people is now under water.
At least recently, even Chinese archaeologists have been looking at some "outlying" areas such as the Silk route civilization, the southern Chinese bronze cultures, the southeast (Taiwan) rice growers, etc.
Well the thai bone is connected to the knee bone.
"The cradle of human civilization may well have been the prehistoric lowlands of the Southeast Asian peninsula, rather than the Middle East. Since those lowlands sank beneath the seas thousands of years ago (actually drowned by rising sea levels), humanity has remained unaware of their possible significance up through the early 21st century. :
Excellent book that was recommended to me by FReeper JimSEA
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I've had the DNA of my family checked and my father's mother (Mrs Smith) has the same mtDNA as 9,000 year old Cheddar Man, mtDNA U5a. (See here.) U5a and 'V' are well represented amongst the Sami (Laplanders - rein deer herders) of the far north. My mtDNA is 'V'.
The origin of ties... probably French. ;’)
Oh? Never mind...I thought we were talking about Thai's.
Hey, at least no one brought up the Thai master.
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