A team of international archeologists has found that the origins of the Chamorro community of Guam are closely linked to Aborigines of the northern Philippines, whose ancestry can be traced to Taiwan.
The study titled “Ancient DNA from Guam and the Peopling of the Pacific,” which is to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences next month, found that the Chamorros might have migrated to Guam from Taiwan via the Philippines.
Hung Hsiao-chun (洪曉純), a Taiwanese archeologist at the Australian National University who coauthored the study, said that the the team was initially searching for a link between the Chamorros and Polynesian populations.
Past studies have shown that ancient humans reached Guam and other Mariana Islands about 3,500 years ago, Hung said.
The Mariana Islands are southeast of Taiwan and about 2,000km from the nearest Philippine island.
Hung said that she and other archeologists in 2016 excavated two skeletons that were about 2,200-year-old in Ritidian, Guam.
Analysis of the their DNA revealed that the ancient residents of Guam were related to the Kankanaey of the Philippines, she said, adding that it is likely that Chamorros are also related to the the Amis community of Taiwan.
Past studies have shown that the Austronesian-speaking populations have their origin in Taiwan, Hung said, citing a DNA analysis of human remains found in Luzon, Philippines, that could be linked to the Amis.
The recent findings also suggest that the ancient residents of Guam had the sailing capabilities to reach the island 3,500 years ago, Hung said.
The study was funded by the Taipei-based Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange.
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