ポリネシアの航海範囲は?

南米チリの遺跡からポリネシアの鶏と同種類のDNAを受け継いだ骨が発見されました。このチキンの骨は3つに分けられそれぞれ別の研究ラボに送られ分析された結果、コロンブスよりも100年ほど以前のものであることがわかり、ヨーロッパからこの種の鶏がもたらされたのではなく、ポリネシアから伝わったものであったことがわかります。

これまでポリネシアの航海技術はみなをされてきていましたが、証拠を挙げることは、難しく、言語学などをたよりになっていました。考古学的証拠を得ることは特に難しいと思われていたのですが、この発見により裏づけすることが可能となりました。

IT MAY have been the Americas’ first takeaway chook. A chicken leg unearthed in Chile has provided overwhelming evidence that Polynesians reached the Americas at least a century before Columbus.

The chicken, which lived sometime between 1304 and 1424, is genetically identical to those discovered at sites on several Pacific islands.

Alice Storey, the leader of an international research team that dated and tested DNA in the leg bone, said yesterday that Polynesians must have been exploring and colonising South America long before Europeans.

“It is the only logical conclusion we could come to,” said Ms Storey, a biology anthropologist at the University of Auckland.

The leg was among 50 chicken bones recovered by Daniel Quiroz, an archaeologist digging in El Arenal, Chile, while researching sites occupied by South America’s Mapuche people. Another archaeologist, Jose Miguel Rameriz, called Ms Storey, aware her speciality was the genetic history of chickens taken by Polynesians on their Pacific voyages.

A single bone was cut into three pieces. One was DNA-tested at the University of Auckland and a second went to Massey University, New Zealand. Both showed the bone to be “genetically identical” to Polynesian chickens, showing the birds were directly related.

The third fragment was tested at a New Zealand carbon-dating laboratory, which found that the chicken lived between 1304 and 1424.

Testing by Chilean scientists confirmed that pottery and tools found with the bones were also pre-Columbian.

Ms Storey said that, as the Chilean chicken may have been a descendant of fowl shipped to South America, the first voyagers to reach its shores may have arrived far earlier.

Polynesians “moved out of Tonga and Samoa about 1500 years ago and started exploring and colonising, pushing ever east”. That they reached Hawaii and Easter Island was evidence of their skill.

“Easter Island is hard to hit, it’s a tiny spot,” Ms Storey said. “They knew how to sail against the wind. They could go east, and get back west.”

They used the stars to navigate. “They didn’t see the ocean as a barrier the way we do today. The ocean was their highway. It seems inevitable they would reach the coast of South America but this is the first evidence they made landfall.”

Evidence collected from Pacific islands suggested it was not just chickens that the Polynesians took with them. “They had pigs and dogs and rats and coconuts and breadfruit,” Ms Storey said.

Their small boats must have been seagoing versions of the wagon trains that crossed the western United States in the 1800s, she said.

The research, involving scientists from Australia, American Samoa, Canada and the US, has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

引用元:http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/chicken-leg-proves-columbus-was-far-from-first/2007/06/05/1180809520873.html

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