バンツー族の進出は熱帯雨林ルートで行われた(The Bantu expansion took a rainforest route)

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4,000年前に中央アフリカの熱帯雨林を横断したバンツー語族の人々 Early Bantu speakers crossed through the dense Central African Rainforest 4,000 years ago

2022-08-01 マックス・プランク研究所

この研究では、新しい計算機によるアプローチと400以上のバントゥ系言語の言語データを用いて、歴史的な移動経路を復元することに成功しました。
研究グループは、400を超えるバンツー語などの近縁言語の言語データを解析した。このデータから、新しい手法で年代別の言語族系図を作成し、バンツー語話者の地理的広がりを再構築した。その結果、バンツー語が南方へ拡大したのは約4,000年前、つまり熱帯雨林を抜けるサバンナの回廊が開かれるよりずっと前のことであることが明らかになった。

<関連情報>

バンツー語拡大の系統地理学的解析により熱帯雨林ルートが支持される Phylogeographic analysis of the Bantu language expansion supports a rainforest route

Ezequiel Koile , Simon J. Greenhill, Damián E. Blasi , Remco Bouckaert and Russell D. Gray
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences  Published:August 1, 2022
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2112853119

Significance

Southern Africa has been shaped by the large-scale expansion of Bantu populations fueled by agriculture: Currently, 240 million people speak one of the more than 500 Bantu languages. However, the timing and geographic routes undergone by the Bantu populations remain largely unknown. We use cutting-edge phylogeographic techniques to show that Bantu populations migrated through the Central African tropical rainforest around 4,400 y ago. This adds to the growing evidence that agricultural expansions can successfully overcome ecological challenges as they unfold.

Abstract

The Bantu expansion transformed the linguistic, economic, and cultural composition of sub-Saharan Africa. However, the exact dates and routes taken by the ancestors of the speakers of the more than 500 current Bantu languages remain uncertain. Here, we use the recently developed “break-away” geographical diffusion model, specially designed for modeling migrations, with “augmented” geographic information, to reconstruct the Bantu language family expansion. This Bayesian phylogeographic approach with augmented geographical data provides a powerful way of linking linguistic, archaeological, and genetic data to test hypotheses about large language family expansions. We compare four hypotheses: an early major split north of the rainforest; a migration through the Sangha River Interval corridor around 2,500 BP; a coastal migration around 4,000 BP; and a migration through the rainforest before the corridor opening, at 4,000 BP. Our results produce a topology and timeline for the Bantu language family, which supports the hypothesis of an expansion through Central African tropical forests at 4,420 BP (4,040 to 5,000 95% highest posterior density interval), well before the Sangha River Interval was open.

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