You are on page 1of 2

Karl Ian Maliwat

2013 28608

Austronesian Readings
1. What is the article all about? Who is the author? What is his profession?
- The article is all about the authors, Barbara Thiels, hypothesis on how the islands of the
Philippines, Eastern Indonesia and Australia, which is never connected to the mainland,
was inhabited. Barbara Thiel is a professor of anthropology at Northern Kentucky
University from 1979 until her death, teaching more than a dozen different courses,
including the annual archaeology field school.
2. What are the important points being raised by the article?
- Inhabitation of these islands is an important problem because it tells us that if ever
these islands are inhabited during the Pleistocene or even older, we can excavate and
find tools dating to those dates. Thiel developed her own hypothesis on how and why
these islands, including the Philippines, were reached and inhabited. The article
disproved some statements of researchers on how these islands were reached, i.e. the
Land bridge hypothesis and low sea level hypothesis, and was replaced by her proposed
hypothesis. Higher sea levels initiated the people to go to voyages to find land and
because of imperfect seafaring abilities, such accidents or mistakes lead them to these
islands thus making them to reside in and be the first inhabitants of the island which
also mean that no archaeological finding can be found older than those of them.
3. Are they valid as far as anthropology and its four sub disciplines are concerned?
a. Archaeology
o The main argument of the article about archaeology is that if her hypothesis is
true, then there will be no artifact older than 50,000 BP or the previous sea rise.
Yet there are still no artifacts that are found dating older than those limits, we
cant really assure if it is true since the world bears surprising mysteries.
b. Cultural Anthropology
o It is true that humans, or group of humans, differ in their own culture because
of niches and some factors that affect ones behavior and tastes about things.
The article stated that humans could have different behaviors and abilities and
these statements support the validity of the hypothesis as it was considered.
c. Physical Anthropology
o Difference in abilities might be the result of the differences in appearances and
physical characteristics.
d. Linguistic Anthropology

Karl Ian Maliwat


2013 28608

4. In terms of archaeology, is there a way by which it is supported by artifacts, features, etc.?


- The article can be supported by artifacts if these artifacts that will be found throughout
these islands will only date younger than the previous sea level rise (50000-70000BP)
any artifact found older than these years will disprove the articles main point, Thiels
hypothesis.

5. How is it similar or different from the second article that you have chosen?
- The second article I chose was Heine-Gelderns criticism of Heyerdahls hypothesis of
Polynesian origins. They are similar in a way that they predict the real hypothesis, might
as well assume that they correct the prediction while criticizing, of the origin of the
Polynesians or Austronesians. Heyerdahls hypothesis relies on language and on the
appearances of late artifacts to prove that Polynesians entered the post-Christian period
with Neolithic abilities while Thiels article relies more on the fact that there must be no
artifact since the previous sea level rise. The second article also says that the
Polynesians came from Asia who sailed to the Americas and from there sailed to
Polynesia while Thiel argued that Austronesians came from Asia.