A 6,000-Year-Old Skull Discovered In Taiwan May Support The Legend Of An Indigenous Tribe
Are these remains evidence of a long lost Taiwanese tribe that is referred in many legends?
There are legends of a tribe of short, dark-skinned people who formerly lived in Taiwan's mountains that have been passed down through the years. A 6,000-year-old skull and femur bones discovered1 by an international team of researchers in a cave in a mountainous region of Taiwan may demonstrate the presence of this long-extinct Indigenous group. The group details the skull, the location where it was discovered, and potential meanings in their article. But there hasn't been any tangible proof of them up until now.
In this latest endeavor, the bones the researchers discovered in this cave have been dated back to a period of time that was before the ancestors of people on the island arrived, roughly 6,000 years ago. The scientists examined the DNA from the skull and discovered that it was similar to African samples from the same time era. But they also discovered that it is similar in size and shape to people who once inhabited the Philippines and certain regions of what is now South Africa.
An examination of the bones found there revealed that they had small bodies and a relatively short stature. The same person who left behind the skull's femur bones—a young woman—was also responsible for the skull. She was about 1.3 meters tall, according to the researchers.
The researchers contend that their discoveries attest to the existence of the prehistoric inhabitants of Taiwan. But… They offer no explanation for what might have transpired. By the time other early Austronesian groups started to arrive, they had reportedly left.
The researchers also point out that references to little, dark-skinned people can be found in papers from the Quin Dynasty, and that all but one of Taiwan's 16 Austronesian ethnic groups have legends about small, dark-skinned people who previously lived in the highlands. The researchers point out that different cultures have different versions of these stories, with some believing that the earlier people were their forefathers. Others consider them to be former rivals. One group asserts that the final members of the prehistoric population perished 1,000 years ago.
Hung, H.-C., Matsumura, H., Nguyen, L. C., Hanihara, T., Huang, S.-C., & Carson, M. T. (2022). Negritos in Taiwan and the wider prehistory of Southeast Asia: new discovery from the Xiaoma Caves. World Archaeology, 1–22. https://doi.org/10.1080/00438243.2022.2121315