Chinese researchers seek origins of Austronesians

Updated 2017-11-09 09:30:57 Xinhua

A research center has been set up to determine whether Austronesians originated on the Chinese mainland.

The International Research Center for Austronesian Archaeology in Pingtan, Fujian Province, is led by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences institute of archaeology, and Fujian Museum.

The Austronesian language family includes those spoken by hundreds of millions of people in maritime Southeast Asia, New Zealand, the Pacific islands, Madagascar, etc.

Past research support the claim that Austronesian languages have their roots in Taiwan. But a new view has recently surfaced in the academic circle, suggesting that Taiwan was probably a mid-way station and the origins of the languages were on the Chinese mainland.

The research center is near a Neolithic site -- the Keqiutou ruins -- where archaeologists have found many stone tools including rudimentary hand-axes. The artifacts are similar to those found in Taiwan's Dachakeng ruins, believed to be the home of the ancestors of the Austronesians.

"It is a piece of significant evidence confirming a close link between Fujian and Taiwan in the New Stone Age," said Zhao Zhijun, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Fan Xuechun from Fujian Museum, said the discoveries suggested that ancient people might have crossed the Taiwan Strait some 7,000 years ago and the Chinese mainland was indeed the original homeland of the Austronesians.

Researchers said they will first collect and restore the Keqiutou findings and display them at the center. It will then serve as a base for Austronesian archaeological studies.

See Also

Most Popular

Sky Running Comes to Asia

This February saw the first ever Asian Sky Running Championship race come to Hong Kong. The competition is one of the most physically demanding a runner can put their body through.

Travel Videos

Photo Gallery

Worship Season in Lhasa

Lhasa, capital city of Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, has entered the worship season. Buddhists from across Tibet come to the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple for worship.

Hello Kitty Theme Park Opens in Zhejiang

The first Hello Kitty theme park outside Japan officially opened on Thursday, the first day of the year in the Anji county, Huzhou city, East China's Zhejiang province.

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords