Madagascar was colonized by people from Southeast Asia.
Scientists have found the first archaeological evidence of the settlement of the island of Madagascar by people from Southeast Asia. The research results were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Madagascar is at a distance of 480 kilometers from Africa. However, its inhabitants speak the Malagasy language, which belongs to the group of Austronesian languages spoken on the territory of South-East Asia and Oceania. According to the researchers, this means that in ancient times the island was populated by immigrants from Asia. In the new study, the researchers first received archaeological confirmation of linguistic hypotheses of the origin of the Malagasy people – the indigenous inhabitants of Madagascar.
The researchers presented the analysis of plant remains 2443 crops of rice, and Mary cotton, 18 found on ancient sites in Madagascar and Comoros. The samples date back to the VIII-X centuries ad. Studied culture differ from agricultural plants of the coastal areas of Africa and other Islands, where mainly used the baobab, sorghum and millet.
According to researchers, the ancient people that colonized Madagascar, brought with them samples of agricultural crops, typical for South-East Asia. Discovered archaeological layers indicate the Asian origin of the first inhabitants of Madagascar.