Skip to main content Accessibility help

A 4000 year-old introduction of domestic pigs into the Philippine Archipelago: implications for understanding routes of human migration through Island Southeast Asia and Wallacea

  • Philip J. Piper (a1), Hsiao-chun Hung (a2), Fredeliza Z. Campos (a1), Peter Bellwood (a3) and Rey Santiago (a4)...


New research into the Neolithic of Island Southeast Asia is broadening the old models and making them more diverse, more human – more like history: people and animals can move through the islands in a multitude of ways. The domestic pig is an important tracker of Neolithic people and practice into the Pacific, and the authors address the controversial matter of whether domestic pigs first reached the islands of Southeast Asia from China via Taiwan or from the neighbouring Vietnamese peninsula. The DNA trajectory read from modern pigs favours Vietnam, but the authors have found well stratified domestic pig in the Philippines dated to c. 4000 BP and associated with cultural material of Taiwan. Thus the perils of relying only on DNA – but are these alternative or additional stories?



Hide All
Barker, G. 2007. The agricultural revolution in prehistory: why did foragers become farmers? Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bellwood, P. 1997. Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian archipelago. Honolulu (HI): University of Hawai'i Press.
Bellwood, P. 2006. First farmers: the origins of agricultural societies. Oxford: Blackwell.
Bellwood, P. & White, P.. 2005. Domesticated pigs in eastern Indonesia. Science 309(5733): 381.
Cucchi, T., Dobney, K. & Fujita, M.. 2009. New insights into pig taxonomy, domestication and human dispersal in Island South East Asia through molar shape analysis: the Sus remains from Niah, and Lobang Kudih caves in Sarawak. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 19(4): 508–30.
Dobney, K., Cucchi, T. & Larson, G.. 2008. The pigs of Island Southeast Asia and the Pacific: new evidence for taxonomic status and human-mediated dispersal. Asian Perspectives 47(1): 5974.
Gray, R. D., Drummond, A. J. & Greenhill, S. J.. 2009. Language phylogenies reveal expansion pulses and pauses in Pacific settlement. Science 323: 479–83.
Groves, C. 1983. Pigs east of the Wallace Line. Journal de la Société des Océanistes 39:105119.
Hayden, B. 2003. Were luxury foods the first domesticates? Ethnoarchaeological perspectives from Southeast Asia. World Archaeology 34(3): 458–69.
Heaney, L. R. 1985. Zoogeographic evidence for middle and late Pleistocene land bridges to the Philippine Islands. Modern Quaternary Research in Southeast Asia 9: 127–43.
Hung, H.-C. 2005. Neolithic interaction between Taiwan and northern Luzon: the pottery and jade evidence from the Cagayan valley. Journal of Austronesian Studies 1(1): 109–33.
Hung, H.-C. 2008. Migration and cultural interaction in southern coastal China, Taiwan and the northern Philippines, 3000 BC to AD 100: the early history of the Austronesian-speaking population. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Australian National University.
Iizuka, Y. & Hung, H.-C.. 2005. Archaeomineralogy of Taiwan nephrite: sourcing study of nephritic artifacts from the Philippines. Journal of Austronesian Studies 1: 3581.
Larson, G., Dobney, K., Albarella, U., Fang, M., Matisoo-Smith, E., Robins, J., Lowden, S., Finlayson, H., Brand, T., Willersley, E., Rowley-Conwy, P., Andersson, L., & Cooper, L.A.. 2005. Worldwide phylogeny of wild boar reveals multiple centers of pig domestication. Science 307: 1618–21.
Larson, G., Cucchi, T., Fujita, M., Matisoo-Smith, E., Robins, J., Anderson, A., Rolett, B., Spriggs, M., Dolman, G., Kim, Tae-Hun, Thi, NguyenThuy, Dieu, Randi, E., Doherty, M., Due, Rokus Awe, Bollt, R., Djubiantono, T., Griffin, B., Intoh, M., Keane, E., Kirch, P., Li, Kuang-Ti, Morwood, M., Pedriña, L., Piper, P. J., Rabett, R. J., Shooter, P., Van Den Bergh, G., West, E., Wickler, S., Yuan, J., Cooper, A. & Dobney, K.. 2007a. Phylogeny and ancient DNA of Sus provides new insights into Neolithic expansion in Island Southeast Asia and Oceania. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 104(12): 4834–9.
Larson, G., Albarella, U., Dobney, K. & Rowley-Conwy, P.. 2007b. Current views on Sus phylogeography and pig domestication as seen through modern mtDNA studies, in Alberella, U., Dobney, K., Ervynck, A. & Rowley-Conwy, P. (ed.) Pigs and humans: 10,000 years of interaction: 3041. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Larson, G., Albarella, U., Dobney, K., Rowley-Conwy, P., Schibler, J., Tresset, A.Vigne, J-D., Edwards, C. J., Schlumbaum, A., Dinu, A., Balasescu, A., Dolman, G., Bradley, D. G. & Cooper, A., 2007c. Pigs, ancient DNA and the origins of Neolithic farming in Europe. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 104(39): 1527681.
Liu, Y.-P., Wu, G.-S., Yao, Y.-G., Miao, Y.-W., Luikart, G., Baig, M., Beja-Periera, A., Z.-L.DING, Palanichamy, M. G. & Zhang, Y.-P.. 2006. Multiple maternal origins of chickens: out of the Asian jungles. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 38: 1219.
Matisoo-Smith, E. 2007. Animal translocations, genetic variation, and the human settlement of the Pacific, in Friedlaender, J. (ed.) Genes, language and culture history in the southwest Pacific: 1035: Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Medway, Lord. 1973. The antiquity of domesticated pigs in Sarawak. Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 46: 169–78.
Mijares, A.S.B. 2007. Unearthing prehistory: the archaeology of northeastern Luzon, Philippine Islands (British Archaeological Reports International Series 1613). Oxford: John & Erica Hedges.
Moodley, Y., Linz, B., Yamaoka, Y., Windsor, H. M., Breurec, S., Wu, J.-Y., Maady, A., Bernhöft, S., Thiberge, J.-M., Phuanukoonnon, S., Jobb, G., Siba, P.Graham, D. Y., Marshall, B. J. & Achtman, M.. 2009. The peopling of the Pacific from a bacterial perspective. Science 323: 527–30.
Oppenheimer, S. 1999. Eden in the East. Phoenix (AZ): Orion.
Piper, P. J., Campos, F. Z. & Hung, H.-C.. 2009. A study of the animal bone recovered from pits 9 & 10 at the site of Nagsabaran in northern Luzon, Philippines. Hukay 14: 4790.
Solheim, W. G. 2006. Archaeology and culture in Southeast Asia: unravelling the Nusantau. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press.
Simanjuntak, T., Morwood, M. J., Intan, F. S., Machmud, I., Grant, K., Somba, N., Akw, B., Utomo, D. W.. 2008. Minanga Sipakko and the Neolithic of the Karama River, in Simanjuntak, T. (ed.) Austronesian in Sulawesi: 5776. Depok: Center for Prehistoric and Austronesian Studies.
Summerhayes, G. 2007. Island Melanesian pasts: a view from archaeology, in Friedlaender, J. (ed.) Genes, language and culture history in the southwest Pacific: 1035. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Tsang, C. H., Santiago, R. & Hung, H.-C.. 2002. Fei lu bin lu son dao bei hai an kao gu diao cha fa jue bao gao, 1996-2002 [Report on archaeological exploration in northern Luzon, Philippines, 1996-2002] (Annual report for the program of Asian and Pacific study). Taipei: Academia Sinica (in Chinese).
Van Den Bergh, G., Awe, Rokus Due, Meijer, H.J.M., Szabó, K., Van Den Hoek Ostende, L. W., Morwood, M. J., Sutikna, T., Saptomo, E. W., Piper, P. J. & Dobney, K. M.. In press. The Liang Bua faunal remains: a 95kya sequence from Flores, East Indonesia. Journal of Human Evolution.


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

A 4000 year-old introduction of domestic pigs into the Philippine Archipelago: implications for understanding routes of human migration through Island Southeast Asia and Wallacea

  • Philip J. Piper (a1), Hsiao-chun Hung (a2), Fredeliza Z. Campos (a1), Peter Bellwood (a3) and Rey Santiago (a4)...


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.