The Sundaland Gene

The Sundaland Gene

One of the 33 RARE GENES FROM HISTORY discovered by DNA Consultants is the Sundaland Gene. It presents a clear picture of ancient populations fleeing the now-vanished Sundaland and taking refuge in more hospitable places in the world, where they propagated the seeds of human civilization. These dispersals were seaborne, strategic and continuous for more than five thousand years’ duration. If we tabulate the present-day populations where the imprint of Sundaland genes survives most noticeably, it is the island of Java that has the strongest match. Here the percentage of the populace that still have it is 15%. Stephen Oppenheimer writes extensively of the unique refugia exploited by Sundaland agriculturalists. Malaysia, Java, Thailand, Bali, Filipino, Taiwan, the Munda of India… all these places ringing the submerged heartland are discussed by him in his books Eden in the East and Out of Eden, as well as the far-flung daughter settlements of Egypt, Mesopotamia (Iraq), Polynesia (Samoa, Tonga), East Africa (Somalia), Madagascar and Arabia. What he does not include are the Western Hemisphere extensions in the Mixte of Oaxaca in south central Mexico and among the Huichols of northwestern Mexico, both shown in the top 50 Sunda-influenced populations of the world. Expressed as a megapopulation, American Indians have a small but measurable incidence of 3.7% while the frequency in Southeast Asia and Austronesia is between 12 and 13%, the highest worldwide. It is essentially an Austronesian phenomenon. Once again, we are confronted with a rare but ancient and persistent marker with a definite story to tell. Its world average frequency in places that have it is 2.2%. Many countries lack it altogether.

The Sundaland Gene

Sundaland in Southeast Asia (orange) before rising ocean levels began 10,000 years ago and submerged most of it. 

Rare Genes from History