Map Monday: Who was sailing the oceans long before the Europeans?

My Norwegian brother-in-law will love this.

Robby Robin's Journey

Last week’s Map Monday looked at world empires through the ages, several of which predates the European era of exploration and conquest that started with Christopher Columbus. But that post didn’t include some impressive early ambitious explorations by sea. Let’s take a look.

The Polynesians.  According to the current state of knowledge in the history of human exploration and colonization in the Pacific Ocean, the migration of the first humans into what is called Near Oceania began around 40,000 years ago and over time produced considerable cultural, linguistic, and genetic diversity in Oceania and Polynesia.

As shown on the map below, around 4,000 years ago, the migration of what are now called Austronesian speakers from the Asian mainland led to the development of the Lapita culture in the area of Near (or Western) Oceania, the ancestors of the Polynesians. The subsequent expansion of these Austronesian speakers into Eastern Oceania…

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