Skip to main content

Phylogeny vs reticulation in prehistory

  • Peter Bellwood (a1)

Two pure and opposing models exist to give historical account of the structure in modern cultural patterns. A phylogenetic account explores divergence from some shared commonality (the word ‘phylogenetic’ is from the Greek words for ‘tribal origins’). A reticulate account concentrates on a network of interactions (the word ‘reticulate’ comes via French from the Latin for ‘small net’). It follows that neither model may tell all the story. These continuing issues are explored with particular attention to the relations between histories as they are inferred from archaeological and from linguistic patterns.

Hide All
Ammerman, A. & Cavalli-Sforza, L. L.. 1984. The Neolithic transition and the genetics of population in Europe. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press.
Atkinson, R. R. 1989. The evolution of ethnicity among the Acholi of Uganda: the precolonial phase, Ethnohistory 36:1943.
Bakbujani, G., Sokal, R. R. & Oden, N. L.. 1995. Indo-European origins: a computer-simulation test of five hypotheses, American Journal of Physical Anthropology 96: 109–32.
Bateman, R., Goddakd, I., O'Grady, R., Funk, V. A., Mooi, R., Kress, W. J. & Cannell, P.. 1990. Speaking of forked tongues: the feasibility of reconciling human phylogeny and the history of language, Current Anthropology 31: 124.
Bellwood, P. 1984-5. A hypothesis for Austronesian origins, Asian Perspectives 26: 107–17.
Bellwood, P. 1987. The Polynesians. 2nd edition. London: Thames & Hudson.
Bellwood, P. 1990. Foraging towards farming: a decisive transition or a millennial blur?, Review of Archaeology 11(2): 1424.
Bellwood, P. 1991. The Austronesian dispersal and the origin of languages, Scientific American 265(1):8893.
Bellwood, P. 1994. An archaeologist's view of language macrofamily relationships, Oceanic Linguistics 33: 391405.
Bellwood, P. 1995a. Early agriculture, language history and the archaeological record in China and Southeast Asia, in Young, C.-T. and Li, B.W.-L. (ed.), Archaeology in Southeast Asia: 1122. Hong Kong: University Museum & Art Gallery.
Bellwood, P. 1995b. Language families and human dispersal, Cambridge Archaeological Journal 5: 2714.
Bellwood, P. 1996a. Early agriculture and the dispersal of the Southern Mongoloids, in Akazawa, T. & Szathmary, E. (ed.), Prehistoric Mongoloid dispersals: 287302. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bellwood, P. 1996b. The origins and spread of agriculture in the Indo-Pacific region, in Harris, D. (ed.), The origins and spread of agriculture and pastoralism in Eurasia: 465-98. London: UCL Press.
Bellwood, P. In press a. Prehistoric cultural explanations for the existence of widespread language families, in McConvell, P. & Evans, N. (ed.). Understanding ancient Australia: perspectives from archaeology and linguistics. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Bellwood, P. In press b. Prehistory of the Indo-Malaysian archipelago. 2nd edition. Honolulu (HI): University of Hawaii Press.
Bellwood, P., Fox, J.J. & Tryon, D. (ed.). 1995. The Austronesians: historical and comparative perspectives. Canberra: Department of Anthropology, Australian National University.
Blust, R. 1984-5. The Austronesian homeland: a linguistic perspective, Asian Perspectives 26(1):4568.
Björk, C. & Anderson, L.. 1987. Linneo in Monet's garden. Stockholm: R&S.
Brosnaiian, L. F. 1969. Some historical cases of language imposition, in Spencer, J. (ed.), Language in Africa: 724. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cavalli-Sforza, L.L. 1983. The transition to agriculture and some of its consequences, in Ortner, D. J. (ed.), How humans adapt: 103-26. Washington (DC): Smithsonian Institution.
Cavalli-Sforza, L. L., Piazza, A., Menozzi, P. & Mountain, J.. 1988. Reconstruction of human evolution: bringing together genetic, archaeological and linguistic data, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA 85: 60026.
Cavalli-Sforza, L. I., Menozzi, P. & Piazza, A.. 1993. Demie expansions and human evolution, Science 259: 639–46.
(Ed.). 1994. The history and geography of human genes. Princeton (NJ): Princeton University Press.
Chen, J., Sokal, R. & Rutilen, M.. 1995. Worldwide analysis of genetic and linguistic relationships of human populations, Human Biology 67: 595612.
Crosby, A. 1986. Ecological imperialism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dewar, R. 1995. Of nets and trees: untangling the reticulate and dendritic in Madagascar's prehistory, World Archaeology 26: 301–18.
Dutton, T. 1995. Language contact and change in Melanesia, in Bellwood, P. et al. 1995: 192213.
Dyen, I. 1990. Homomeric lexical classification, in Baldi, P. (ed.), Linguistic change and reconstruction methodology: 211-30. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Dyen, I., Kruskal, J. B. & Black, P.. 1992. An Indoeuropean classification: a iexicostatistical experiment. Philadelphia (PA): American Philosophical Society. Transactions 82(5).
Ehret, C. 1988. Language change and the material correlates of language and ethnic shift, Antiquity 62: 564–73.
Ford, J. A. 1969. A comparison of formative cultures in the Americas. Washington (DC): Smithsonian Institution. Contribution to Anthropology 11.
Frieu, M. 1975. The notion of tribe. Menlo Park (CA): Cummings.
Gebauer, A. B. & Price, T. D.. 1992. Foragers to farmers: an introduction, in Gebauer, A. B. & Price, T. D. (ed.), Transitions to agriculture in prehistory: 110. Madison (WI): Prehistory Press.
Gosden, C. & Pavlides, C.. 1994. Are islands insular? Landscape vs seascape in the case of the Arawe Islands, Papua New Guinea, Archaeology in Oceania 29:162–71.
Hale, K. & Harris, D.. 1979. Historical linguistics and archaeology, in Ortiz, A. (ed.), Handbook of North American Indians 9: Southwest: 170-77. Washington (DC): Smithsonian Institution.
Hall, M. 1990. Farmers, kings and traders. Chicago (TL): University of Chicago Press.
Heath, S. B. & Laprade, R.. 1982. Castilian colonization and indigenous languages: the cases of Quechua and Aymara, in Cooper, R. L. (ed.), Language spread: 118-47. Blooming-ton (IN): Indiana University Press.
Hlernaux, J. 1964. The concept of race and the taxonomy of mankind, in Montagu, A. (ed.), The concept of race: 2945. New York (NY): Free Press.
Hicham, C. 1996. Archaeology and linguistics in Southeast Asia: implications of the Austrie hypothesis. Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association 14: 110–18.
Holt, P. M., Lambton, A.K.S. & Lewis, B. (ed.). 1977. The Cambridge history of Islam. IA. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hoopes, J. W. 1994. Ford revisited, Journal of World Prehistory 8: 149.
Kaufman, T. 1990. Language history in South America, in Payne, D. L. (ed.), Amazonian linguistics: 1373. Austin (TX): University of Texas Press.
Kirch, P. V. & Green, R. C.. 1987. History, phytogeny and evolution in Polynesia, Current Anthropology 28: 431–56.
Mace, R. & Pacel, M.. 1994. The comparative method in anthropology, Current Anthropology 35: 549–64.
Moore, C. & Romney, A. K.. 1994. Material culture, geographic propinquity, and linguistic affiliation on the north coast of New Guinea: areanalysis of Welsch, Terrell & Nadolski (1992), American Anthropologist 96: 370–96.
Moore, J.H. 1994a. Putting anthropology back together again: the ethnogenotic critique of cladistic theory, American Anthropologist 96: 925–48.
Moore, J.H. 1994b. Ethnogenetic theory, National Geographic Research and Exploration 10(1):1023.
Moore, J.H. 1995. The end of a paradigm, Current Anthropology 36:530-31.
Nei, M. & Chouuhury, A. K.. 1993. Evolutionary relations of human populations on a world scale, Molecular Biology and Evolution 10: 927–43.
Pawley, A. K. & Ross, M.. 1995. The prehistory of the Oceanic languages: a current view, in Bellwood et al (ed.): 3974.
Pluciennik, M. 1996. Genetics, archaeology and the wider world, Antiquity 70: 1314.
Renfrew, C. 1987. Archaeology and language. London: Jonathan Cape.
Renfrew, C. 1992a. Archaeology, genetics and linguistic diversity, Man (n.s.) 27:445–78.
Renfrew, C. 1992b. World languages and human dispersals: a minimalist view, in Hall, J. A. & Jarvie, I. C. (ed.), Transition to modernity: 1168. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Renfrew, C. 1994. World linguistic diversity. Scientific American 268(7):104–10.
Roberts, J. M., Moore, C. C. & Romney, A. K.. 1995. Predicting similarity in material culture among New Guinea villages from propinquity and language. Current Anthropology 36: 769–88.
Ross, M. 1989. Early Oceanic linguistic prehistory, Journal of Pacific History 24: 135–49.
Ross, M. 1991. Redefining Guy's sociolinguistic types of language change, Diachronica 8: 119–29.
Rowlands, M. 1994. Childe and the archaeology of freedom, in Harris, D. (ed.), The archaeology of V. Gordon Childe: 3554. London: UGL Press.
Ruhlen, M. 1987. A guide to the world's languages. Stanford (CA): Stanford University Press.
Ruiz-Linares, A., Minch, E., Meyer, D. & Cavalu-Sforza., L. L. 1995. Analysis of classical DNA markers for reconstructing human population history, in Brenner, S. & Hanihara, K. (ed.), he origin and past of modern humans as viewed from DMA: 123-48. Singapore: World Scientific.
Schooling, S. 1990. Language maintenance in New Caledonia. Dallas (TX): Summer Institute of Linguistics.
Terrell, F. 1986. Prehistory in the Pacific Islands. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Terrell, F. 1988. History as a family tree, history as an entangled bank, Antiquity 62: 642–57.
Terrell, J., Gosden, G. & Hunt, T.. In press. The dimensions of social life in the Pacific, Current Anthropology 38(2).
Thomason, S. & Kaufman, T.. 1988. Language contact, creolization and genetic linguistics. Berkeley (CA): University of California Press.
Tillotson, D. 1994. Who invented the Dayaks? Unpublished Ph.D thesis, Australian National University, Canberra.
Trubetzkoy, N. S. 1939. Gedanken über das Indogermanen-problem, Acta Linguistica (Hafnicnsia) 1: 81–9.
Upham, S. 1994. Nomads of the Desert West: a shifting continuum in prehistory, Journal of World Prehistory 8:113-68.
Wardhauch, R. 1987. Languages in competition. Oxford: Blackwell.
Welsch, R. L., Terrell, J. & Nadolski, J. A.. 1992. Language and culture on the North Coast of New Guinea, American Anthropologist 94:568600.
Welsch, R. & Terrell, J.. 1994. Reply to Moore & Romney, American Anthropologist 96: 3926.
Wurm, S. A. 1991. Language death and disappearance, in Robins, R. H. & Uhlenbeck, E. M. (ed.), Endangered languages: 112. Oxford: Berg.
Yoffee, N. 1990. Before Babel, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 56: 299314.
Zeitlin, R. N. 1994. Accounting for the prehistoric long-distance movement of goods with a measure of style, World Archaeology 26:208-34.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 15 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 131 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd April 2018. This data will be updated every 24 hours.