Drawing on epidemiology tools, mathematicians developed a theory to explain settlement of Pacific islands between 900 and 3,500 years ago.
A focus of the study, published in American Antiquity, is the Lapita explorers of Southeast Asia, who became the first group to settle the remote Pacific.
University of Utah anthropologist Adrian Bell adapted an epidemiological model of infectious disease spread to analyze colonization patterns in 24 major island groups.
“We model ocean migrants as ‘infecting’ uninhabited islands,” he explained.
The University of Utah
Thanks, Cecilia Meisner, for the tip!