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The 'Ice Age' map shows that whether early Austronesians migrated through the Borneo-Sulawesi-Halmahera-Iran Jaya-New Guinea route or along the Java-Timor route to Sahul their travels entailed nothing more ambitious than island-hopping with no water 'barrier' exceeding the capabilities of the most basic dugouts or rafts and requiring no navigational expertise.

The 'Visibility Range' map (with the grey buffer zones) shows that all islands in this region were within sight or detection range of each other (with the exception of the low coral islets situated in the centre of the Banda Sea which are, in any case not on any migration route, and may indeed have not existed at this time). While some islands might not be *directly* visible from adjacent islands both would have been visible (or detectable) from mid-journey. Ref. David Lewis, 1972. 'We, the Navigators'.

The early date of migrations into Sahul (and near-Polynesia) is a sure indication that this Asia-Sahul step was one of comparative ease for proto-Austronesians.

Robin E. Stobbs
1 Grant Street, Grahamstown, South Africa 6139
Tel: +29 (0)46 6226592 Fax: +27 (0)46 6222403

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