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History

Ancient history and settlement.

The region was already inhabited by Homo erectus from 1,000,000 years ago during the Middle Pleistocene age.[23] Homo sapiens reached the region by around 45,000 years ago,[24] having moved eastwards from the Indian subcontinent.[25] Rock art (parietal art) dating from 40,000 years ago (which is currently the world’s oldest) has been discovered in the caves of Borneo.[26] Homo floresiensis also lived in the area up until 12,000 years ago, when they became extinct.[27] It has been proposed that the Austronesian people, who form the majority of the modern population in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, East Timor, and the Philippines, may have migrated to Southeast Asia from Taiwan. They arrived in Indonesia around 2000 BC, and as they spread through the archipelago, they often settled along coastal areas and confined indigenous peoples such as Orang Asli of peninsular Malaysia, Negritos of the Philippines or Papuans of New Guinea to inland regions.[28] Archaeologists refer these people as Deutero-Malays, whom are more advanced in farming techniques and metal knowledge than their indigenous counterpart, the Proto-Malays.

800px-Maya_Bay,_Thailand_by_Mike_Clegg_Photography

Geography

Ancient history and settlement.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India are geographically considered part of Maritime Southeast Asia. Eastern Bangladesh and Northeast India have strong cultural ties with Southeast Asia and are sometimes considered both South Asian and Southeast Asian.[20] Sri Lanka has on some occasions been considered a part of Southeast Asia because of its cultural ties to mainland Southeast Asia.[14][21] The rest of the island of New Guinea which is not part of Indonesia, namely, Papua New Guinea, is sometimes included, and so are Palau, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands, which were all part of the Spanish East Indies with strong cultural and linguistic ties to the region, specifically, the Philippines.[22]

The eastern half of Indonesia and East Timor (east of the Wallace Line) are considered to be biogeographically part of Oceania (Wallacea) due to its distinctive faunal features. New Guinea and its surrounding islands are geologically considered as a part of Australian continent, connected via the Sahul Shelf.

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