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The history of Taiwan dates back tens of thousands of years to the earliest known evidence of human habitation. The sudden appearance and development in Taiwan's archaeology is said to be due to the Austronesian expansion during prehistoric times. The first inhabitants are thought to have been Taiwanese aborigines, who arrived from southeastern China between 8000 and 5000 BC, according to carbon dating of artifacts (such as those found at Dapenkeng). These people were largely hunter-gatherers, with some agriculture practiced on a minor scale. Around 4000 BC they were joined by "proto-Malays", who brought farming techniques much like those used in eastern Asia; these two groups together pushed earlier peoples west into the mountainous areas where they collected plants such as sweet potatoes that thrived under tropical conditions but could not be grown further north or south because temperatures there did not allow for year-round growth cycles needed for their cultivation.