Where did the first inhabitants of America come from?
DNA extracted from the skull of a six-week-old girl whose remains were found in Alaska suggests that the region was settled by humans more than 20,000 years ago. In doing so, scientists have identified a new group of Native Americans, which they called the Ancient Beringians.
The story of the conquest of America is still not clear. Discoveries made in 2013 in Alaska may shed new light on the period. The work published in the January issue of „Nature” represents a major change in the concept of scientistsów regarding how humans populated the Americas PóNorth.
In 2013, child remains dating back 11,500 years were discovered in central Alaska. They belonged to dwóch girls – The older one was about six weeks old, the younger one was probably a premature. DNA of an older girl called Xach by local Indians’itee’aanenh T’eede Gaay, which means Girl of the Rising Sun, provided unprecedented data.
Thanks to DNA analysis of the remainsóIn a six-week-old girl, an international team ofół scientistów singled out a new group of indigenous peopleóin America – Ancient Beringian. – We didn’t even know such a population existed – said University of Alaska Fairbanks anthropology professor Ben Potter, one of the authors of theóIn a publication in „Nature”. – The data shed new light on how early populations migrated and settled in America PóNorth – added.
– These are the oldest human remains ever found in Alaska, but particularólnie interesting is that this person belonged to a population of people about whom theórych never heard before – noted Professor Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen, coóWORK RATE.
– It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of this newly discovered people to our understanding of how theób ancient peoples populated the Americas. New information has given us a more accurate picture of ancient Indian history. This is much more complex than we thought – admitted Potter.
Potter has been conducting research at the site to find remainsów for years. He admitted that after sequencing the DNA, he was confident that it would match the genetic profile of the Indians’. However, the profile did not match any known population.
Genetic analysis and demographic modeling helped scientists establish links between human populations. Scientists are studying the history of ancient populations by analyzing mutations or minor errors, które accumulate in DNA for generations. These patterns, combined with demographic modeling, make it possible to create connections between róThe groups of waspsób.
New research indicates the existence in America of PóThe northern populations thatóra began to break outós genetically from peoplesóin from East Asia, which theóre crossed the land bridge connecting Asia and the Americas PóNorth located in today’s Bering Strait. Subsequently, about 20,000 years ago, the population divided. A group of Ancient Beringians and direct ancestors then emergedóIn all other indigenous peoplesóin America.
According to the study, Ancient Beringians inhabited póThe northern area of the Americas PóNorth for thousands of years, and the population of the ancestralóin Indians moved southward settling the entire continent. DNA results, along with other archaeological data, suggest that the ancestors of the Atapask peopleóin (m.in. Navajo or Apache ancestorsó(w) wrócili on póNorth about 6,000 years ago, absorbing or replacing Ancient Beringian.
– Before extracting DNA from this girl’s skull, we only had DNA from Native Americanów and ancient Siberiansów. Now we have an individual whoóry connects the two populations. This opens the door to solving the mysteries of the history of the conquest of America PóNorth – explained Willerslev.