January 7, 2018

Pre-Clovis Ancient Beringian Population Discovery

Researchers have studied the the remains of an infant girl called Xach’itee’aanenh T’eede Gaay, by the indigenous people at the Upward Sun River site in Alaska. Her remains are dated to 11,500 years ago. But her genomes show a previously unknown population, and is the earliest known population of Native Americans. She was buried next to another infant in a ceremonial grave, and they were covered in red ochre. They are members of a group now known as the Ancient Beringians. Their population split from East Asians 36,000 years ago.

They were genetically changed from their ancestor group 25,000 years ago, probably due to population isolation due to brutal climate conditions,  They entered Alaska first by way of Beringia, and their northern and southern offshoots descended from them later.They were trapped in Beringia until around 20,000 years ago. They were either genetically distinct from the rest of the Native Americans before they left Beringia or both groups traveled across, and then split genetically after they arrived in Alaska. This study relies on a single sample. So the real diversity in the gene pool will await more samples. The research is published in Nature;

J. Víctor Moreno-Mayar et al, Terminal Pleistocene Alaskan genome reveals first founding population of Native Americans, Nature (2018).  DOI: 10.1038/nature25173

Smithsonian and

Phys.org

have the reports here

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/genetics-rewrites-history-early-america-and-maybe-field-archaeology-180967745/

And

https://phys.org/news/2018-01-reveals-evidence-population-ancient-native.html

(My note; Since this is a single sample, a lot more needs to be learned about these populations, and this needs more samples. And while the “Ancient Beringian” population is now definitely the oldest group to have entered the Americas so far, by way of proven genetic research, we still may find even older groups later in time. And there is still the question of whether even earlier groups made their way into the Americas, and traveled all the way down to Monte Verde in Chile, by way of canoe coastal travel, starting at even earlier dates on their journey south.)

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis World

http://preclovisworld.tumblr.com

Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis and Clovis News on Tumblr

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