New genomic analysis of ancient remains in Siberia -- detailed this week in the journal Cell -- have offered scientists fresh insights into the movements of human populations across Eurasia and into the Americas at the end of the Stone Age.By using the DNA of a tooth from the 14 ky old individual, Yu and his team have established links to the earliest Native Americans.
“Previous studies observed the genetic differences between individuals from different time periods, but didn't investigate the differences by dating the admixture events,” lead study author He Yu, postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany, told UPI in an email. “Our study reports a 14,000-year-old individual, which actually fills in a large blank of ancient genomes in this region, between 23,000 and approximately 8,000 years ago.”
“The deep connection observed in this study is sharing of the same admixed ancestry between Upper Paleolithic Siberian and First Americans," Yu said. "We are not suggesting interbreeding between Native American and Siberian, or any back flow of Native American ancestry into Siberia. But we are suggesting that, the First American ancestry was formed in Siberia and also existed there, in a large range of time and space, so we can detect it in ancient Siberian individuals.”There have always been conflicting theories about how and when the migrations to the New World occurred and there has always been evidence for movements from the Lena River, in Siberia and the northern Amur river in northern China.
Interestingly, they also found genetic evidence of the plague in some of the Bronze age populations from the area, which they hypothesized came from Europe, indicating that there was considerable movement between these populations.