Native Americans may have originated in China, new study of 14,000-year-old human fossils suggests
A new study suggests Native Americans may have originated in southern China, based on the discovery and analysis of DNA from 14,000-year-old human fossils.
The journal “Current Biology” published the study on July 14, who said the fossils discovered would belong to an extinct maternal branch to which Native Americans may also be related.
Researchers compared the genome bones to people around the world and came to the conclusion that they matched those of an individual with deep ties to East Asian ancestry.
Archaeologists had already found fossils in the Chinese province of Yunnan three decades ago; however, it wasn’t until 2018 that a team was able to extract DNA from the ancient skull and use genome sequencing to prove that the individual belonged to an extinct species of modern humans whose descendants descended now found in East Asia, in the Indochinese peninsula and the islands of Southeast Asia.
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The same team proposed that some people from southern East Asia traveled north along the coast of present-day eastern China, passed through Japan, reached Siberia, and then crossed the Bering Strait between the continents of Asia and North America.
While a previously discovered baby remains from an archaeological site in Alaska in 2013 proved that modern Native Americans came from Asia, recent discoveries clarify which parts of Asia they may have come from.
Bing Su from the Kunming Institute of Zoology Explain, “These data will not only help us paint a more complete picture of how our ancestors migrated, but will also contain important information about how humans change their physical appearance by adapting to local environments over time, such as variations in skin color in response to changes in sun exposure.
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Image selected via UW (University of Washington) (left) and Interior Edition (right)
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