11,000-year-old infant’s DNA offers insight into Native American origins

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In Alaska, genetic analysis of ancient DNA from a 6-week-old infant found at an Interior Alaska archaeological site has revealed a previously unknown population of ancient people in North America, which researchers named Ancient Beringians. The findings represent a major shift in scientists’ theories about how humans populated North America.

“We didn’t know this population existed,” Ben Potter, one of the lead authors of the study and a professor of anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks said in their press release. “These data also provide the first direct evidence of the initial founding Native American population, which sheds new light on how these early populations were migrating and settling throughout North America.”