Ancient DNA Links Native Americans With Europe
DNA from this ancient Siberian skeleton offers clues to the first Americans.
CREDIT: THE STATE HERMITAGE MUSEUM, ST. PETERSBURG
Vol. 342 no. 6157 pp. 409-410
- News & Analysis Genomes
[The Mal'ta finds have long been known to be a far-eastern outpost of the European Cro-magnons. This complicates things but we already know that some prehistoric Siberian populations were actually Americans entering into Asia from the other way around, and the fact that this DNA has no connection to East Aians fits in with that finding. -DD]
Stone-age Europeans 'were the first to set foot on North America'
Stone-age Europeans were the first to set foot on North America, beating American Indians by some 10,000 years, new archaeological evidence suggests.
Professor Dennis Stanford from Washington's Smithsonian Institution, and Professor Bruce Bradley from Exeter University believe that the ancient Europeans travelled to North America across an Atlantic frozen over by the Ice Age.
During the height of the Ice Age, ice covered some three million square miles of the North Atlantic, providing a solid bridge between the two continents. Plentiful numbers of seal, penguins, seabirds and the now extinct great auk on the edge of the ice shelf could have provided the stone-age nomads with enough food to sustain them on their 1,500-mile walk.
"Across Atlantic Ice", a book by professors Stanford and Bradley presenting the case for the trans-Atlantic trek, is published next month.