News / Science & Technology

24,000 Year-old Skeleton Reveals Clues about Native American Origins

24,000-year-old remains of the Mal'ta Boy (State Hermitage Museum in Russia)
24,000-year-old remains of the Mal'ta Boy (State Hermitage Museum in Russia)

Related Articles

Herpes Virus Follows Human Migration Patterns

Genetic sequencing of the HSV-1 virus confirms the 'out-of-Africa' theory of human migration

Video Native American Campaign Keeps Redskins Name Controversy Alive

American Indian communities have called on US football team to change its name, which they say is based on a racial slur
VOA News
Results from DNA testing of a 24,000 year-old skeleton of a young boy reinforces the theory that the first Americans came from Siberia.

The testing showed that nearly 30 percent of modern Native Americans’ ancestry comes from the so-called Mal’ta child’s gene pool. The remains were discovered in the late 1920s near the village of Mal’ta in south central Siberia.

“Our study proves that Native Americans ancestors migrated to the Americas from Siberia and not directly from Europe as some have recently suggested,” said Kelly Graf, assistant professor in the Center for the Study of First Americans and Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M, who was part of an international team studying the skeleton.

Graf noted that the Mal’ta child, whose skeleton is at the Hermitage Museum in Russia, had close genetic ties to today’s Native Americans and some western Eurasians, specifically some groups living in central Asia, South Asia, and Europe.

“Also, he shared close genetic ties with other Ice-Age western Eurasians living in European Russia, Czech Republic and even Germany,” she said.  “We think these Ice-Age people were quite mobile and capable of maintaining a far-reaching gene pool that extended from central Siberia all the way west to central Europe.”

This, Graf said, could explain why some early Native American skeletons such as Kennewick Man were interpreted to have some European traits, an interpretation that led some to believe Native Americans may have come from Europe instead.

The DNA work performed on the boy is the oldest complete genome of a human sequenced so far, the study shows.  Also found near the boy’s remains were flint tools, a beaded necklace and what appears to be pendant-like items, all apparently placed in the burial as grave goods.

The discovery raises new questions about the timing of human entry in Alaska and ultimately North America, a topic hotly debated in First Americans studies.

“Though our results cannot speak directly to this debate, they do indicate Native American ancestors could have been in Beringia—extreme northeastern Russia and Alaska—any time after 24,000 years ago and therefore could have colonized Alaska and the Americas much earlier than 14,500 years ago, the age suggested by the archaeological record.”

The study was published in the current issue of Nature magazine.

Here's a short video about the study:

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Shinoda Marikoh from: TKO
November 22, 2013 6:48 PM
The Earth was born 4.5 billion years ago, I think.
And human kind of animals appeared on the earth about 500,000 years asgo, it depends on the definition of human.

by: W8 WUT
November 21, 2013 3:37 PM
I thought the earth was 6,000 years old!? This is blasphemous
In Response

by: Lolzzz
November 23, 2013 1:59 PM
Oh well, I guess you're wrong.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More