Dec 14, 2018 | Updated: 09:51 PM EST

Native American Children's DNA Found In Alaska

Oct 28, 2015 09:28 PM EDT


The buried children in the Bering area in Alaska 11,500 years ago has been proven to come from two different mothers, giving the conclusion that these two children, differing in age was not blood related at all. But aside from that, these new observations allowed us a peek at the earliest human that settled in the Alaska Region, the settlers that could have been the earliest Asian settlers in the Americas.

The ceremoniously buried children, a 3-year-old on top of two infants under, one was a few months old child and the other was a late-stage fetus, side by side on top of a red ocher surrounded by hunting darts from antlers. With permission from Native Americans from the area, researchers got samples from the bones to be checked for DNA at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

"These things we hardly ever find - it's a very rare window into the worldview of these people," archaeologist Ben A. Potter of the University of Alaska Fairbanks said.

Siberians who expanded and migrated to Beringia 25,000 years ago for 10,000 years were linked to the Beringian Standstill models.  And even if the humans were able to thrive in the height of the last ice age due to the lack of ice in the area, being mainly shrubs and tundra, they were not able to go past the glaciers of ice. The standstill lasted until about 15,000 years ago when the glaciers retreated. The infants found were considered the northernmost kin of the dual ancestors of the Native Americans across the country.

"These infants are the earliest human remains in northern North America, and they carry distinctly Native American lineages," Dennis O'Rourke of the University of Utah said. "We see diversity that is not present in modern Native American populations of the north and we see it at a fairly early date. This is evidence there was substantial genetic variation in the Beringian population before any of them moved south." 

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