Ancient DNA shows European wipe-out of early Americans
Date: April 1, 2016
This article discussed about tracing the history of early American people through genetic sequencing data. The research led by University of Adelaide’s Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACDA), and they found out that there is a striking absence of pre-Columbian genetic lineages in modern Indigenous Americans. They figured this by comparing directly into DNA of pre-Columbian skeletons between 500 and 8600 years old. None of the genetic lineages from modern populations showed evidence of descendants. From this findings, they hypothesized that the lineages extinct following European colonization in the late 1400s. Possible reasons behind this is due to the peak of last Ice Age, when cold deserts blocked human movements, thus populations stayed geographically isolated and the majority became extinct shortly after colonization.
With this technology coming among archaeologists, it can help to determine not just genetic lineages but also spatial distribution of the populations. So, when we combine all of the techniques that we have, such as archaeological remains, fieldwork observations, and DNA tracing altogether, it is going to be a great combination. Thus, we will have a better understanding on human origin, human evolution, human behavior and ecology in the past, which then lead us to future preservation efforts.