Topic ID #32661 - posted 5/16/2014 1:28 AM

Oldest most complete, genetically intact human skeleton in New World

Jennifer Palmer

Oldest most complete, genetically intact human skeleton in New World
Date: May 15, 2014 Source: National Geographic Society

The skeletal remains of a teenage female from the late Pleistocene or last ice age found in an underwater cave in Mexico have major implications for our understanding of the origins of the Western Hemisphere's first people and their relationship to contemporary Native Americans.

In a paper released today in the journal Science, an international team of researchers and cave divers present the results of an expedition that discovered a near-complete early American human skeleton with an intact cranium and preserved DNA. The remains were found surrounded by a variety of extinct animals more than 40 meters (130 feet) below sea level in Hoyo Negro, a deep pit within the Sac Actun cave system on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula.

"These discoveries are extremely significant," said Pilar Luna, INAH's director of underwater archaeology. "Not only do they shed light on the origins of modern Americans, they clearly demonstrate the paleontological potential of the Yucatán Peninsula and the importance of conserving Mexico's unique heritage."

Read the full article here.

Post ID#20497 - replied 5/18/2014 5:07 PM

Charlie Hatchett

"...Analyses of DNA extracted from the skeleton's wisdom tooth found it belonged to an Asian-derived lineage that occurs only in America (haplogroup D, subhaplogroup D1). Finding a skeleton with DNA from one of America's founding lineages in Central America greatly expands the geographic distribution of confirmed Beringians among the earliest Americans..."

This statement is incorrect. mtDNA Hg D1 is only found in the Americas, but is derived from mtDNA Hg D4. mtDNA Hg D4 is found in ancient and modern context throughout East Asia: Japan; Taiwan; Korea, etc...Like Anzick, Hoyo Negro ancestors could have migrated to the Americas via the coastal route.No ancient skeletal remains presenting mtDNA Hg D have been recovered from the Beringia region.There is absolutely no physical evidence for the "Beringian Standstill" hypothesis.


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