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Science. 2014 May 16;344(6185):750-4. doi: 10.1126/science.1252619.

Late Pleistocene human skeleton and mtDNA link Paleoamericans and modern Native Americans.

Author information

1
Applied Paleoscience and DirectAMS, 10322 NE 190th Street, Bothell, WA 98011, USA. paleosci@gmail.com.
2
Department of Anthropology and Institutes of Energy and the Environment, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.
3
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, USA.
4
Department of Anthropology and School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA.
5
Bay Area Underwater Explorers, Berkeley, CA, USA.
6
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
7
School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1, Canada.
8
Instituto Nacional Antropología e Historia, Colonia Centro Histórico, 06060, Mexico City, DF, Mexico.
9
Department of Anthropology and Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.
10
Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL 61801, USA.
11
Subdirección de Arqueología Subacuática, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 06070 Mexico City, Mexico.
12
Waitt Institute, La Jolla, CA 92038-1948, USA.
13
Department of Anthropology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
14
Centre for AMS C, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark, and Centre for GeoGenetics, Natural History Museum of Denmark, Geological Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

Because of differences in craniofacial morphology and dentition between the earliest American skeletons and modern Native Americans, separate origins have been postulated for them, despite genetic evidence to the contrary. We describe a near-complete human skeleton with an intact cranium and preserved DNA found with extinct fauna in a submerged cave on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. This skeleton dates to between 13,000 and 12,000 calendar years ago and has Paleoamerican craniofacial characteristics and a Beringian-derived mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup (D1). Thus, the differences between Paleoamericans and Native Americans probably resulted from in situ evolution rather than separate ancestry.

PMID:
24833392
DOI:
10.1126/science.1252619
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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