The arrival of the first Americans has been one of the oldest and most debated questions in anthropology. Now, an international study led by the University of California, Berkeley has concluded that the first Americans arrived in a single wave less than 23,000 years ago. Study leader Rasmus Nielsen explains.
"So, we sequenced the genomes of a number of different Native Americans and also ancient DNA, so DNA from ancient individuals, people that have been dead for thousands of years, to try to resolve many of these issues. One of the things we focused on was trying to estimate, what is the date at which Native Americans split off from East Asians and people that now live in the Northeastern Siberia. So when did these two populations have common ancestral populations?"
Nielsen says that the findings confirm the popular theory that the original Americans followed a land bridge between Asia and Alaska during the height of the last Ice Age.
"Everything we see is in accordance with that, that the migrations of the first people into the Americas likely followed that land bridge."
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