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DNA Reveals the Arrivals of Indigenous People at Newfoundland

DNA are the most effective tool to understand the ins and outs of living beings that is otherwise seems impossible. Researchers who've examined genetic evidence from mitochondrial DNA has now given the evidence that two groups of indigenous people in Canada, commonly known as the Maritime Archaic and Beothuk, brought different matrilines to the island. The research findings further support to the thinking that those groups had different population histories.

They have distinct cultural traditions inhabited the region that is of at least three different times with a period between 2,000 and 3,000 years ago. This research suggests that Maritime Archaic were not the immediate ancestors of the Beothuk and also that these two groups did not share a common ancestor too. Examinations were done on the mitochondrial genome diversity of 74 ancient remains from the island along with the archaeological record and dietary isotope profiles.

All of the DNA samples were collected from very small amounts of bone or teeth of them. Most of those samples collected are from the people lived on that island during the last 300 years. The result of testing showed that two groups didn't share a common maternal ancestor in the recent past. They came together sometime in distant past. The result suggests that Maritime Archaic people are not direct maternal ancestors of the Beothuk and thus the population history of the island involves combination of independent arrivals by indigenous peoples.


Anita Aishvarya

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