A new study performed by the University of Alaska Fairbanks has revealed a previously unknown population of ancient people in North America. The researchers named the new group as 'Ancient Beringians.'
The research involved the genetic analysis of ancient DNA from a 6-week-old infant named "Xach'itee'aanenh T'eede Gaay" found at an Interior Alaska archaeological site. She and a younger female infant named "Ye?kaanenh T'eede Gaay" lived about 11,500 years ago and have similarities like first cousins. This analysis made the scientists infer that about 35,000 years ago, single founding ancestral Native American group split from East Asians. Then, about 20,000 years ago, that group split into two groups: the Ancient Beringians and the ancestors of all other Native Americans. The findings of the research also suggested two new scenarios for populating the New World. The first one being that there were two distinct groups of people. They crossed over the Beringian land bridge 15,700 years ago. The second is that one group of people crossed over the land bridge. It then split in Beringia into two groups: Ancient Beringians and other Native Americans. The scientists expected that the genetic material would match the genetic profile of other northern Native American people. Surprisingly, it matched no other known ancient population. They concluded that the Ancient Beringian people remained in the Far North for thousands of years. The DNA results suggest that around 6,000 years ago, the Athabascan ancestors replaced the Ancient Beringian population and established deep roots in their ancestral lands.
By: Anuja Arora