Interesting news from the genetics world. We’re slowly building a clearer picture of early Americans.
“A new genetic study of South American natives, published on the journal PLOS Genetics, provides scientific evidence to reformulate the traditional model and define new theories of human settlement of the Americas” from a new article by Professor Daniel Turbón, from the Department of Animal Biology of the University of Barcelona.
“This new research is based on the analysis of male Y-chromosomal genetic markers in about one thousand individuals, representing 50 tribal South American native populations.”
Read more about it here.
Score one, possibly a definitive one, for the pre-Clovis people. Below is an abstract from an article by Michael R. Waters et al published in the October, 2011 issue of Science that summarizes his findings concerning a projectile point lodged into a rib of a mastodon at a potential pre-Clovis site.
The tip of a projectile point made of mastodon bone is embedded in a rib of a single disarticulated mastodon at the Manis site in the state of Washington. Radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis show that the rib is associated with the other remains and dates to 13,800 years ago. Thus, osseous projectile points, common to the Beringian Upper Paleolithic and Clovis, were made and used during pre-Clovis times in North America. The Manis site, combined with evidence of mammoth hunting at sites in Wisconsin, provides evidence that people were hunting proboscideans at least two millennia before Clovis. [Waters et al, 2011]
Here is a full reference to the Science article, as well as a link to a BBC article that discusses the findings. Additionally, I have found an NPR interview with Waters, and I will provide a link to it also.
Waters, Michael R.
2011 Pre-Clovis Mastodon Hunting 13,800 Years Ago at the Manis Site, Washington. Science 334: 351-353.