Autosomal DNA Set to Rewrite ‘Peopling of the Americas’

A scientific bombshell was dropped at the recent conference on “First Americans Archeology” in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Danish geneticist Eske Willerslev announced that his team had completed the fullest sequencing of ancient human DNA to date—two 24,000-year-old Siberian skeletons. The results showed that the people who lived near Lake Baikal at the dawn of human civilizations and who later expanded as the Native Americans or American Indians of the New World came from Europe, not Asia. Native Americans today have one-third European genes in their makeup.

“The west Eurasian signatures that we very often find in today’s Native Americans don’t all come from postcolonial admixture,” said Willerslev at his talk, “Some of them are ancient.” See the Smithsonian’s blog, “The Very First Americans May Have Had European Roots.”

Until now it was widely believed that America’s First Nations were people like modern-day Mongolians and Eastern Siberian tribes who crossed a hypothetical Bering land-bridge. Study after study has stressed the small number of founder types. With the new revelation of European roots and lack of relatedness to East Asians,