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Early and Rapid Settlement of the New World

F1.large

The above model of the settlement of the Americas is from a new paper which utilized ancient mtDNA, Ancient mitochondrial DNA provides high-resolution time scale of the peopling of the Americas (open access):

The exact timing, route, and process of the initial peopling of the Americas remains uncertain despite much research. Archaeological evidence indicates the presence of humans as far as southern Chile by 14.6 thousand years ago (ka), shortly after the Pleistocene ice sheets blocking access from eastern Beringia began to retreat. Genetic estimates of the timing and route of entry have been constrained by the lack of suitable calibration points and low genetic diversity of Native Americans. We sequenced 92 whole mitochondrial genomes from pre-Columbian South American skeletons dating from 8.6 to 0.5 ka, allowing a detailed, temporally calibrated reconstruction of the peopling of the Americas in a Bayesian coalescent analysis. The data suggest that a small population entered the Americas via a coastal route around 16.0 ka, following previous isolation in eastern Beringia for ~2.4 to 9 thousand years after separation from eastern Siberian populations. Following a rapid movement throughout the Americas, limited gene flow in South America resulted in a marked phylogeographic structure of populations, which persisted through time. All of the ancient mitochondrial lineages detected in this study were absent from modern data sets, suggesting a high extinction rate. To investigate this further, we applied a novel principal components multiple logistic regression test to Bayesian serial coalescent simulations. The analysis supported a scenario in which European colonization caused a substantial loss of pre-Columbian lineages.

The key here is that looked at whole mitochondrial genomes, which gives them more information to work with. Earlier work often focused on a particular variable region of the mitochondrial genome. And, mtDNA is copious, so they got good quality data from all of their samples (really 5x is decent for population genomic work, and that was the worst). Combined with the fact that they had ancient genomes, which allow them to investigate the phylogeny in a more precise manner temporally, and have you the potential to make some really strong inferences.

F3.large Figure 3 in the paper makes everything really clear. The last common ancestors between Native American mtDNA lineages and those of Siberians is >20,000 years before the present. That is, before the Last Glacial Maximum. The next major feature you see is an explosion of lineages aroun ~15-16 thousand years ago. This is the hallmark of a rapid population expansion. But after the initial period of diversification you see the persistence of a lot of deeply divergent lineages. Additionally, further population genomic modeling indicate that there was a major extinction event ~500 years ago, no doubt due to the Columbian Exchange and the arrival of Old World populations and their diseases.

This paper is fundamentally about Native American historical genetics. It is another nail in the coffin of the “Clovis first” model of Amerindian origins. Basically, that the Clovis group of megafaunal hunters were the First Americans. No, it does seem likely now that modern humans were present in portions of the New World thousands of years before Clovis. The Monte Verde site’s occupation on the Chilean coast less than two thousand years after the opening of a coastal route from Beringia indicates that perhaps there was a strong focus on marine environments for a significant period of time. Once the New World was settled there seems to have been a lot of persistent population structure, until the arrival of Europeans, at least in comparison to what ancient DNA has told us about Europe. Additionally, the long isolation of the Beringians is also significant in my opinion.

In a world of billions of humans it may be that we lack proper intuition for how little gene flow may have occurred between populations in a sparsely populated globe. The Beringians were separated from Siberians for on the order of ~5,000 years. It only takes ~1 migrant between two populations per generation to prevent them from drifting apart in allele frequencies, so the gene flow was very low (this is mtDNA, so not strictly applicable, but the same logic holds). But it is possible that in much of northern Eurasia during the Last Glacial Maximum humans retreated to zones of survival, and vast swaths of territory became empty. This would result in islands of human habitation diverging and become very different over several thousands of years. In sharp contrast, the world over the past 4,000 years or so has been characterized by the ability of humans to travel long distances over inclement territory, and settle amongst strangers, usually through conquest. Partially this is due to the domestication of the horse, but partially it is probably due to the emergence of high density complex societies which can incubate specialist castes whose role arose initially as defense, but who often engage in offense whenever the opportunity arises.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Genetics, New World 
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  1. So, let’s try to regroup and look at the big picture. I’m going to list all the known and suspected migrations into the Americas. Correct me where I’m wrong.

    1. The Andaman-like people, whose existence was only recently discovered due to the paucity of genetic and archaeological remains. Therefore, their time and route of entry into the Americas is very mysterious. They are almost gone but have left a small signature in modern-day Amazonians.

    2. The group discussed in this latest paper, who were trapped in Beringia for a few thousand years. They then migrated into the Americas and quickly increased in number about 16,000 years ago. Those who survived the Columbian Exchange form the majority of modern South American native DNA.

    3. Clovis? Although I have not finished the paper, my biggest question is where Clovis now fits into things–the former explanation, that it was the first group of people to settle the Americas, nicely explained the lack of cultural diversity over such a large area. And supposedly Clovis closely matches modern Native North Americans, insofar as they have been sampled. Is Clovis extremely closely related to group #2, and represents some kind of expansion of people already in the continent (like Pama-Nyungan languages in Australia), or were they a separate migration that came later?

    4. Na-Dene people–came from Siberia several thousand years ago, and left a distinctive genetic signature in people who speak these languages today.

    5. The Thule, predecessors of the Inuit.

    6. The Inuit, who arrived about 700 years ago and seem to have wiped out the the Thule.

    Whew! This is starting to look much more complicated than people once believed, and that the levels of Native genetic diversity would imply. This must be because all people in the Americas prior to 1492 (except maybe for the Andamanish folk) came from the same area of Siberia, and hence none of the source populations were very genetically distant. Getting to the bottom of this story will be fascinating.

    [Crossposted from West Hunter; thought it might be useful here]

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tobus
    @Yudi:

    I think that 1, 2 and 3 (Andaman, Beringian and Clovis) are probably all the same people - in that the Andaman admixture had already happened before the LGM, and the Clovis culture emerged in situ after the initial migration.
    , @Megalophias
    1. While Amazonians have elevated Oceanian/Onge-related ancestry this need not have arrived as a migration of entirely distinct people. It could instead have been due to an Amerindian-like group with some minor Palaeo-Asian ancestry picked up in the Old World. If so the majority of modern Amazonian ancestry, and a minority of other Amerindian ancestry, could derive from such an already-admixed population. Or not, of course.

    2. The early Beringians would be the primary ancestors of everyone south of the Arctic.

    3. The one Clovis-associated sample - who was buried at a Clovis site but probably actually a few centuries later - was closer to modern South and Central Americans than to Native Americans north of Mexico. His mtDNA was D4h3a, which is presently most common in Patagonia and the west coast of South America. But he definitely groups with modern Native Americans in general, and Clovis probably does represents a later expansion of the Beringian mainstream.

    4. The Na-Dene thing is debatable: they are genetically distinctive, but they share this with some non-Na Dene-speaking North Americans, and it isn't clear exactly what the connection with Siberia is.

    5. The Dorset Palaeo-Eskimos are the people who preceded the Inuit but seem to have died out almost completely in the central-eastern Arctic (likely they left more traces further west).

    6. The Thule Neo-Eskimos are the ancestors of the living Inuit.
    , @ohwilleke
    #1 The signal is so faint, my best guess is that it represents one to a handful of individuals who were late additions to the Founder population and were at the tip of the spear as it was in the migration from Beriginia to the Amazon, rather than a separate wave. If their tribe with a minority Andamese-like admixture was the true pioneer population en route to South American and beyond, it wouldn't have admixed and left traces in any intermediate areas, and once settled geographic barriers could have prevented the Andaman-like genes from seeping back into the subsequent populations.

    #3, yes, the Clovis are part of the founding population, although possibly a group that migrated to Eastern North American and then from there to the West.

    #5 and #6 - The Thule became the Inuit. They are the same people, not a people who were wiped out by the Inuit.

    There is a lack of clarity regarding the Dorset. Arguably, they are admixed Na-Dene and Founder Amer-Ind,, but that isn't entirely clear. They were replaced by the Thule.

    There are also pre-Columbian complications in Vinland, and with contacts between the West Coast of South America and Polynesians that left little or no discernible traces in South America but resulted in the kumara (a South American domesticate sweet potato) in Polynesia long before European explorers arrived. There are also one or two other instances of potential de minimus contact between the Americas and the rest of the world prior to Columbus.

    I did a summary at http://dispatchesfromturtleisland.blogspot.com/2014/10/more-evidence-of-pre-columbian-contact.html

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  2. mtDNA is a really nice start, with simple trees.

    But with the founding population being so small, and genetic diversity so low, it is going to take full genome sequences to get a really accurate and unbiased picture of this rapid expansion and population structure formation.

    Read More
  3. @Yudi
    So, let's try to regroup and look at the big picture. I'm going to list all the known and suspected migrations into the Americas. Correct me where I'm wrong.

    1. The Andaman-like people, whose existence was only recently discovered due to the paucity of genetic and archaeological remains. Therefore, their time and route of entry into the Americas is very mysterious. They are almost gone but have left a small signature in modern-day Amazonians.

    2. The group discussed in this latest paper, who were trapped in Beringia for a few thousand years. They then migrated into the Americas and quickly increased in number about 16,000 years ago. Those who survived the Columbian Exchange form the majority of modern South American native DNA.

    3. Clovis? Although I have not finished the paper, my biggest question is where Clovis now fits into things--the former explanation, that it was the first group of people to settle the Americas, nicely explained the lack of cultural diversity over such a large area. And supposedly Clovis closely matches modern Native North Americans, insofar as they have been sampled. Is Clovis extremely closely related to group #2, and represents some kind of expansion of people already in the continent (like Pama-Nyungan languages in Australia), or were they a separate migration that came later?

    4. Na-Dene people--came from Siberia several thousand years ago, and left a distinctive genetic signature in people who speak these languages today.

    5. The Thule, predecessors of the Inuit.

    6. The Inuit, who arrived about 700 years ago and seem to have wiped out the the Thule.

    Whew! This is starting to look much more complicated than people once believed, and that the levels of Native genetic diversity would imply. This must be because all people in the Americas prior to 1492 (except maybe for the Andamanish folk) came from the same area of Siberia, and hence none of the source populations were very genetically distant. Getting to the bottom of this story will be fascinating.

    [Crossposted from West Hunter; thought it might be useful here]

    I think that 1, 2 and 3 (Andaman, Beringian and Clovis) are probably all the same people – in that the Andaman admixture had already happened before the LGM, and the Clovis culture emerged in situ after the initial migration.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Karl Zimmerman
    Then how would the Andaman-like component become enriched in Amazonians? Random drift seems unlikely, and while natural selection might enrich some of the genes, with admixture that ancient, nearby genes aren't going to be brought along for the ride.
  4. @Tobus
    @Yudi:

    I think that 1, 2 and 3 (Andaman, Beringian and Clovis) are probably all the same people - in that the Andaman admixture had already happened before the LGM, and the Clovis culture emerged in situ after the initial migration.

    Then how would the Andaman-like component become enriched in Amazonians? Random drift seems unlikely, and while natural selection might enrich some of the genes, with admixture that ancient, nearby genes aren’t going to be brought along for the ride.

    Read More
  5. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    With a very minor tweak, Figure 3C can be interpreted as a depiction of the Clovis-Fishtail expansion at 13,500 cal BP. Swan Point, shown on the map, is the earliest known site in eastern Beringia, and that dates only to 14,300 cal BP, not 18-16,000. Even if one accepts the earliest remotely credible dates for sites in the Great Basin, ca. 14,300 for putative human feces at Paisley Caves, there is no indication of a 60-fold expansion starting at 16,000 in that area, where their arrow is pointing. Also, in Alaska the Upward Sun Rising site at 11,500 cal BP contains burials of 2 infants; each is at the root of the mtDNA B2 and C1 clades, respectively. And Kennewick Man is at the root of the X2A clade. I don’t know what groups they are using as the Siberian “outgroup”; all of the people living in northeastern Siberia today are latecomers who arrived within the last 5,000 years. Some 40% of Native American DNA is derived by admixture from the “ghost” Ancient North Eurasian population represented by the Mal’ta boy at 24 k cal BP. Wouldn’t that input also complicate computation of the Siberian-American divergence date?

    Read More
  6. @Yudi
    So, let's try to regroup and look at the big picture. I'm going to list all the known and suspected migrations into the Americas. Correct me where I'm wrong.

    1. The Andaman-like people, whose existence was only recently discovered due to the paucity of genetic and archaeological remains. Therefore, their time and route of entry into the Americas is very mysterious. They are almost gone but have left a small signature in modern-day Amazonians.

    2. The group discussed in this latest paper, who were trapped in Beringia for a few thousand years. They then migrated into the Americas and quickly increased in number about 16,000 years ago. Those who survived the Columbian Exchange form the majority of modern South American native DNA.

    3. Clovis? Although I have not finished the paper, my biggest question is where Clovis now fits into things--the former explanation, that it was the first group of people to settle the Americas, nicely explained the lack of cultural diversity over such a large area. And supposedly Clovis closely matches modern Native North Americans, insofar as they have been sampled. Is Clovis extremely closely related to group #2, and represents some kind of expansion of people already in the continent (like Pama-Nyungan languages in Australia), or were they a separate migration that came later?

    4. Na-Dene people--came from Siberia several thousand years ago, and left a distinctive genetic signature in people who speak these languages today.

    5. The Thule, predecessors of the Inuit.

    6. The Inuit, who arrived about 700 years ago and seem to have wiped out the the Thule.

    Whew! This is starting to look much more complicated than people once believed, and that the levels of Native genetic diversity would imply. This must be because all people in the Americas prior to 1492 (except maybe for the Andamanish folk) came from the same area of Siberia, and hence none of the source populations were very genetically distant. Getting to the bottom of this story will be fascinating.

    [Crossposted from West Hunter; thought it might be useful here]

    1. While Amazonians have elevated Oceanian/Onge-related ancestry this need not have arrived as a migration of entirely distinct people. It could instead have been due to an Amerindian-like group with some minor Palaeo-Asian ancestry picked up in the Old World. If so the majority of modern Amazonian ancestry, and a minority of other Amerindian ancestry, could derive from such an already-admixed population. Or not, of course.

    2. The early Beringians would be the primary ancestors of everyone south of the Arctic.

    3. The one Clovis-associated sample – who was buried at a Clovis site but probably actually a few centuries later – was closer to modern South and Central Americans than to Native Americans north of Mexico. His mtDNA was D4h3a, which is presently most common in Patagonia and the west coast of South America. But he definitely groups with modern Native Americans in general, and Clovis probably does represents a later expansion of the Beringian mainstream.

    4. The Na-Dene thing is debatable: they are genetically distinctive, but they share this with some non-Na Dene-speaking North Americans, and it isn’t clear exactly what the connection with Siberia is.

    5. The Dorset Palaeo-Eskimos are the people who preceded the Inuit but seem to have died out almost completely in the central-eastern Arctic (likely they left more traces further west).

    6. The Thule Neo-Eskimos are the ancestors of the living Inuit.

    Read More
  7. @Megalophias
    1. While Amazonians have elevated Oceanian/Onge-related ancestry this need not have arrived as a migration of entirely distinct people. It could instead have been due to an Amerindian-like group with some minor Palaeo-Asian ancestry picked up in the Old World. If so the majority of modern Amazonian ancestry, and a minority of other Amerindian ancestry, could derive from such an already-admixed population. Or not, of course.

    2. The early Beringians would be the primary ancestors of everyone south of the Arctic.

    3. The one Clovis-associated sample - who was buried at a Clovis site but probably actually a few centuries later - was closer to modern South and Central Americans than to Native Americans north of Mexico. His mtDNA was D4h3a, which is presently most common in Patagonia and the west coast of South America. But he definitely groups with modern Native Americans in general, and Clovis probably does represents a later expansion of the Beringian mainstream.

    4. The Na-Dene thing is debatable: they are genetically distinctive, but they share this with some non-Na Dene-speaking North Americans, and it isn't clear exactly what the connection with Siberia is.

    5. The Dorset Palaeo-Eskimos are the people who preceded the Inuit but seem to have died out almost completely in the central-eastern Arctic (likely they left more traces further west).

    6. The Thule Neo-Eskimos are the ancestors of the living Inuit.

    Thanks for the corrections.

    Read More
  8. Any insights into the methodological oddity pointed out by gchochran9 at West Hunter? (i.e. the oddity that all ancient mtDNA had no modern ancestor, while all modern mtDNA was not descended from ancient DNA, which the authors resolve in a quite artificially way)

    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/two-kinds-of-indians/

    Read More
  9. @Yudi
    So, let's try to regroup and look at the big picture. I'm going to list all the known and suspected migrations into the Americas. Correct me where I'm wrong.

    1. The Andaman-like people, whose existence was only recently discovered due to the paucity of genetic and archaeological remains. Therefore, their time and route of entry into the Americas is very mysterious. They are almost gone but have left a small signature in modern-day Amazonians.

    2. The group discussed in this latest paper, who were trapped in Beringia for a few thousand years. They then migrated into the Americas and quickly increased in number about 16,000 years ago. Those who survived the Columbian Exchange form the majority of modern South American native DNA.

    3. Clovis? Although I have not finished the paper, my biggest question is where Clovis now fits into things--the former explanation, that it was the first group of people to settle the Americas, nicely explained the lack of cultural diversity over such a large area. And supposedly Clovis closely matches modern Native North Americans, insofar as they have been sampled. Is Clovis extremely closely related to group #2, and represents some kind of expansion of people already in the continent (like Pama-Nyungan languages in Australia), or were they a separate migration that came later?

    4. Na-Dene people--came from Siberia several thousand years ago, and left a distinctive genetic signature in people who speak these languages today.

    5. The Thule, predecessors of the Inuit.

    6. The Inuit, who arrived about 700 years ago and seem to have wiped out the the Thule.

    Whew! This is starting to look much more complicated than people once believed, and that the levels of Native genetic diversity would imply. This must be because all people in the Americas prior to 1492 (except maybe for the Andamanish folk) came from the same area of Siberia, and hence none of the source populations were very genetically distant. Getting to the bottom of this story will be fascinating.

    [Crossposted from West Hunter; thought it might be useful here]

    #1 The signal is so faint, my best guess is that it represents one to a handful of individuals who were late additions to the Founder population and were at the tip of the spear as it was in the migration from Beriginia to the Amazon, rather than a separate wave. If their tribe with a minority Andamese-like admixture was the true pioneer population en route to South American and beyond, it wouldn’t have admixed and left traces in any intermediate areas, and once settled geographic barriers could have prevented the Andaman-like genes from seeping back into the subsequent populations.

    #3, yes, the Clovis are part of the founding population, although possibly a group that migrated to Eastern North American and then from there to the West.

    #5 and #6 – The Thule became the Inuit. They are the same people, not a people who were wiped out by the Inuit.

    There is a lack of clarity regarding the Dorset. Arguably, they are admixed Na-Dene and Founder Amer-Ind,, but that isn’t entirely clear. They were replaced by the Thule.

    There are also pre-Columbian complications in Vinland, and with contacts between the West Coast of South America and Polynesians that left little or no discernible traces in South America but resulted in the kumara (a South American domesticate sweet potato) in Polynesia long before European explorers arrived. There are also one or two other instances of potential de minimus contact between the Americas and the rest of the world prior to Columbus.

    I did a summary at http://dispatchesfromturtleisland.blogspot.com/2014/10/more-evidence-of-pre-columbian-contact.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @CupOfCanada
    Andrew - on #3, I'd point out that Anzick-1 was D4h3a, which has a very coastal distribution. It's likely that Clovis culture, or at least their ancestors, expanded a long the coastal route first, and Anzick-1 is an inland migrant from the coast.

    I think you're off a fare amount on the relationship between the Dene, Dorset and Thule though.

    For one, the Dene seem to be the older group. There seems to be continuity in NW North America for around ~8,500 years, and I think the origin of the Dene is probably with the entry of microblade tools at that time. Keep in mind that Reich has the Dene as 90% Native American and 10% East Asian though - genetically at least they are very rooted in North America. That 90% is probably an over-estimate, but only so much.
  10. The authors note this study did not capture any D4h3a or X2a samples, which means they couldn’t tell much one way or another about other more limited migrations to the Americas. C4c is another important North American lineage that’s absent.

    On the Onge ancestry I agree with Megalophias. I’d add that populations with greater Onge-like ancestry also tend have lower levels of Denisovan-like ancestry. That suggests to me some sort of ancient population structure too.

    I think the Inuit and Dene do represent additional migrations, but not in the sense of large numbers of Inuit or Dene speakers crossing the Bering Straight en masse.

    The Inuit pre-history seems to be at least somewhat well understood. They developed on the Alaskan coast around 1000 CE, with influences from cultures on both sides of the Bering Straight. Their additional old world heritage comes from continued contact between with Siberia and East Asia through the Asian side of Beringia. It’s a mixed culture that developed in Alaska, but with more diverse origins further back in time.

    The Dene’s origins are more obscure, but I suspect the story their similar, just with more of a maritime influence. The first peoples of the Alaskan / British Columbian coast were getting around in 60 man war canoes, so they were extremely mobile. My suspicion is that the Dene originated on the Alaska coast and spread inland into North America from their, and also across the Northern Pacific and eventually into Siberia as the Kets. I won’t pretend that I view that story as very conclusive at this point though.

    Worth noting that Reich et al suggests a common origin for East Asian ancestry in Dene (Chipweyans in their study) and Inuit, but very different origins for their North American ancestry, with Chipweyan ancestry coming from a more basal Native American population related to Algonquians, and the Inuit’s Native American ancestry coming from a somewhat more derived group more closely related to Karitiana

    The data may be skewed a bit by the fact that their Dene sample – the Chipweyans – come from a group that had extensive contact with Algonquians. The name Chipweyan is of Algonquian origin even.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3615710/figure/F2/

    Read More
  11. So…all of the First Nations/indigenous indignant tone is unwarranted since they weren’t, technically, the first correct?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Megalophias
    I think the chances of the people living in any given place being the uninterrupted descendants of whoever lived there 15 000 years ago are extremely small, even in the Americas where population structure is very deep. Generally we don't require proof of possession for 15 000 years before you get to complain about people squatting on your land and taking your stuff, though. ;)

    In this case it only shows that the people living in a very few places from which they had both modern and ancient samples are not the direct matrilineal descendants of whoever lived there before. Other places have shown remarkable continuity, e.g. descent of haplogroups A2ag and A2ah from 5000 years ago on the Northwest Coast.
    , @Tobus
    @Robert Ford:

    An indignant tone is generally warranted from any population that suffered genocidal policies regardless of how long they were resident in a particular geographic location.

    I wonder how you feel about white indignance towards Mexican immigrants?
  12. @Robert Ford
    So...all of the First Nations/indigenous indignant tone is unwarranted since they weren't, technically, the first correct?

    I think the chances of the people living in any given place being the uninterrupted descendants of whoever lived there 15 000 years ago are extremely small, even in the Americas where population structure is very deep. Generally we don’t require proof of possession for 15 000 years before you get to complain about people squatting on your land and taking your stuff, though. ;)

    In this case it only shows that the people living in a very few places from which they had both modern and ancient samples are not the direct matrilineal descendants of whoever lived there before. Other places have shown remarkable continuity, e.g. descent of haplogroups A2ag and A2ah from 5000 years ago on the Northwest Coast.

    Read More
  13. @ohwilleke
    #1 The signal is so faint, my best guess is that it represents one to a handful of individuals who were late additions to the Founder population and were at the tip of the spear as it was in the migration from Beriginia to the Amazon, rather than a separate wave. If their tribe with a minority Andamese-like admixture was the true pioneer population en route to South American and beyond, it wouldn't have admixed and left traces in any intermediate areas, and once settled geographic barriers could have prevented the Andaman-like genes from seeping back into the subsequent populations.

    #3, yes, the Clovis are part of the founding population, although possibly a group that migrated to Eastern North American and then from there to the West.

    #5 and #6 - The Thule became the Inuit. They are the same people, not a people who were wiped out by the Inuit.

    There is a lack of clarity regarding the Dorset. Arguably, they are admixed Na-Dene and Founder Amer-Ind,, but that isn't entirely clear. They were replaced by the Thule.

    There are also pre-Columbian complications in Vinland, and with contacts between the West Coast of South America and Polynesians that left little or no discernible traces in South America but resulted in the kumara (a South American domesticate sweet potato) in Polynesia long before European explorers arrived. There are also one or two other instances of potential de minimus contact between the Americas and the rest of the world prior to Columbus.

    I did a summary at http://dispatchesfromturtleisland.blogspot.com/2014/10/more-evidence-of-pre-columbian-contact.html

    Andrew – on #3, I’d point out that Anzick-1 was D4h3a, which has a very coastal distribution. It’s likely that Clovis culture, or at least their ancestors, expanded a long the coastal route first, and Anzick-1 is an inland migrant from the coast.

    I think you’re off a fare amount on the relationship between the Dene, Dorset and Thule though.

    For one, the Dene seem to be the older group. There seems to be continuity in NW North America for around ~8,500 years, and I think the origin of the Dene is probably with the entry of microblade tools at that time. Keep in mind that Reich has the Dene as 90% Native American and 10% East Asian though – genetically at least they are very rooted in North America. That 90% is probably an over-estimate, but only so much.

    Read More
  14. I’d agree that my Dene, Dorset and Thule analysis might have errors (indeed, there are some discrepancies between my comment and the more accurately sourced material in my linked blog post). I’ll try again with better sourcing.

    The oldest site firmly linked to the Dene in Alaska is dated to about 1500 BCE. https://www.nps.gov/akso/akarc/cr_wrst.cfm (the general vicinity of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Southern Alaska) arguably they were present in the Southwestern Yukon in Canada as early as 2500 BCE.

    The following findings sourced from Maanasa Raghavan, et al., “The genetic prehistory of the New World Arctic”, Science 29 August 2014: Vol. 345 no. 6200 DOI: 10.1126/science.1255832. :
    1. The Saqqaq and Dorest Paleo-Eskimo populations were a single, closely genetically related migration wave, that arrived in Arctic North America around 3500 BCE and persisted until about 500 CE, despite the marked break in archaeological culture between the sequential populations. These Paleo-Eskimos had surprisingly little genetic admixture with either pre-existing Native American populations, or with the proto-Inuits who ultimately replaced them in the Arctic – consistent with Inuit legends describing a distinct arctic people who kept themselves separate from other peoples
    2. The 6th to 7th century CE Berginian Birnirk culture (in turn derived from Siberian populations) is the source of the proto-Inuit Thule people, who were the last substantial and sustained pre-Columbian peoples to migrate to the Americas.
    3. “Although we cannot preclude later gene flow between the Dorset and the Thule (that is, subsequent to the more ancient gene flow that occurred at least 4000 years ago), the contrasting genetic and cultural affinities of the Sadlermiut individuals present a conundrum. This culture that went extinct in 1903 CE from European disease has long been considered Thule-acculturated Dorset people, likely due to intermarriage; however, genetic evidence from this study suggests that they were Thule people who had somehow acquired Dorset stone technology.”
    4. The Na-Dene people (aka Athapaskans) do not have significant Paleo-Eskimo admixture.

    Some other conclusions based upon:
    [2] David Reich, et al., “Reconstructing Native American population history”, Nature 488, 370-374 (16 August 2012) doi: 10.1038/nature11258
    [3] Matthew C. Dulik, “Y-chromosome analysis reveals genetic divergence and new founding native lineages in Athapaskan- and Eskimoan- speaking populations”, PNAS (May 29, 2012) doi: 10.1073/pnas/1118760109
    and links in http://dispatchesfromturtleisland.blogspot.com/2014/09/putting-together-pieces-in-new-world.html
    * Genetic and linguistic evidence establish that the Na-Dene people are distinct not only from Paleo-Eskimos and the Inuit, but also from other Native Americans. While the Na-Dene are heavily admixed with pre-existing Native American populations, there are genetic indicators of a wave of Na-Dene migration long after the original peopling of the Americas by modern humans ca. 15,000-18,000 years ago. About 10% of Na-Dene ancestry is distinct from the initial founding population of the Americas.[2] The Na-Dene, like Inuits, have Y-DNA haplogroups that are specific to them and of more recent origin that the founding Y-DNA haplogroups of the Americas.[3]
    * Linguistic evidence establishes that the Na-Dene people’s expansion is North America originated in Western Alaska and moved east from there to the rest of Alaska, Western Canada, and the Pacific Northwest. The Na-Dene languages are related to the Yenesian languages of the Ket people of Siberia, a Paleo-Siberian population that was exiled from general vicinity of the Altai Mountain region of Southern Siberia to Siberia’s Yenesian River area around 0 CE, according to the oral histories of the Ket people. The strength of the linguistic connection is consistent with a divergence of the two language families from a common origin around 3500-4000 years ago, a similar time depth, for example, to the division between Latin and Gaelic in the Indo-European language family.
    * Substantial admixture with local populations by both the Ket people and that Na-Dene people, however, has obscured any common genetic linkages of these peoples, which would already have been difficult to detect using the crude 1993 genetic tests of the Ket people applied to a small sample that was used to make the comparison.
    * The Na-Dene people migrated in two parallel waves from different parts of Western Canada to the American Southwest around 1000 CE. Their descendants are the Apache and Navajo tribes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @CupOfCanada
    Read that Reich paper again.

    Genetic and linguistic evidence establish that the Na-Dene people are distinct not only from Paleo-Eskimos and the Inuit, but also from other Native Americans.
     
    But closely related to Algonquians, who show no signs of late Siberian or East Asian admixture. Again, Reich has the Dene has 90% Algonquian and 10% East Asian. The distinctiveness compared to other Native Americans isn't just because of East Asian/Siberian admixture - it's also from population structure within the Americas. The Algonquians are the same people identified by Reich and others as a possible second inland migration - both based on autosomal DNA, and based on rare mtDNA haplogroups like C4c and X2a. For example: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22024980

    About 10% of Na-Dene ancestry is distinct from the initial founding population of the Americas.[2] The Na-Dene, like Inuits, have Y-DNA haplogroups that are specific to them and of more recent origin that the founding Y-DNA haplogroups of the Americas.
     
    Note that the East Asian ancestry in Dene and Inuit has the same source. It's just 10% in Dene and 43% in Inuit. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3615710/figure/F2/

    Saqqaq did seem to come straight from Asia.

    Also random news but I now have a Dene cousin! :)
  15. @Robert Ford
    So...all of the First Nations/indigenous indignant tone is unwarranted since they weren't, technically, the first correct?

    An indignant tone is generally warranted from any population that suffered genocidal policies regardless of how long they were resident in a particular geographic location.

    I wonder how you feel about white indignance towards Mexican immigrants?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Robert Ford
    yes, that's exactly my point. pops have replaced other pops for all of human history and that's why you have to have immigration rules. should we turn over the land back to the buffalo that the "First People" wiped out?
    anyway, it's off topic so i'll just say that.
  16. @ohwilleke
    I'd agree that my Dene, Dorset and Thule analysis might have errors (indeed, there are some discrepancies between my comment and the more accurately sourced material in my linked blog post). I'll try again with better sourcing.

    The oldest site firmly linked to the Dene in Alaska is dated to about 1500 BCE. https://www.nps.gov/akso/akarc/cr_wrst.cfm (the general vicinity of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Southern Alaska) arguably they were present in the Southwestern Yukon in Canada as early as 2500 BCE.

    The following findings sourced from Maanasa Raghavan, et al., "The genetic prehistory of the New World Arctic", Science 29 August 2014: Vol. 345 no. 6200 DOI: 10.1126/science.1255832. :
    1. The Saqqaq and Dorest Paleo-Eskimo populations were a single, closely genetically related migration wave, that arrived in Arctic North America around 3500 BCE and persisted until about 500 CE, despite the marked break in archaeological culture between the sequential populations. These Paleo-Eskimos had surprisingly little genetic admixture with either pre-existing Native American populations, or with the proto-Inuits who ultimately replaced them in the Arctic - consistent with Inuit legends describing a distinct arctic people who kept themselves separate from other peoples
    2. The 6th to 7th century CE Berginian Birnirk culture (in turn derived from Siberian populations) is the source of the proto-Inuit Thule people, who were the last substantial and sustained pre-Columbian peoples to migrate to the Americas.
    3. "Although we cannot preclude later gene flow between the Dorset and the Thule (that is, subsequent to the more ancient gene flow that occurred at least 4000 years ago), the contrasting genetic and cultural affinities of the Sadlermiut individuals present a conundrum. This culture that went extinct in 1903 CE from European disease has long been considered Thule-acculturated Dorset people, likely due to intermarriage; however, genetic evidence from this study suggests that they were Thule people who had somehow acquired Dorset stone technology."
    4. The Na-Dene people (aka Athapaskans) do not have significant Paleo-Eskimo admixture.

    Some other conclusions based upon:
    [2] David Reich, et al., "Reconstructing Native American population history", Nature 488, 370-374 (16 August 2012) doi: 10.1038/nature11258
    [3] Matthew C. Dulik, "Y-chromosome analysis reveals genetic divergence and new founding native lineages in Athapaskan- and Eskimoan- speaking populations", PNAS (May 29, 2012) doi: 10.1073/pnas/1118760109
    and links in http://dispatchesfromturtleisland.blogspot.com/2014/09/putting-together-pieces-in-new-world.html
    * Genetic and linguistic evidence establish that the Na-Dene people are distinct not only from Paleo-Eskimos and the Inuit, but also from other Native Americans. While the Na-Dene are heavily admixed with pre-existing Native American populations, there are genetic indicators of a wave of Na-Dene migration long after the original peopling of the Americas by modern humans ca. 15,000-18,000 years ago. About 10% of Na-Dene ancestry is distinct from the initial founding population of the Americas.[2] The Na-Dene, like Inuits, have Y-DNA haplogroups that are specific to them and of more recent origin that the founding Y-DNA haplogroups of the Americas.[3]
    * Linguistic evidence establishes that the Na-Dene people's expansion is North America originated in Western Alaska and moved east from there to the rest of Alaska, Western Canada, and the Pacific Northwest. The Na-Dene languages are related to the Yenesian languages of the Ket people of Siberia, a Paleo-Siberian population that was exiled from general vicinity of the Altai Mountain region of Southern Siberia to Siberia's Yenesian River area around 0 CE, according to the oral histories of the Ket people. The strength of the linguistic connection is consistent with a divergence of the two language families from a common origin around 3500-4000 years ago, a similar time depth, for example, to the division between Latin and Gaelic in the Indo-European language family.
    * Substantial admixture with local populations by both the Ket people and that Na-Dene people, however, has obscured any common genetic linkages of these peoples, which would already have been difficult to detect using the crude 1993 genetic tests of the Ket people applied to a small sample that was used to make the comparison.
    * The Na-Dene people migrated in two parallel waves from different parts of Western Canada to the American Southwest around 1000 CE. Their descendants are the Apache and Navajo tribes.

    Read that Reich paper again.

    Genetic and linguistic evidence establish that the Na-Dene people are distinct not only from Paleo-Eskimos and the Inuit, but also from other Native Americans.

    But closely related to Algonquians, who show no signs of late Siberian or East Asian admixture. Again, Reich has the Dene has 90% Algonquian and 10% East Asian. The distinctiveness compared to other Native Americans isn’t just because of East Asian/Siberian admixture – it’s also from population structure within the Americas. The Algonquians are the same people identified by Reich and others as a possible second inland migration – both based on autosomal DNA, and based on rare mtDNA haplogroups like C4c and X2a. For example: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22024980

    About 10% of Na-Dene ancestry is distinct from the initial founding population of the Americas.[2] The Na-Dene, like Inuits, have Y-DNA haplogroups that are specific to them and of more recent origin that the founding Y-DNA haplogroups of the Americas.

    Note that the East Asian ancestry in Dene and Inuit has the same source. It’s just 10% in Dene and 43% in Inuit. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3615710/figure/F2/

    Saqqaq did seem to come straight from Asia.

    Also random news but I now have a Dene cousin! :)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rick
    "The Algonquians are the same people identified by Reich and others as a possible second inland migration – both based on autosomal DNA, and based on rare mtDNA haplogroups like C4c and X2a."

    Possibly, but probably not, related to X2a. Kennewick Man was X2a and over 8,000 years old. His genome showed that he was actually more closely related to South American than to North American Natives. But, of course, genetic testing of North American Natives is still quite limited.

  17. @Tobus
    @Robert Ford:

    An indignant tone is generally warranted from any population that suffered genocidal policies regardless of how long they were resident in a particular geographic location.

    I wonder how you feel about white indignance towards Mexican immigrants?

    yes, that’s exactly my point. pops have replaced other pops for all of human history and that’s why you have to have immigration rules. should we turn over the land back to the buffalo that the “First People” wiped out?
    anyway, it’s off topic so i’ll just say that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @CupOfCanada
    Just because something's natural doesn't make it right.
    , @Tobus
    @Robert Ford: should we turn over the land back to the buffalo that the “First People” wiped out

    European settlers wiped out the buffalo. You're probably thinking of megafauna, but they weren't human either so your point still wouldn't make sense... unless you're saying we should consider Native Americans as animals?
  18. By the way, Edward Vajda had a new paper on Dene-Yeniseic recently: https://www.academia.edu/20554985/Dene-Yeniseic_in_past_and_future_perspective

    I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but I’d call attention to these snippets:

    “Nor does a Dene-Yeniseic language connection concur with what has so far been discovered by population geneticists. Research on human DNA in North Asian and New World populations have so far yielded no evidence that Yeniseic groups and modern Na-Dene speakers share a specially close genetic affinity when compared to other peoples of these regions.”

    “The evidence presented by Ben Potter (this volume) on the temporal succession of prehistoric tool assemblages in Siberia and Alaska, however, reveals no clear evidence for new migrations into Alaska between 10,000 and 4,500 years ago.”

    “Also, placing the oldest accepted language families even farther back in time than commonly assumed would only further vex the most perplexing conundrum of all: how to reconcile the documented linguistic diversity of the Americas with a presumed first entry date younger than 15,000 years.”

    Read More
  19. So there was no contact across the Bering strait from the prehistoric crossing to Russian colonization? That’s always puzzled me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Megalophias
    Yes, there was contact. Eskimos live on both sides of the strait. Before that Palaeo-Eskimos crossed over. The recent modelling by Raghavan et al found ongoing low level gene flow between South America and Siberia till about 2000 years ago.
  20. @Marcus
    So there was no contact across the Bering strait from the prehistoric crossing to Russian colonization? That's always puzzled me.

    Yes, there was contact. Eskimos live on both sides of the strait. Before that Palaeo-Eskimos crossed over. The recent modelling by Raghavan et al found ongoing low level gene flow between South America and Siberia till about 2000 years ago.

    Read More
  21. @Megalophias
    Yes, there was contact. Eskimos live on both sides of the strait. Before that Palaeo-Eskimos crossed over. The recent modelling by Raghavan et al found ongoing low level gene flow between South America and Siberia till about 2000 years ago.

    I wonder why it stopped, an ice age?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Megalophias
    Dunno. Not ice age though, the opposite. The last glacial period ended about 12 000 years ago and since then it's been warm and melty. Beringia flooded and the steppe-tundra turned into forest and crappy regular tundra.
  22. @Robert Ford
    yes, that's exactly my point. pops have replaced other pops for all of human history and that's why you have to have immigration rules. should we turn over the land back to the buffalo that the "First People" wiped out?
    anyway, it's off topic so i'll just say that.

    Just because something’s natural doesn’t make it right.

    Read More
  23. @Robert Ford
    yes, that's exactly my point. pops have replaced other pops for all of human history and that's why you have to have immigration rules. should we turn over the land back to the buffalo that the "First People" wiped out?
    anyway, it's off topic so i'll just say that.

    : should we turn over the land back to the buffalo that the “First People” wiped out

    European settlers wiped out the buffalo. You’re probably thinking of megafauna, but they weren’t human either so your point still wouldn’t make sense… unless you’re saying we should consider Native Americans as animals?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Marcus
    They're more like fauna, Australia used to classify abos as fauna.
  24. @Marcus
    I wonder why it stopped, an ice age?

    Dunno. Not ice age though, the opposite. The last glacial period ended about 12 000 years ago and since then it’s been warm and melty. Beringia flooded and the steppe-tundra turned into forest and crappy regular tundra.

    Read More
  25. @Tobus
    @Robert Ford: should we turn over the land back to the buffalo that the “First People” wiped out

    European settlers wiped out the buffalo. You're probably thinking of megafauna, but they weren't human either so your point still wouldn't make sense... unless you're saying we should consider Native Americans as animals?

    They’re more like fauna, Australia used to classify abos as fauna.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tobus
    Australia was wrong, and have corrected their mistake... you should too.
  26. @CupOfCanada
    Read that Reich paper again.

    Genetic and linguistic evidence establish that the Na-Dene people are distinct not only from Paleo-Eskimos and the Inuit, but also from other Native Americans.
     
    But closely related to Algonquians, who show no signs of late Siberian or East Asian admixture. Again, Reich has the Dene has 90% Algonquian and 10% East Asian. The distinctiveness compared to other Native Americans isn't just because of East Asian/Siberian admixture - it's also from population structure within the Americas. The Algonquians are the same people identified by Reich and others as a possible second inland migration - both based on autosomal DNA, and based on rare mtDNA haplogroups like C4c and X2a. For example: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22024980

    About 10% of Na-Dene ancestry is distinct from the initial founding population of the Americas.[2] The Na-Dene, like Inuits, have Y-DNA haplogroups that are specific to them and of more recent origin that the founding Y-DNA haplogroups of the Americas.
     
    Note that the East Asian ancestry in Dene and Inuit has the same source. It's just 10% in Dene and 43% in Inuit. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3615710/figure/F2/

    Saqqaq did seem to come straight from Asia.

    Also random news but I now have a Dene cousin! :)

    “The Algonquians are the same people identified by Reich and others as a possible second inland migration – both based on autosomal DNA, and based on rare mtDNA haplogroups like C4c and X2a.”

    Possibly, but probably not, related to X2a. Kennewick Man was X2a and over 8,000 years old. His genome showed that he was actually more closely related to South American than to North American Natives. But, of course, genetic testing of North American Natives is still quite limited.

    Read More
    • Replies: @CupOfCanada
    Good point on Kennewick Man. Do you have a link on his affinity to South Americans? Was it to specific groups?

    Even if the X2a C4c link isn't perfect, the evidence for Algonquians and other first peoples of the northern half of North America receiving input from an additional migration event seems pretty solid.
    , @BB753
    What's stopping a Native American individual from taking a DNA test? Does he need permission from his tribe or the Bureau of Indian Affairs? It boggles the mind!
  27. @Marcus
    They're more like fauna, Australia used to classify abos as fauna.

    Australia was wrong, and have corrected their mistake… you should too.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Marcus
    Amerinds are a step above abos, but not a big one, especially considering most of their great warriors died fighting the colonists.
  28. @Rick
    "The Algonquians are the same people identified by Reich and others as a possible second inland migration – both based on autosomal DNA, and based on rare mtDNA haplogroups like C4c and X2a."

    Possibly, but probably not, related to X2a. Kennewick Man was X2a and over 8,000 years old. His genome showed that he was actually more closely related to South American than to North American Natives. But, of course, genetic testing of North American Natives is still quite limited.

    Good point on Kennewick Man. Do you have a link on his affinity to South Americans? Was it to specific groups?

    Even if the X2a C4c link isn’t perfect, the evidence for Algonquians and other first peoples of the northern half of North America receiving input from an additional migration event seems pretty solid.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rick
    Just search for "The ancestry and affiliations of Kennewick Man" Nature article. It is free.
  29. @Tobus
    Australia was wrong, and have corrected their mistake... you should too.

    Amerinds are a step above abos, but not a big one, especially considering most of their great warriors died fighting the colonists.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tobus
    Since we've already established that Aborigines are just as human as other Australians, that would make Amerinds a "step above" whiteys as well. In any case, definitely not fauna! ... glad we could sort that out :)
  30. @Marcus
    Amerinds are a step above abos, but not a big one, especially considering most of their great warriors died fighting the colonists.

    Since we’ve already established that Aborigines are just as human as other Australians, that would make Amerinds a “step above” whiteys as well. In any case, definitely not fauna! … glad we could sort that out :)

    Read More
  31. @Rick
    "The Algonquians are the same people identified by Reich and others as a possible second inland migration – both based on autosomal DNA, and based on rare mtDNA haplogroups like C4c and X2a."

    Possibly, but probably not, related to X2a. Kennewick Man was X2a and over 8,000 years old. His genome showed that he was actually more closely related to South American than to North American Natives. But, of course, genetic testing of North American Natives is still quite limited.

    What’s stopping a Native American individual from taking a DNA test? Does he need permission from his tribe or the Bureau of Indian Affairs? It boggles the mind!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rick
    This mostly applies only to "full blooded" Native Americans, but also those associated with a tribe.

    Many of them believe that the purpose of these kinds of tests (not just DNA tests) is to deny them of their rightful property, history, heritage, religion, and independent political and economic rights. It may seem crazy, but this was very recently completely true.

    It may seem even crazier, but this is still true on a lesser level. Many people who otherwise wouldn't care at all would be very interested if it turned out that there was an earlier population whose genetics were diluted out by the successful 16,000 year ago migration. Many would then equate the Native Americans to the Europeans, and say that they have no rights to anything.
  32. @CupOfCanada
    Good point on Kennewick Man. Do you have a link on his affinity to South Americans? Was it to specific groups?

    Even if the X2a C4c link isn't perfect, the evidence for Algonquians and other first peoples of the northern half of North America receiving input from an additional migration event seems pretty solid.

    Just search for “The ancestry and affiliations of Kennewick Man” Nature article. It is free.

    Read More
    • Replies: @CupOfCanada
    Thanks Rick. Can't believe I missed this one somehow.
  33. @BB753
    What's stopping a Native American individual from taking a DNA test? Does he need permission from his tribe or the Bureau of Indian Affairs? It boggles the mind!

    This mostly applies only to “full blooded” Native Americans, but also those associated with a tribe.

    Many of them believe that the purpose of these kinds of tests (not just DNA tests) is to deny them of their rightful property, history, heritage, religion, and independent political and economic rights. It may seem crazy, but this was very recently completely true.

    It may seem even crazier, but this is still true on a lesser level. Many people who otherwise wouldn’t care at all would be very interested if it turned out that there was an earlier population whose genetics were diluted out by the successful 16,000 year ago migration. Many would then equate the Native Americans to the Europeans, and say that they have no rights to anything.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux
    Might also note the role of tribal mythology. Many Amerinds like to believe that they are literally autochthonous. No Out of Africa. No migrations across the Bering Strait.Those are the White Man's myths Hence, they are not keen on scientific studies that argue otherwise.

    And White scientists tend to be much more respectful of Amerind beliefs than they are of, say, White Christians who believe in Adam and Eve. Cf, for example, how Spencer Wells responded to an Amerind's description of his tribe's origin myth in The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M43TYldfqzc


    To see how far some Amerinds are willing to go in terms of attacking "Eurocentric" science, cf Vine Deloria:

    Most recently he has taken on the scientists in Red Earth, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact. Imagine how Deloria's own people must have felt when this distinguished man returned to the Standing Rock Reservation to talk — no, to consult — with them about science. Deloria describes just such a scene in this book. He returns to the reservation and delivers a speech. In this speech he discusses a problem in paleontology that he is currently working on. Deloria believes that a certain sawtooth-backed "monster" in one of the Sioux tales is really a stegosaurus:

    'After my speech a couple of the traditional people approached me and said that the next time I came, if I had time, they would take me to see the spot where the people last saw this creature, implying that it was still possible to see the animal during the last century before the reservations were established. I gave their knowledge credence (p 243)."

    Deloria is telling us that he believes that these "traditional people" have helped him to prove that the scientists are wrong — that dinosaurs did not go extinct millions of years ago; a hundred years ago the Sioux saw the stegosaurus walking in the Badlands. He "gave their knowledge credence." Imagine how these "traditional people," these Standing Rock Sioux, must have felt to have Vine Deloria, a university professor and one of their own, talking with them seriously about paleontology — and giving credence to what they were able to tell him about the stegosaurus, what they were able to tell him out of the storehouse of their traditional knowledge.
     
    http://ncse.com/rncse/18/6/vine-deloria-jr-creationism-ethnic-pseudoscience
    , @BB753
    Out of the many full-blooded but culturally assimilated Indians, there should easily be some individuals willing to step forward and take an adn test? It's not like you need thousands of samples.
    I mean, it's not actually illegal to test Amerindians, is it?
  34. @Rick
    Just search for "The ancestry and affiliations of Kennewick Man" Nature article. It is free.

    Thanks Rick. Can’t believe I missed this one somehow.

    Read More
  35. Scottish Canadian Gavin McInnes said when he first met his Amerindian wife, he thought she was Asian.

    I wonder what percentage of Amerindians look Asian to Caucasian Western eyes?

    Read More
  36. @Rick
    This mostly applies only to "full blooded" Native Americans, but also those associated with a tribe.

    Many of them believe that the purpose of these kinds of tests (not just DNA tests) is to deny them of their rightful property, history, heritage, religion, and independent political and economic rights. It may seem crazy, but this was very recently completely true.

    It may seem even crazier, but this is still true on a lesser level. Many people who otherwise wouldn't care at all would be very interested if it turned out that there was an earlier population whose genetics were diluted out by the successful 16,000 year ago migration. Many would then equate the Native Americans to the Europeans, and say that they have no rights to anything.

    Might also note the role of tribal mythology. Many Amerinds like to believe that they are literally autochthonous. No Out of Africa. No migrations across the Bering Strait.Those are the White Man’s myths Hence, they are not keen on scientific studies that argue otherwise.

    And White scientists tend to be much more respectful of Amerind beliefs than they are of, say, White Christians who believe in Adam and Eve. Cf, for example, how Spencer Wells responded to an Amerind’s description of his tribe’s origin myth in The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey:

    To see how far some Amerinds are willing to go in terms of attacking “Eurocentric” science, cf Vine Deloria:

    Most recently he has taken on the scientists in Red Earth, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact. Imagine how Deloria’s own people must have felt when this distinguished man returned to the Standing Rock Reservation to talk — no, to consult — with them about science. Deloria describes just such a scene in this book. He returns to the reservation and delivers a speech. In this speech he discusses a problem in paleontology that he is currently working on. Deloria believes that a certain sawtooth-backed “monster” in one of the Sioux tales is really a stegosaurus:

    ‘After my speech a couple of the traditional people approached me and said that the next time I came, if I had time, they would take me to see the spot where the people last saw this creature, implying that it was still possible to see the animal during the last century before the reservations were established. I gave their knowledge credence (p 243).”

    Deloria is telling us that he believes that these “traditional people” have helped him to prove that the scientists are wrong — that dinosaurs did not go extinct millions of years ago; a hundred years ago the Sioux saw the stegosaurus walking in the Badlands. He “gave their knowledge credence.” Imagine how these “traditional people,” these Standing Rock Sioux, must have felt to have Vine Deloria, a university professor and one of their own, talking with them seriously about paleontology — and giving credence to what they were able to tell him about the stegosaurus, what they were able to tell him out of the storehouse of their traditional knowledge.

    http://ncse.com/rncse/18/6/vine-deloria-jr-creationism-ethnic-pseudoscience

    Read More
    • Replies: @ryanwc
    Sigh. We're speaking about a previous millennium, and coincidentally, that Vine Deloria book you're citing was written in a previous millennium.

    And he died more than a decade ago, as an old man at that.
  37. @Rick
    This mostly applies only to "full blooded" Native Americans, but also those associated with a tribe.

    Many of them believe that the purpose of these kinds of tests (not just DNA tests) is to deny them of their rightful property, history, heritage, religion, and independent political and economic rights. It may seem crazy, but this was very recently completely true.

    It may seem even crazier, but this is still true on a lesser level. Many people who otherwise wouldn't care at all would be very interested if it turned out that there was an earlier population whose genetics were diluted out by the successful 16,000 year ago migration. Many would then equate the Native Americans to the Europeans, and say that they have no rights to anything.

    Out of the many full-blooded but culturally assimilated Indians, there should easily be some individuals willing to step forward and take an adn test? It’s not like you need thousands of samples.
    I mean, it’s not actually illegal to test Amerindians, is it?

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux
    Some useful stats:

    There were 5.2 million American Indians in the county in 2010, compared to 4.1 million in 2000.

    Navajos may be interested to hear that, for the first time, their full-blooded population surpassed that of Cherokees - 286,000 versus 284,000. (When mixed-race people are counted, however, the Cherokees are still far and away the largest tribe, with 819,000 souls versus 332,000 Navajos.)

    Most of the 1.1 million increase in Native Americans - 645,000 - was attributable to mixed-race Natives. As a percentage of America's population, full-blooded Natives stayed the same at just under 1 percent.

    With 44 percent of Natives mixed with another race, American Indians claim the second-highest proportion of mixed-blood people in America (Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are the first).

    Most Natives (78 percent) live outside of their reservations, with full-blooded Indians more likely to live on their reservations than mixed-bloods.

    Diné;, however, were far more likely to live on their reservation, with only 44,398 Navajos (13 percent) living off the Navajo Nation.

    Navajos also had the largest percentage of full-bloods, 86.3 percent.
     
    http://navajotimes.com/news/2012/0112/012612census.php
    , @Rick
    Of course it's not illegal. I know many North American people with high Native American ancestry who have taken 23andme teats on their own. But they always have some European ancestry, and aren't really positive if their ancestors were of one tribe, or where they came from exactly. It isn't that useful scientifically. You would like cooperation from tribes, so that the results are meaningful.

    This is a very similar situation to Australia. They eventually got a genome from a museum specimen, but that created blowback from the Native community there. It has been very difficult to get many people willing to be tested.
    , @Megalophias
    Hundreds of US Native Americans belonging to dozens of groups have donated DNA samples for studies (or have paid for private testing). Just not as many as people curious about population genetics would like.
  38. @BB753
    Out of the many full-blooded but culturally assimilated Indians, there should easily be some individuals willing to step forward and take an adn test? It's not like you need thousands of samples.
    I mean, it's not actually illegal to test Amerindians, is it?

    Some useful stats:

    There were 5.2 million American Indians in the county in 2010, compared to 4.1 million in 2000.

    Navajos may be interested to hear that, for the first time, their full-blooded population surpassed that of Cherokees – 286,000 versus 284,000. (When mixed-race people are counted, however, the Cherokees are still far and away the largest tribe, with 819,000 souls versus 332,000 Navajos.)

    Most of the 1.1 million increase in Native Americans – 645,000 – was attributable to mixed-race Natives. As a percentage of America’s population, full-blooded Natives stayed the same at just under 1 percent.

    With 44 percent of Natives mixed with another race, American Indians claim the second-highest proportion of mixed-blood people in America (Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are the first).

    Most Natives (78 percent) live outside of their reservations, with full-blooded Indians more likely to live on their reservations than mixed-bloods.

    Diné;, however, were far more likely to live on their reservation, with only 44,398 Navajos (13 percent) living off the Navajo Nation.

    Navajos also had the largest percentage of full-bloods, 86.3 percent.

    http://navajotimes.com/news/2012/0112/012612census.php

    Read More
    • Replies: @Karl Zimmerman
    I've often wondered if there's something genetically distinct about the Navajo which resulted in higher resistance to Eurasian disease. While the Navajo had typically high mortality rates up through The Long Walk, beginning in the 1870s their population began to increase rapidly. In contrast, most North American tribes continued to see population declines until the mid 20th century, when the reservations got access to antibiotics, sanitation, and other modern medicine. Thus there are now roughly 300,000 pure-blooded Navajo, while most other surviving tribes are one to two orders of magnitude smaller (including notably the different Pueblo groups, which weren't much different in terms of population than the Navajo in the early 19th century).

    As a Na-Dene group, the Navajo probably have some admixture from later migrations, which could mean they have more immunodiversity than "garden-variety" Amerinds. That said, they were also culturally distinctive in their early adoption of sheep herding - perhaps the exposure to livestock played a major role in having lower mortality rates than other groups. Either way they are somewhat of a riddle - one which unfortunately doesn't look like it will be solved any time soon.
    , @Jefferson
    If you see the Chief of the Cherokee nation, he looks Whiter than the Italian Chris Christie.

    The Chief is only 1/32 Cherokee. His ancestry is overwhelmingly Nordic Northern European.

    Can you imagine if the NAACP in 2016 was led by someone with only 1/32 Sub Saharan African ancestry?
  39. @syonredux
    Some useful stats:

    There were 5.2 million American Indians in the county in 2010, compared to 4.1 million in 2000.

    Navajos may be interested to hear that, for the first time, their full-blooded population surpassed that of Cherokees - 286,000 versus 284,000. (When mixed-race people are counted, however, the Cherokees are still far and away the largest tribe, with 819,000 souls versus 332,000 Navajos.)

    Most of the 1.1 million increase in Native Americans - 645,000 - was attributable to mixed-race Natives. As a percentage of America's population, full-blooded Natives stayed the same at just under 1 percent.

    With 44 percent of Natives mixed with another race, American Indians claim the second-highest proportion of mixed-blood people in America (Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are the first).

    Most Natives (78 percent) live outside of their reservations, with full-blooded Indians more likely to live on their reservations than mixed-bloods.

    Diné;, however, were far more likely to live on their reservation, with only 44,398 Navajos (13 percent) living off the Navajo Nation.

    Navajos also had the largest percentage of full-bloods, 86.3 percent.
     
    http://navajotimes.com/news/2012/0112/012612census.php

    I’ve often wondered if there’s something genetically distinct about the Navajo which resulted in higher resistance to Eurasian disease. While the Navajo had typically high mortality rates up through The Long Walk, beginning in the 1870s their population began to increase rapidly. In contrast, most North American tribes continued to see population declines until the mid 20th century, when the reservations got access to antibiotics, sanitation, and other modern medicine. Thus there are now roughly 300,000 pure-blooded Navajo, while most other surviving tribes are one to two orders of magnitude smaller (including notably the different Pueblo groups, which weren’t much different in terms of population than the Navajo in the early 19th century).

    As a Na-Dene group, the Navajo probably have some admixture from later migrations, which could mean they have more immunodiversity than “garden-variety” Amerinds. That said, they were also culturally distinctive in their early adoption of sheep herding – perhaps the exposure to livestock played a major role in having lower mortality rates than other groups. Either way they are somewhat of a riddle – one which unfortunately doesn’t look like it will be solved any time soon.

    Read More
  40. @BB753
    Out of the many full-blooded but culturally assimilated Indians, there should easily be some individuals willing to step forward and take an adn test? It's not like you need thousands of samples.
    I mean, it's not actually illegal to test Amerindians, is it?

    Of course it’s not illegal. I know many North American people with high Native American ancestry who have taken 23andme teats on their own. But they always have some European ancestry, and aren’t really positive if their ancestors were of one tribe, or where they came from exactly. It isn’t that useful scientifically. You would like cooperation from tribes, so that the results are meaningful.

    This is a very similar situation to Australia. They eventually got a genome from a museum specimen, but that created blowback from the Native community there. It has been very difficult to get many people willing to be tested.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jefferson
    "Of course it’s not illegal. I know many North American people with high Native American ancestry who have taken 23andme teats on their own."

    What is your definition of high Native American ancestry? At least 0.1%? 1%?
  41. @syonredux
    Some useful stats:

    There were 5.2 million American Indians in the county in 2010, compared to 4.1 million in 2000.

    Navajos may be interested to hear that, for the first time, their full-blooded population surpassed that of Cherokees - 286,000 versus 284,000. (When mixed-race people are counted, however, the Cherokees are still far and away the largest tribe, with 819,000 souls versus 332,000 Navajos.)

    Most of the 1.1 million increase in Native Americans - 645,000 - was attributable to mixed-race Natives. As a percentage of America's population, full-blooded Natives stayed the same at just under 1 percent.

    With 44 percent of Natives mixed with another race, American Indians claim the second-highest proportion of mixed-blood people in America (Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are the first).

    Most Natives (78 percent) live outside of their reservations, with full-blooded Indians more likely to live on their reservations than mixed-bloods.

    Diné;, however, were far more likely to live on their reservation, with only 44,398 Navajos (13 percent) living off the Navajo Nation.

    Navajos also had the largest percentage of full-bloods, 86.3 percent.
     
    http://navajotimes.com/news/2012/0112/012612census.php

    If you see the Chief of the Cherokee nation, he looks Whiter than the Italian Chris Christie.

    The Chief is only 1/32 Cherokee. His ancestry is overwhelmingly Nordic Northern European.

    Can you imagine if the NAACP in 2016 was led by someone with only 1/32 Sub Saharan African ancestry?

    Read More
    • Replies: @CupOfCanada
    There's a Chief of a First Nation in Canada who is 100% European. He was adopted by a First Nations family. It's hardly unreasonable to consider someone who grew up living and breathing a given culture a full member of that culture. Some folks take the fact that ethnicity is a social construct seriously.

    Worth noting that First Nations are not homogeneous in this view of course. Some groups like some of the Mohawk take the opposite view.
  42. @BB753
    Out of the many full-blooded but culturally assimilated Indians, there should easily be some individuals willing to step forward and take an adn test? It's not like you need thousands of samples.
    I mean, it's not actually illegal to test Amerindians, is it?

    Hundreds of US Native Americans belonging to dozens of groups have donated DNA samples for studies (or have paid for private testing). Just not as many as people curious about population genetics would like.

    Read More
    • Replies: @BB753
    Plenty of gaps left, I suppose, due not enough samples. Too bad.
  43. @Rick
    Of course it's not illegal. I know many North American people with high Native American ancestry who have taken 23andme teats on their own. But they always have some European ancestry, and aren't really positive if their ancestors were of one tribe, or where they came from exactly. It isn't that useful scientifically. You would like cooperation from tribes, so that the results are meaningful.

    This is a very similar situation to Australia. They eventually got a genome from a museum specimen, but that created blowback from the Native community there. It has been very difficult to get many people willing to be tested.

    “Of course it’s not illegal. I know many North American people with high Native American ancestry who have taken 23andme teats on their own.”

    What is your definition of high Native American ancestry? At least 0.1%? 1%?

    Read More
  44. Numerous contemporary persons have kayaked from Alaska down to Seattle, some in replicas of skin boats known to have been used by Inuits. The waters are protected for the most part and fish, shellfish, crab and game would have been abundant. Unless people wandered five hundred miles inward before turning south, the landward way south would have been and is to this day impassable, being punctured by numerous fiords and perpendicular mountain ranges.

    From Seattle, the way east is relatively easy, opening out to the dry high plains of eastern Washington from which one can proceed south or east with relative ease. Probably many continued south along the Oregon and California coast in their skin badarkas (freight haulers 50′ long, 8′ beam that could hold numerous families) and kayaks.

    Remember the game in North America would have been abundant and easy prey, not having seen humans before. This would account for the large population spurt.

    Read More
  45. @Jefferson
    "Of course it’s not illegal. I know many North American people with high Native American ancestry who have taken 23andme teats on their own."

    What is your definition of high Native American ancestry? At least 0.1%? 1%?

    15-25% Mostly from New Mexico.

    Read More
  46. @Megalophias
    Hundreds of US Native Americans belonging to dozens of groups have donated DNA samples for studies (or have paid for private testing). Just not as many as people curious about population genetics would like.

    Plenty of gaps left, I suppose, due not enough samples. Too bad.

    Read More
  47. @syonredux
    Might also note the role of tribal mythology. Many Amerinds like to believe that they are literally autochthonous. No Out of Africa. No migrations across the Bering Strait.Those are the White Man's myths Hence, they are not keen on scientific studies that argue otherwise.

    And White scientists tend to be much more respectful of Amerind beliefs than they are of, say, White Christians who believe in Adam and Eve. Cf, for example, how Spencer Wells responded to an Amerind's description of his tribe's origin myth in The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M43TYldfqzc


    To see how far some Amerinds are willing to go in terms of attacking "Eurocentric" science, cf Vine Deloria:

    Most recently he has taken on the scientists in Red Earth, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact. Imagine how Deloria's own people must have felt when this distinguished man returned to the Standing Rock Reservation to talk — no, to consult — with them about science. Deloria describes just such a scene in this book. He returns to the reservation and delivers a speech. In this speech he discusses a problem in paleontology that he is currently working on. Deloria believes that a certain sawtooth-backed "monster" in one of the Sioux tales is really a stegosaurus:

    'After my speech a couple of the traditional people approached me and said that the next time I came, if I had time, they would take me to see the spot where the people last saw this creature, implying that it was still possible to see the animal during the last century before the reservations were established. I gave their knowledge credence (p 243)."

    Deloria is telling us that he believes that these "traditional people" have helped him to prove that the scientists are wrong — that dinosaurs did not go extinct millions of years ago; a hundred years ago the Sioux saw the stegosaurus walking in the Badlands. He "gave their knowledge credence." Imagine how these "traditional people," these Standing Rock Sioux, must have felt to have Vine Deloria, a university professor and one of their own, talking with them seriously about paleontology — and giving credence to what they were able to tell him about the stegosaurus, what they were able to tell him out of the storehouse of their traditional knowledge.
     
    http://ncse.com/rncse/18/6/vine-deloria-jr-creationism-ethnic-pseudoscience

    Sigh. We’re speaking about a previous millennium, and coincidentally, that Vine Deloria book you’re citing was written in a previous millennium.

    And he died more than a decade ago, as an old man at that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Sigh. We’re speaking about a previous millennium, and coincidentally, that Vine Deloria book you’re citing was written in a previous millennium.

    And he died more than a decade ago, as an old man at that.
     
    The flesh dies but the spirit persists.

    I had to read Deloria's incredibly tedious God is Red: A Native View of Religion in graduate school in 2009.

    And Amerind* academics that I've met take him very, very seriously.


    *part-Amerind. Most of them are well under 50% in terms of ancestry
  48. @ryanwc
    Sigh. We're speaking about a previous millennium, and coincidentally, that Vine Deloria book you're citing was written in a previous millennium.

    And he died more than a decade ago, as an old man at that.

    Sigh. We’re speaking about a previous millennium, and coincidentally, that Vine Deloria book you’re citing was written in a previous millennium.

    And he died more than a decade ago, as an old man at that.

    The flesh dies but the spirit persists.

    I had to read Deloria’s incredibly tedious God is Red: A Native View of Religion in graduate school in 2009.

    And Amerind* academics that I’ve met take him very, very seriously.

    *part-Amerind. Most of them are well under 50% in terms of ancestry

    Read More
  49. @Jefferson
    If you see the Chief of the Cherokee nation, he looks Whiter than the Italian Chris Christie.

    The Chief is only 1/32 Cherokee. His ancestry is overwhelmingly Nordic Northern European.

    Can you imagine if the NAACP in 2016 was led by someone with only 1/32 Sub Saharan African ancestry?

    There’s a Chief of a First Nation in Canada who is 100% European. He was adopted by a First Nations family. It’s hardly unreasonable to consider someone who grew up living and breathing a given culture a full member of that culture. Some folks take the fact that ethnicity is a social construct seriously.

    Worth noting that First Nations are not homogeneous in this view of course. Some groups like some of the Mohawk take the opposite view.

    Read More

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