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New link found between first humans in America and Native Americans

Uppsala University researchers have been able to uncover the origins of today’s Native Americans with the help of DNA from a 12,600 year-old burial site in Montana.

According to the international study, published in Nature, current Native Americans are directly linked to the so-called Clovis people and through them, also the first humans who settled in America. The study has been led by the University of Copenhagen. Furthermore, the study is based on genetic data from the skeleton of a young boy that was found at a burial site named Anzick in Wilsall, Montana. The boy belonged to the Clovis people who lived in America 12,600 years ago.

“The genome of this 12,600 year old individual clearly anchors Native Americans to the people that have been associated with the ancient Clovis culture”, says Professor Mattias Jakobsson, at Uppsala University’s Department of Ecology and Genetics, one of the researchers behind the study, in a press release. “The genetic data shows that Native American ancestors were likely the first people to colonize the American continents”, says Professor Mattias Jakobsson.

Photo: The view from the hill below which the remains of the Anzick child were discovered. Photo Zarah Anzick