Infant's DNA Pinpoints Origins of First Americans
The Clovis people descended from Asians, not Europeans
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2014 7:00 AM CST
The site, marked by a pole at center left, where the remains of a boy from the only known burial site of the Clovis culture was found in western Montana.   (AP Photo/Mike Waters)

(Newser) – The DNA from a single infant is shining a light on the true origins of the first Americans. The headline-generating research relies on the DNA of a child buried roughly 12,600 years ago, and establishes that the first North Americans were born to humans who came to the New World from Asia. The origins of the Clovis people, who fashioned distinctive stone tools, had been contested, with some believing they were descendants of southwestern Europeans. "This shows very clearly that the ancestry of the very first Americans can be traced back to Asia," says Michael Waters, a co-author of the study, which also indicates that the Clovis people are direct ancestors of today's Native Americans.

The Clovis skeleton was uncovered in 1968 in the Anzick burial site in western Montana and belongs to a boy between 12 and 18 months; it's "the only known Clovis burial," Waters tells LiveScience. National Geographic reports that the process of collecting the DNA was no simple feat: Bone shavings from the skull were used to reconstruct the genome, but no more than 2% of the collected DNA was human. "The rest of it came from bacteria that invaded the skeleton after death," explains another researcher. The eventual genome was similar to those of ancient Siberian people and East Asians' ancestors, which seems "to fit quite nicely with an early occupation of the Americas about 2,000 years before the onset of Clovis," says Waters. But there were also similarities between it and that of 52 Native American populations from Canada and South America. One challenge in establishing whether Native Americans from the US are direct descendants of the Clovis: They've been hesitant to share their DNA, and that of their ancestors, with scientists. LiveScience notes that the child's remains will be reburied.

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Apr 12, 2015 3:34 AM CDT
Science will debunk any mystical or religious or spiritual connection of our beloved "Native Americans" to this land. As we see, it's just a question of timing, and anything declaring itself "native" is just part of the continuum of history and migration, nothing more. Maybe this will finally start to dismantle and expose the real reason our Native Americans are so jealously trying to conceal their true DNA origins. It might erode their claims to Federal welfare and other handouts and carveouts for which they are not deserving.
Feb 16, 2014 12:47 AM CST
John3:16, aszsteve53 I bid you adieu. My replies are disappearing so I don't know if Disqus is messing up or a moderator is deleting them so I lost track of our debate. Plus it's after 1 am here. Steve if you are from Arizona I grew up there. Sedona and Slide Rock are two of my favorite places although Sedona has become a land of the rich and a tourist trap since I lived there. Watch out for the Hantavirus I believe the first discovery was in AZ.
William Liddle
Feb 15, 2014 7:32 AM CST
Hmmm.....just earlier immigrants and not native to the land. I guess the shortcut paid dividends.