Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Clovis: The Latest Ancient Genome
This week's Nature features a report on the sequencing of the genome of a ~11,000-year-old human child buried at the Clovis site of Anzick in Montana. Comparison of the genome to those of representatives of contemporary human groups demonstrates that the child is most closely related to Native American groups currently located in Central and South America than those of Canada and the Arctic, suggesting that the split between northerly and southernly indigenous American populations predates Clovis. Further analysis supports a model in which the Clovis child belonged to a population directly ancestral to modern-day Central and South American indigenous group. These findings also strongly support the hypotheses that the Clovis people arrived in the Americans via an Asian migration, not a European migration.