Wednesday, September 27

A study shows that Native Americans may have had roots in southern China.

In an absolute sense, the world is quite small.

Recent research that was published in the journal Current Biology makes the hypothesis that the ancestors of Native Americans originated in Southern China.

According to a news release, researchers have determined that ancient human fossils found in China dating back 14,000 years and belonging to an extinct maternal branch may be connected to Native Americans.

On the international geologic timescale, the Late Pleistocene is an age that is not officially recognized. The fossil is at least as old as this age.

In order to do an analysis of the fossil records, the researchers compared the genomes of the fossils to the genomes of humans from all around the world. The findings indicated that the skeleton belonged to a person who had ties to a Native American family that originated in East Asia.

The findings, when paired with data from earlier research, illustrate how individuals from southern Asia ended up being connected to indigenous people in the Americas. It would appear that individuals from southern Asia traveled practically the entirety of the earth before arriving in the “New World” by way of China, Japan, Siberia, and the Bering Strait.

According to Su, “the Ancient DNA method is an extremely strong instrument.” “It informs us rather firmly that the Red Deer Cave people were modern humans instead of an archaic species, such as Neanderthals or Denisovans, despite their remarkable morphological features,” he says. “Despite their unusual morphological features, the Red Deer Cave people were modern humans.”

Province of Yunnan is where we are going to begin.
In China’s Yunnan Province, a cave known as Red Deer Cave was the destination of an archaeological expedition thirty years ago. Inside of this cave, the researchers discovered fossils of bones. A hominin skull cap that resembled both modern people and ancient humans was found among the fossils. Although similar to that of contemporary humans, the brain was significantly smaller in size compared to that of Neanderthals. Because of this, the anthropologists were led to believe that the person in question was a member of an ancient human species or of a hybrid human community that included both ancient and contemporary humans.

It was obvious that there was a method to learn more about this enigmatic hybridization of human species. In 2018, Xueping Ji, an archaeologist working for the Yunnan Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Bing Su, a researcher working for the Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and his colleagues were successful in extracting DNA from the ancient skull. The individual’s genome was sequenced, and the results showed that they belonged to a species of contemporary humans that is no longer alive. However, their descendants can still be found in East Asia, the Indo-China peninsula, and the Southeast Asian islands.

The researchers intend to sequence further ancient human DNA discovered in South East Asia, particularly that of individuals who lived before the time of the Red Deer Cave people, so that they can expand the scope of their work.

According to Su, “such data will not only help us paint a more complete picture of how our ancestors migrated, but it will also contain important information about how humans change their physical appearance by adapting to local environments over time, such as the variations in skin color in response to changes in sunlight exposure.”

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