Native Americans and Northern Europeans are closely related

3 Dec 2012

This story pops up at www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121130151606.htm ... and at http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2012/11/native-americans-and-... (and various other sites). To a certain extent this amounts to a recycling of old news as it has been recognised that one strand of Palaeolithic people entered Europe from the NE direction (see for example Clive Finlayson, The Humans that went Extinct, Oxford University Press: 2009). Even early genetic research tended to suggest there was a mixing of humans somewhere in central Asia and this appears to be what is indicated here. It all happened many thousands of years ago but the Late Glacial Maximum probably had some kind of effect, humans in Europe moving further south and eastwards, to Iberia, North Africa, and the Caucasus. However, this group appear to have an origin somewhere near the Altai Mountains - or possibly further north, around Lake Baikal. They passed on their genes to people that fanned out both east and westwards, northern Europeans and Native Americans. The findings are published in the journal Genetics (november 2012) but the key appears to be the last Ice Age. In other words, research into our genes does not only impact on medical science but it can help plot human movements around the globe.