11 Feb 2010

Science News at has a story that pops up on other sites and blogs such as about people migrating from NE Asia to North America at various times during the Holocene. The story is about an intrusion that passed all the way across Alaska and northern Canada and ended in Greenland. A nearly complete genome sequence was extracted from the hair of a man found buried in permafrost conditions around 4000 years ago - and his origins (or those of his forebears) were in Siberia as recently as 3500BC. This means the migration spread was completed in a thousand years - although it is not clear in how many stages it took place, or what dates might be attached to those stages. The article can be found in Nature, Feb 11th, and apparently the remains are closely related to the Koryaks and Chukchi peoples. Archaeologically, he belongs to the Saqqaq culture and they lived in Greenland between from the third millennium BC and the first. What is interesting from a catastrophic point of view, as large scale human population movements can be seen to have a connection with major upheavals such as low growth tree ring events, such as 3200 and 2300BC (in this context) as  no land bridge is thought to have existed between NE Asia and Alaska. However, see Paul Dunbavin's two books available from the SIS Book Service which tentatively suggest a change in the geoid accompanied the 3200BC event.