Herodotus Returns

Ancient Greenlander DNA sequenced
February 15, 2010, 9:59 am
Filed under: DNA | Tags: ,

Scientists have conducted DNA sequencing on four hairs from a Greenlander who died about 4,000 years ago. He lived among the Saqqaq, the first people who existed in southern Greenland, from about 2500 to 800 BC. Surprisingly, the man appears to have not been related to modern Greenlanders, rather to have migrated there from Siberia. It appears this type of genomic survey will become increasingly prevalent in the field of archaeology. Last month, scientists performed a similar study on a 30,000-year-old hunter-gatherer skeleton.

“This provides evidence for a migration from Siberia into the New World some 5,500 years ago, independent of that giving rise to the modern Native Americans and Inuit,” the researchers wrote in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature.

Not only can the findings help transform the study of archeology, but they can help answer questions about the origins of modern populations and disease, they said.

“Such studies have the potential to reconstruct not only our genetic and geographical origins, but also what our ancestors looked like,” David Lambert and Leon Huynen of Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, wrote in a commentary.

Check out the rest of the report here.


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