The discovery of an infant girl's remains in Alaska may completely alter our understanding of the first settlers in North America.
Scientists have discovered the remains of an infant girl that may completely change how we understand the migration of the first humans to North America. The findings, detailed in a study in the journal Nature, suggests that the widely held theory that there was a single migration to America around 20,000 years ago may be completely wrong.
The infant girl was discovered back in 2013 in Alaska, and scientists learned that something was different about her when they examined her DNA. Her genetics indicated she was from a totally different tribe of settlers that reached North America who likely came from the Beringia land bridge connecting North America and Siberia.
It’s an indication that two groups migration from Siberia into North America, and not one. Native Americans therefore come from two entirely different groups of people and not one based on these findings, and the one the infant girl belonged to probably stayed north and didn’t follow the other group south until thousands of years later.
“To [scientists] surprise, they found that although the child had lived around 11,500 years ago, long after people first arrived in the region, her genetic information did not match either of the two recognised branches of early Native Americans, which are referred to as Northern and Southern,” reads the statement from St. John’s College. “Instead, she appeared to have belonged to an entirely distinct Native American population, which they called Ancient Beringians.”