Ancient DNA: The History of South and Central America


The remains of 49 people were found, and they’ve been analyzed. The results came in, and it turned out that they were the very last three major immigration waves that came from North to South America. This showed that it was not just one, as they thought before.

All the digging that happened before showed that there was only one immigrant who came to South America – that about 11.000 years ago. The DNA tests in Cell that took place on the 8th of November showed that the second group of immigrants came to replace the first group of immigrants 9.000 years ago. Then, the third group of immigrants came to South America, 4.800 years after that.

There was an international team of geneticists, people from Harvard Medical School and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History from Germany, who took a look at the genomes of the remains of 49 people, that were found in Brazil, Central Andes (this means Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia), Belize, and the Southern Cone of South America (this means Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and some other parts of Brazil). 49 people, from which 41 dated from 1000 years back.

There were three different flows of genes out there

This work showed three different flows of genets in South America. They also found out that, about 9000 years ago, the genes of the first wave of immigrants disappeared almost totally. Which means that the second wave of immigrants replaced almost the entire first wave. However, the scientists are not quite sure how that has happened.

Another study took place, with 15 varying human genomes, which were found in America. They came from modern-day Alaska to Patagonia. Six of them were actually dated from 10,000 years back. The study showed the movement of the population of the continent. Some of those remains that were seen in Brazil had a native Australasian genetic biomarker. They came to the conclusion that ancient Brazilians and Australasians connection happened because of the immigrants traveling by land.


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