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People genetically linked to the Clovis culture, one of the earliest continentwide cultures in North America, made it down to South America as far back as 11,000 years ago. Then they mysteriously vanished around 9,000 years ago, new research reveals.
Where did they go? It appears that another ancient group of people replaced them, but it's unclear how or why this happened, the researchers said.
Cockroaches - Moves - Wasps
Cockroaches use defensive moves against "zombifying" parasitic wasps.
Previous research suggests that the first Americans diverged genetically from their Siberian and East Asian ancestors almost 25,000 years ago. These people traveled across the Bering Strait Land Bridge and eventually split into distinct North and South American populations. By about 13,000 years ago, people of the Clovis culture, known for its use of distinctive, pointy stone tools, swept across North America. Meanwhile, people were living as far south as Monte Verde, Chile by least 14,500 years ago, according to archaeological findings there.
Members - Clovis - Culture - Populations
But little was known about how members of the Clovis culture were linked to other populations farther south.
A 2014 excavation at the rock shelter site of Lapa do Santo, Brazil, where an individual dating to about 9,600 years ago was found.
Mysteries - Americans - Researchers - Peoples - Government
To unravel the genetic mysteries of the these ancient Americans, the researchers reached out to indigenous peoples and government agencies all over Central and South America, asking for permission to study the remains of ancient peoples that have been discovered over the years.
In all, the international team of scientists was given permission to do genomewide analyses on 49 ancient people whose remains were unearthed in the following Central and South American countries: Belize, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Argentina. The oldest of these people lived about 11,000 years ago, marking this as a study that takes a big step forward from previous research, which only included genetic data from...
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