Connecticut: Archaeologists discover Native American site
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Native Americans are widely believed to have originally come from Japan around 15,000 years ago. The theory, based mainly on archaeological evidence found at Native American sites, includes stone tools and other artefacts used by the First Peoples. They show distinct similarities to those of the Jomon people, a group who first lived in Japan from around 14,000-300 BC.
Analysis of their migration across the continent further added to the theory, with suggestions that Native Americans crossed the Bering Land Bridge until they reached the northwest coast of North America.
However, the Bering Land Bridge, was not a bridge as we know it.
The world was a very different place 15,000 years ago, with much more water locked up in icy glaciers.
Many places where people once lived, worked and travelled are now under water.
Analysis of ancient teeth could rewrite Native American history. (Image: GOOGLE/PaleoAmerica)
The tools of the Jomon people (B,D,E,I,J & K) seemed to match Native American (A,C,F,G & H) (Image: PaleoAmerica)
The Bering Land Bridge was a swathe of dry land, about as big as Australia , between eastern Siberia and western Alaska — making Asia and North America one continuous expanse of land.
It stretched 994 miles from north to south and 2,982 miles from east to west.
The new findings, published in the journal PaleoAmerica, have not ruled out Native Americans still making this journey across the 'Bridge'.
However, the analysis suggests the First Peoples did not descend from Japan.
Tooth analysis debunked the original theory. (Image: Richard Scott / University of Renada, Reno)
Professor Richard Scott, from the University of Nevada-Reno, and his team of researchers analysed genetic and skeletal evidence. They concluded that the similarity in tools was likely coincidental, as the evidence "does not match up".
The paper, which is set to r ewrite Native American history books, analysed teeth from the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, including the Jomon people.
Professor Scott said: "We found that the human biology simply doesn't match up with the archaeological theory.
"We do not dispute the idea that ancient Native Americans arrived via the Northwest Pacific coast — only the theory that they originated with the Jōmon people in Japan.
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Genetic analysis suggested little link between the Jomon (IK002) and Native Americans (Image: PaleoAmerica)
"These people, who lived in Japan 15,000 years ago, are an unlikely source for Indigenous Americans. Neither the skeletal biology nor the genetics indicate a connection between Japan and the America."
Professor Scott and his world-leading team theorised the most likely source of the First Peoples "appears to be from Siberia".
Only seven percent of the Jomon teeth samples could be linked to the First Peoples. Genetic analysis reports a similar pattern.
Co-author Professor Dennis O'Rourke said: "This is particularly clear in the distribution of maternal and paternal lineages, which do not overlap between the early Jōmon and American populations.
Footprints made over 21,000 years ago. (Image: National Park Service, USGS, and Bournemouth University)
"Plus, recent studies of ancient DNA from Asia reveal that the two peoples split from a common ancestor at a much earlier time."
Professor O'Rourke has concluded the Jomon population represents "one of the least likely sources for native American peoples of any of the non-African populations".
The team noted caution should be applied as the only available teeth and DNA samples for the Jomon people are less than 10,000 years old, which does not precede the arrival of the First Peoples in America.
They did, however, add: "We assume that they are valid proxies for the Incipient Jomon population or the people who made stemmed points in Japan 16,000-15,000 years ago."
Footprints recently discovered at an ancient lakebed have further added to the view that the Native Americans did not originate from Japan. Dating back to between 23,000 and 21,000 years ago, the footprints were discovered in what is now White Sands National Park in New Mexico.
Dr Sally Reynolds co-authored the team that confirmed the footprints were made by humans. She told IFLScience that the findings confirm the earliest migrations would have crossed the Bering Land Bridge.
The discovery sheds new light on when humans first arrived on the continent. Dr Reynolds said: "This means that humans migrated into the Americas much earlier, but still via the same route."
It is yet to be confirmed whether the footprints are definitely linked to Native Americans, it should be noted.
The full findings from Professor Scott's team were published in the journal PaleoAmerica .
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Archaeology discovery to rewrite Native American history books: 'Does not match!' have 1266 words, post on www.express.co.uk at October 15, 2021. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.