Research Article

Early human dispersals within the Americas

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Science  07 Dec 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6419, eaav2621
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav2621

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Complex processes in the settling of the Americas

The expansion into the Americas by the ancestors of present day Native Americans has been difficult to tease apart from analyses of present day populations. To understand how humans diverged and spread across North and South America, Moreno-Mayar et al. sequenced 15 ancient human genomes from Alaska to Patagonia. Analysis of the oldest genomes suggests that there was an early split within Beringian populations, giving rise to the Northern and Southern lineages. Because population history cannot be explained by simple models or patterns of dispersal, it seems that people moved out of Beringia and across the continents in a complex manner.

Science, this issue p. eaav2621