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Genomic insights into the early peopling of the Caribbean

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Science  04 Jun 2020:
eaba8697
DOI: 10.1126/science.aba8697

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Abstract

The Caribbean was one of the last regions of the Americas to be settled by humans, but how, when, and from where they reached the islands remains unclear. We generated genome-wide data for 93 ancient Caribbean islanders dating between 3200-400 cal. BP and find evidence of at least three separate dispersals into the region, including two early dispersals into the Western Caribbean, one of which seems connected to radiation events in North America. This was followed by a later expansion from South America. We also detect genetic differences between the early settlers and the newcomers from South America with almost no evidence of admixture. Our results add to our understanding of the initial peopling of the Caribbean and the movements of Archaic Age peoples in the Americas.

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