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Whites Were In North Dakota & North America Tens of Thousands of Years Before Lakota or Chippewa





Americas' natives have European roots - DNA shows admixture of European and Siberian genes


First Americans DNA shows admixture of European and Siberian genes says study
The oldest known genome of a modern human solves long-standing puzzles about the New World's genetic heritage.The 24,000-year-old remains of a young boy from the Siberian village of Mal'ta have added a new root to the family tree of indigenous Americans. While some of the New World's native ancestry clearly traces back to east Asia, the Mal'ta boy's genome — the oldest known of any modern human — shows that up to one-third of that ancestry can be traced back to Europe.

Results from a DNA study of a young boy's skeletal remains believed to be 24,000 years old could turn the archaeological world upside down. It has been proven that nearly 30 percent of modern Native-Americans' ancestry came from this youngster's gene pool
The results show that people related to western Europe had spread further east than anyone had suspected, and lived in Siberia during the coldest parts of the last Ice Age.

"At some point in the past, a branch of east Asians and a branch of western Eurasians met each other and had sex a lot," says palaeogeneticist Eske Willerslev at the University of Copenhagen, who led the sequencing of the boy's genome. This mixing, he says, created Native Americans — in the sense of the populations of both North and South America that predated — as we know them. His team's results are published today in Nature1.

In 2009, Willerslev's team travelled to Hermitage State Museum in St. Petersburg, where it had arranged to collect a DNA sample from one of the Mal'ta boy's arm bones. "We hoped that he could tell us something about the early peopling of the Americas, but it was a complete long shot," he says.

The team found that DNA from the boy's mitochondria — the energy-processing organelles of living cells — belonged to a lineage called haplogroup U, which is found in Europe and west Asia but not in east Asia, where his body was unearthed. The result was so bizarre that Willerslev assumed that his sample had been contaminated with other genetic material, and put the project on hold for a year.
Ancient ancestry

But the boy's nuclear DNA — the bulk of his genome — told the same story. "Genetically, this individual had no east Asian resemblance but looked like Europeans and people from west Asia," says Willerslev. "But the thing that was really mind-blowing was that there were signatures you only see in today's Native Americans." This signal is consistent among peoples from across the Americas, implying that it could not have come from European settlers who arrived after Christopher Columbus. Instead, it must reflect an ancient ancestry.

The Mal'ta boy's genome showed that Native Americans can trace 14% to 38% of their ancestry back to western Eurasia, the authors conclude.
Related stories Genomes and fossil faeces track the first Americans Ancient migration: Coming to America Native American culture sowed seeds of its own collapse

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"The distribution of genetic lineages 24,000 years ago must have been quite different from what we see today," says Jennifer Raff, an anthropologist and geneticist from the University of Texas at Austin. "It would be very interesting to see what other genomes from this time period look like."

Willerslev's team suggests that after the ancestors of Native Americans split off from those of east Asians, they moved north. Somewhere in Siberia, they met another group of people coming east from western Eurasia — the people to whom the Mal'ta boy belonged. The two groups mingled, and their descendants eventually travelled east into North America.




A male skeleton associated with the Yamnaya culture near Samara, Russia. CreditPavel Kuznetsov

For centuries, archaeologists have reconstructed the early history of Europe by digging up ancient settlements and examining the items that their inhabitants left behind. More recently, researchers have been scrutinizing something even more revealing than pots, chariots and swords: DNA.

On Wednesday in the journal Nature, two teams of scientists — one based at the University of Copenhagen and one based at Harvard University — presented the largest studies to date of ancient European DNA, extracted from 170 skeletons found in countries from Spain to Russia. Both studies indicate that today’s Europeans descend from three groups who moved into Europe at different stages of history.

The first were hunter-gatherers who arrived some 45,000 years ago in Europe. Then came farmers who arrived from the Near East about 8,000 years ago.

Finally, a group of nomadic sheepherders from western Russia called the Yamnaya arrived about 4,500 years ago. The authors of the new studies also suggest that the Yamnaya language may have given rise to many of the languages spoken in Europe today.

A Yamnaya skull found near Samara, Russia, colored with ocher. Yamnaya expansion into Europe was most likely relatively peaceful.CreditNatalia Shishlina

Ron Pinhasi, an archaeologist at University College Dublin who was not involved in either study, said that the new studies were “a major game-changer. To me, it marks a new phase in ancient DNA research.”

The two teams worked independently, studying different skeletons and using different methods to analyze their DNA.

The Harvard team collected DNA from 69 human remains dating back 8,000 years and cataloged the genetic variations at almost 400,000 different points. The Copenhagen team collected DNA from 101 skeletons dating back about 3,400 years and sequenced the entire genomes.

Both teams also compared the newly sequenced DNA to genes retrieved from other ancient Europeans and Asians, and to living humans.

Until about 9,000 years ago, Europe was home to a genetically distinct population of hunter-gatherers, the researchers found. Then, between 9,000 and 7,000 years ago, the genetic profiles of the inhabitants in some parts of Europe abruptly changed, acquiring DNA from Near Eastern populations.

Archaeologists have long known that farming practices spread into Europe at the time from Turkey. But the new evidence shows that it wasn’t just the ideas that spread — the farmers did, too.

The hunter-gatherers didn’t disappear, however. They managed to survive in pockets across Europe between the farming communities.

“It’s an amazing cultural process,” said David Reich, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School who led the university’s team. “You have groups which are as genetically distinct as Europeans and East Asians. And they’re living side by side for thousands of years.”

Between 7,000 and 5,000 years ago, however, hunter-gatherer DNA began turning up in the genes of European farmers. “There’s a breakdown of these cultural barriers, and they mix,” said Dr. Reich.

About 4,500 years ago, the final piece of Europe’s genetic puzzle fell into place. A new infusion of DNA arrived — one that is still very common in living Europeans, especially in central and northern Europe.

The closest match to this new DNA, both teams of scientists found, comes from skeletons found in Yamnaya graves in western Russia and Ukraine.

Archaeologists have long been fascinated by the Yamnaya, who left behind artifacts on the steppes of western Russia and Ukraine dating from 5,300 to 4,600 years ago. The Yamnaya used horses to manage huge herds of sheep, and followed their livestock across the steppes with wagons full of food and water.

It was an immensely successful way of life, allowing the Yamnaya to build huge funeral mounds for their dead, which they filled with jewelry, weapons and even entire chariots.

A skeleton buried by a Middle Neolithic culture found near Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. A review of DNA from skeletons across Europe indicated that today's Europeans are descended from three groups who moved there at different stages of history.CreditJuraj Lipták/LDA Sachsen-Anhalt

David W. Anthony, an archaeologist at Hartwick College and a co-author on the Harvard study, said it was likely that the expansion of Yamnaya into Europe was relatively peaceful. “It wasn’t Attila the Hun coming in and killing everybody,” he said.

Instead, Dr. Anthony thought the most likely scenario was that the Yamnaya “entered into some kind of stable opposition” with the resident Europeans that lasted for a few centuries. But then gradually the barriers between the cultures eroded.

The Copenhagen team’s study suggests that the Yamnaya didn’t just expand west into Europe, however. The scientists examined DNA from 4,700-year-old skeletons from a Siberian culture called the Afanasievo. It turns out that they inherited Yamnaya DNA, too.

Dr. Anthony was surprised by the possibility that Yamnaya pushed out over a range of about 4,000 miles. “I myself have a hard time wrapping my head around explanations for that,” he said.

Continue reading the main story





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The two studies also add new fuel to a debate about how languages spread across Europe and Asia. Most European tongues belong to the Indo-European family, which also incudes languages in southern and Central Asia.

For decades, linguists have debated how Indo-European got to Europe. Some favor the idea that the original farmers brought Indo-European into Europe from Turkey. Others think the language came from the Russian steppes thousands of years later.

The new genetic results won’t settle the debate, said Eske Willerslev, an evolutionary biologist at Copenhagen University who led the Danish team. But he did think the results were consistent with the idea that the Yamnaya brought Indo-European from the steppes to Europe.

The eastward expansion of Yamnaya, evident in the genetic findings, also supports the theory, Dr. Willerslev said. Linguists have long puzzled over an Indo-European language once spoken in western China called Tocharian. It is only known from 1,200-year-old manuscripts discovered in ancient desert towns. It is possible that Tocharian was a vestige of the eastern spread of the Yamnaya.

“We can just say that the expansion fits very well with the geographical spread of the Indo-European language,” said Dr. Willerslev.

Paul Heggarty, a linguist at the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology, said that the new studies were important, but were still too limited to settle the debate over the origins of Indo-European. “I don’t think we’re there yet,” he said.

Dr. Heggarty noted that the studies showed the arrival of Yamnaya in Central Europe about 4,500 years ago. But Greek is an Indo-European language, and the oldest evidence of writing in Europe shows that Greek had developed about 3,500 years ago. By then, it was distinct from other Indo-European languages in Southern Europe, like Latin.

If the Yamnaya were the source of Indo-European languages, they would have had to get to southern Europe soon after they made it to Central Europe.


Dr. Heggarty speculated instead that early European farmers, the second wave of immigrants, may have brought Indo-European to Europe from the Near East. Then, thousands of years later, the Yamnaya brought the language again to Central Europe.

More ancient DNA could swing the balance of evidence in favor of one theory over the other, Dr. Heggarty said. A stronger case for a steppe origin of Indo-European might emerge, for example, if scientists discovered that Greeks around 4,500 years ago abruptly acquired Yamnaya DNA.

“Let’s see whether they look like the steppe people or not,” he said.



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