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The Peopling of the Americas as Revealed by Molecular Genetic Studies

  1. Theodore G Schurr

Published Online: 15 JUL 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020821

eLS

eLS

How to Cite

Schurr, T. G. 2008. The Peopling of the Americas as Revealed by Molecular Genetic Studies. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2008

Abstract

Molecular genetic studies of Siberian and Native American populations indicate that ancestral Native Americans originated in south-central Siberia and entered the New World between 20 000 and 15 000 years before present (ybp), after thousands of years of isolation in Beringia. These early immigrants probably followed a coastal route into the New World, where they expanded into all continental regions. A second expansion, possibly coming from the same area of Siberia, may have entered the Americas, and genetically influenced North American populations. Beringian populations moved into northern North America after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and gave rise to Aleuts, Eskimos and Na-Dené Indians.

Keywords:

  • mtDNA;
  • Y-chromosome;
  • Asia;
  • Siberia;
  • migrations