New Discoveries: Where Native Americans Came From, Revealed By DNA Evidence

Thousands of years ago, the Native Americans arrived in America, and recent DNA findings have shed light on their origins.

Long before the Europeans colonized the Americas in 1492, many wondered how these people first came to the continent.

Now, groundbreaking research may have finally given us the answers we sought.

A study published in the journal Cell Reports has explored mitochondrial DNA, uncovering evidence of two migrations between the Americas and China and Japan during the last ice age and the subsequent thaw.


The study's leaders managed to trace a unique Native American lineage that crossed continents and different time periods by analyzing the mitochondrial DNA passed down through the female line.

They accomplished this by examining 100,000 present-day samples and 15,000 ancient samples, successfully identifying 216 individuals from contemporary times and 39 individuals from ancient times who shared this specific lineage.


Through the use of carbon dating and studying genetic mutations that occurred during the journey, the researchers created a map of the lineage's branches and routes.

Yu-Chun Li, a molecular anthropologist from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, shared her thoughts on the discovery, stating that the Asian ancestry of Native Americans is more intricate than previously believed.

"In addition to previously described ancestral sources in Siberia, Australo-Melanesia, and Southeast Asia, we show that northern coastal China also contributed to the gene pool of Native Americans," she explains.


The team suggests that the first migration, known as a 'radiation event,' occurred approximately between 19,500 and 26,000 years ago when the cold conditions in northern coastal China made it unsuitable for human habitation.

The second migration likely took place between 19,000 and 11,500 years ago as the global human population expanded and sought better climates and conditions around the world.


What's fascinating is that both migrations are believed to have reached the Americas via the Pacific coast, contradicting the previous idea that they traveled across the Bering Land Bridge from Russia to Canada and Alaska.

The investigation of migration patterns and the comparison of arrowheads and spears suggest that the Paleolithic people of China and Japan may have journeyed along the northern Pacific Rim to reach America.


This new research has sparked suggestions that Native Americans might be descendants of Japan's Jōmon people.

However, a recent genetic study has challenged this hypothesis, indicating that the connection between Native Americans and the Jōmon people is less likely. Instead, the latest findings propose that the observed similarities may be attributed to a shared common lineage.