Clovis baby’s genome unveils Native American ancestry | Science News


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Clovis baby’s genome unveils Native American ancestry

DNA from skeleton shows all tribes come from a single population

1:00pm, February 12, 2014

NATIVE ROOTS  A baby who died some 12,600 years ago is giving new clues about the genetic origins of Native Americans. Stone and bone tools (shown) buried with the infant identify him as one of the Clovis people, a culture that dominated the United States and northern Mexico between 13,000 and 12,600 years ago. 

An ancient baby’s skeleton has revealed through its DNA that all Native Americans descended from a single gene pool with roots in Asia.

The bones belong to an infant that died between 12,707 and 12,556 years ago in Montana. The baby was covered in red ochre and buried on a hillside along with more than 100 stone and bone tools characteristic of Clovis people, a Paleo-Indian culture that was widespread in North America at the time. The grave of the 1-year-old boy, discovered by construction workers in 1968, is the only Clovis burial site ever found.  

A report in the Feb. 13 Nature details the child’s genetic makeup and suggests that the Clovis people were ancestors of all present-day Native Americans. The Clovis baby, known as Anzick-1, like today’s Native Americans, can trace part of his heritage to a child known as the Mal’ta boy, who lived in Siberia 24,000 years ago (

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