Siberians came to North American Arctic in two waves | Science News

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Siberians came to North American Arctic in two waves

DNA recasts an ancient mystery of how one far northern culture replaced another

2:31pm, August 28, 2014

SECOND COMING  Inhabitants of an Alaskan island made wooden dolls such as this between 400 and 500 years ago. These people may have been part of a second wave of migration to the North American Arctic. 

North America’s Arctic regions were first settled around 5,000 years ago by people from Siberia who eventually created a New World culture that lasted for nearly 4,000 years before suddenly disappearing, a new genetic study suggests.

This founding Arctic culture vanished either shortly before or after the arrival of a second, genetically distinct crowd of Siberians. That later band of immigrants spread their Thule culture across Alaska, northern Canada and Greenland and served as the ancestors of present-day Inuits, says a team led by paleogeneticists Maanasa Raghavan and Eske Willerslev, both of the University of Copenhagen.

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