Ancient DNA shows European wipe-out of early Americans

Ancient DNA shows European wipe-out of early Americans
Llull Maiden: DNA of The Doncela (The Maiden) Incan mummy found at Mount Llullaillaco, Argentina, in 1999, was used in the study. Credit: Johan Reinhard

The first largescale study of ancient DNA from early American people has confirmed the devastating impact of European colonisation on the Indigenous American populations of the time.

Led by the University of Adelaide's Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD), the researchers have reconstructed a history of Indigenous American populations by looking directly into the DNA of 92 pre-Columbian mummies and skeletons, between 500 and 8600 years old.

Published today in Science Advances, the study reveals a striking absence of the pre-Columbian in modern Indigenous Americans; showing extinction of these lineages with the arrival of the Spaniards.

"Surprisingly, none of the genetic lineages we found in almost 100 ancient humans were present, or showed evidence of descendants, in today's Indigenous populations," says joint lead author Dr Bastien Llamas, Senior Research Associate with ACAD. "This separation appears to have been established as early as 9000 years ago and was completely unexpected, so we examined many demographic scenarios to try and explain the pattern."

"The only scenario that fit our observations was that shortly after the initial colonisation, populations were established that subsequently stayed geographically isolated from one another, and that a major portion of these populations later became extinct following European contact. This closely matches the historical reports of a major demographic collapse immediately after the Spaniards arrived in the late 1400s."

Ancient DNA shows European wipe-out of early Americans
Human remains in the burial site of the Lima culture (500-700 AD) uncovered at the Huaca Pucllana great adobe pyramid, in the city of Lima, Peru. Credit: Huaca Pucllana research, conservation and valorisation project

The research team, which also includes members from the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) and Harvard Medical School, studied maternal genetic lineages by sequencing whole mitochondrial genomes extracted from bone and teeth samples from 92 pre-Columbian—mainly South American—human mummies and skeletons.

The ancient genetic signals also provide a more precise timing of the first people entering the Americas—via the Beringian land bridge that connected Asia and the north-western tip of North America during the last Ice Age.

"Our genetic reconstruction confirms that the first Americans entered around 16,000 years ago via the Pacific coast, skirting around the massive ice sheets that blocked an inland corridor route which only opened much later," says Professor Alan Cooper, Director of ACAD. "They spread southward remarkably swiftly, reaching southern Chile by 14,600 years ago."

"Genetic diversity in these early people from Asia was limited by the small founding populations which were isolated on the Beringian land bridge for around 2400 to 9000 years," says joint lead author Dr Lars Fehren-Schmitz, from UCSC. "It was at the peak of the last Ice Age, when cold deserts and ice sheets blocked human movement, and limited resources would have constrained population size. This long isolation of a small group of people brewed the unique genetic diversity observed in the early Americans."

Dr Wolfgang Haak, formerly at ACAD and now at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, says: "Our study is the first real time genetic record of these key questions regarding the timing and process of the peopling of the Americas. To get an even fuller picture, however, we will need a concerted effort to build a comprehensive dataset from the DNA of people alive today and their pre-Columbian ancestors, to further compare ancient and modern diversity."


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Journal information: Science Advances

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Apr 02, 2016
A particularly effective but unacknowledged biowarfare campaign.

Euros had known about the Americas for centuries and understood the danger to their civilization if these mesoamerican cultures acquired advanced technologies such as gunpowder, metallurgy, and oceangoing navigation through independent trade.

Pre-Columbian cities and armies were larger than their euro counterparts. And the uncontrolled influx of precious metals would have devalued royal treasuries and collapsed euro economies.

Columbus sailed south along the African coast and turned west at the exact latitude which he knew would take him to the Caribbean. The islands there were easily secured and provided the ideal staging area for further operations west and south.

Pops were decimated with euro diseases. Gold was gathered up and distributed in controlled fashion. Much of it was simply scuttled at sea.

History is easy when you assume that Leaders actually knew what They were doing.

Apr 02, 2016
Could something similar have been the cause of the Neanderthal extinction in Europe?

Apr 02, 2016
The mystery is how these new world civilizations were apparently prepared for conquest.

A vast network of 25,000 miles of paved roads and bridges costing 1/3 the local economic output was created in peru. This proved essential to the rapid conquest of the region and removal of precious metals, and were relatively useless to cultures which did not use wheeled vehicles.

Empires were created and controlled by a single individual. When these emperors were killed the power structure collapsed.

Civilizations became based on industrial-scale human sacrifice targeting virginal women, as a stop gap way of controlling growth.

It seems plausible that initial euro contact involved a priestly caste which brought knowledge of how to solve problems created by overpopulation, by introducing oppressive religions, expending the workforce through monumental construction projects and by staging constructive wars.
Cont>

Apr 02, 2016
Machu picchu was built some 60 years before the invasion. It provided a secure and self-sustaining refuge where a priesthood that knew full well about the pending conquest, could retreat with their families and live safe from disease and violence. It remained undiscovered until 1911.

Could similar enclaves be identified in isolated canyons with their cliff dwelling inhabitants in the American southwest?

Apr 02, 2016
The mystery is how these new world civilizations were apparently prepared for conquest.

A vast network of 25,000 miles of paved roads and bridges costing 1/3 the local economic output was created in peru.


Sorry, there is no mystery. They had, from their point of view, an enormous labor surplus.

The roads were actually one of the more sensible things they did with it. As with Rome, their roads helped them with efficient internal trade and political control.

They also wasted lots of food making meals and throwing parties for mummified ancestors, but they had huge surpluses anyway, usually.

The overall theme is that they had more or less 'perfected' their way of life. Do a little farming, get laid, play some sports, throw a party for the mummified ancestors, etc.

Apr 02, 2016
Euros had known about the Americas for centuries


One problem with this idea is that it requires contact between the peoples without transmission of the diseases that began to rapidly kill off the indigenous populations of the Western Hemisphere upon exposure.

Had there been earlier contact, the 'contact shock' would not have been as severe, as a higher percentage of indigenous populations would have been immune already or to relatively recent versions of the flu etc.


Columbus sailed south along the African coast and turned west at the exact latitude which he knew would take him to the Caribbean. The islands there were easily secured and provided the ideal staging area for further operations west and south.


I suggest you read a basic college level Geography/weather textbook. Columbus turned west where the wind goes west. It's the same wind that makes Atlantic hurricanes. Sailing ships simply can't cut straight across the Atlantic through the Sargasso Sea.

Apr 02, 2016
it requires contact between the peoples without transmission of the diseases that began to rapidly kill off the indigenous populations of the Western Hemisphere upon exposure
Why were smallpox-infected people allowed onto ships to begin with? It makes more sense if they were carried in isolation.

And there could have been early isolated outbreaks we know nothing about. Rapid and thorough post-Colombian transmission among disparate tribes is difficult to explain without intent.

Priestly diplomats could have been aware of earlier isolated outbreaks and taken precautions. Ancients were not ignorant about the risks of disease and transmission.

Biowarfare has been used throughout history. Spartans against athens, mongols in the crimea, etc. Sun tsu described it's use. Reason enough to suspect that it was used against americans.

Apr 02, 2016
Sailing ships simply can't cut straight across the Atlantic through the Sargasso Sea
And Columbus knew it was there... how? And how did he know about prevailing winds across the Atlantic?

Did Columbus have basic college level Geography/weather textbooks?

Apr 02, 2016
Sorry, there is no mystery. They had, from their point of view, an enormous labor surplus
Indeed. And that was the problem wasn't it? Civilizations had arisen in eurasia and had collapsed just as quickly due to our persistent tropical growth rate. The middle east is riddled with layered city mounds which record the frequency of collapse and rebirth. A vast swath of land from the Sahara to the gobi had been stripped and desertified in a very short time.

Western civilizations had learned how to overcome it. Egypt endured for 2000 years. I believe western Leaders shared this knowledge as they saw fit.

Apr 02, 2016
Colombus' first trip across the atlantic
https://en.wikipe...%B3n.svg

Sargasso Sea
https://en.wikipe...asso.png

-Looks pretty fishy to me waaaalt.

Apr 02, 2016
I suggest you read a basic college level Geography/weather textbook. Columbus turned west where the wind goes west. It's the same wind that makes Atlantic hurricanes. Sailing ships simply can't cut straight across the Atlantic through the Sargasso Sea.
From some of the other stuff you quoted "Guns, Germs, and Steel" would be a good idea too.

Part of the reason that populations of First Americans were so vulnerable to European diseases was because of their limited genetic diversity, because of the small gene pools that made it across the Beringian land bridge during the last glaciation.

Apr 02, 2016
I suggest you read a basic college level Geography/weather textbook. Columbus turned west where the wind goes west. It's the same wind that makes Atlantic hurricanes. Sailing ships simply can't cut straight across the Atlantic through the Sargasso Sea.
From some of the other stuff you quoted "Guns, Germs, and Steel" would be a good idea too.

Part of the reason that populations of First Americans were so vulnerable to European diseases was because of their limited genetic diversity, because of the small gene pools that made it across the Beringian land bridge during the last glaciation.
Did you read the article or did you just forget that you read the article?

And yes I read the book.

Apr 02, 2016
Ummm, @Otto, apparently it was you who didn't read the article.

It made no mention of the effect of the limited genetic diversity upon immunity to disease.

Apr 02, 2016
You
"Part of the reason that populations of First Americans were so vulnerable to European diseases was because of their limited genetic diversity, because of the small gene pools that made it across the Beringian land bridge during the last glaciation."

The article
"Genetic diversity in these early people from Asia was limited by the small founding populations which were isolated on the Beringian land bridge for around 2400 to 9000 years"

-If you read it you repeated it didn't you? Why?

Apr 02, 2016
Otto, can you read plain English?

I'm currently going with "No."

Apr 02, 2016
TheGhostofOtto1923 - When did you first develop this theory? Was it during the physical act of love?

Apr 02, 2016
TheGhostofOtto1923- Seriously... Is this your own theory or did you read it somewhere?

Apr 03, 2016
It's an agglomeration of ideas which make sense. At the core of it is the idea that our tropical repro rate makes overpopulation inevitable, which makes unrest inevitable, which makes war and revolution inevitable. And the people will always blame whoever is in charge no matter how benevolent or well-meaning they try to be.

"All is meaningless" -Solomon

And yet, we've seen steady progress in stabilizing the world to the extent that it doesn't all look like northern Iraq or the Syrian desert. Why not? It ought to.

I think that early on, Leaders began to understand and accept this regrettable equation. They realized that the people were the enemy of Leaders everywhere. And so They began to manage the flock by dividing it up and setting groups against one another in Constructive ways.

This Philosophy would have been an easy sell to beleaguered rulers everywhere. I think it quickly spread around the world. Rulers began to intermarry, and became a tribe unto Themselves.

Apr 03, 2016
So. If you assume that Leaders began to anticipate instability and took actions to preempt it, then the major events of history begin to look very different.

They couldn't avoid war and revolution but They could manage these events so that they became constructive rather than destructive.

"Everything is beautiful in its Own Time" -Solomon

You can imagine that the person or persons who knew exactly when wars or economic collapses would happen, whether they be a Rothschild or a Soros, could become very rich and powerful.

But Leaders were also aware that power and wealth would evaporate if the system which gave them value and authority would collapse.

These Leaders would have to be concerned with the kind of Stability and Progress which would ensure that technological innovation, which after all is what made us human to begin with, would expand our capabilities rather than destroy us.

Apr 03, 2016
What fascinates me most is that this Philosophy is described in meticulous detail in the bible.

"a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace." -Solomon

-The book is not about saving souls. It's about saving the world for the apex Tribe and Their descendents.

"16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John3

-Translation: "god so loved the WORLD that he would promise the people on it just about anything, including immortality and whatever other nonsense they may crave, in order to save IT from THEM."

-Does that answer your question?

Apr 03, 2016


"Part of the reason that populations of First Americans were so vulnerable to European diseases was because of their limited genetic diversity, because of the small gene pools that made it across the Beringian land bridge during the last glaciation."

Is NOT the same statement as:

"Genetic diversity in these early people from Asia was limited by the small founding populations which were isolated on the Beringian land bridge for around 2400 to 9000 years"

Apr 03, 2016
Still haven't got an answer from you @Otto on where the article related lack of immunity to disease to lack of genetic diversity.

Apr 04, 2016
Strawman schneib - I was wondering why you repeated Beringian land bridge/limited genetic diversity if you had already seen it in the article. Which you didnt.

Game over. Go play with somebody else.

Apr 05, 2016
@Otto,
The issue in your idea doesnt lie in the details like genetic diversity or navigational 'quirks'.
What you're suggesting is clear intent of large scale genocide and that's a human thing (thoughts, discourse, planning and those repeating as it's happening). So the proof you'll need (if anywhere) will be in letters, journals and art that are archived somewhere.
Unless you find that proof then your idea has no other value than being food for thought and definitely isn't something worth defending.

Apr 06, 2016
What you're suggesting is clear intent of large scale genocide and that's a human thing
You bet. It's human whether it's planned or not.

But genocide does not seem to have been the goal. Genetic diversity seems to be part of the Design.

At times rome was predominantly slave. They were brought to rome to replace all those who went out to the provinces to settle and comingle. These slaves could earn their freedom.

Alexander wanted to make Persia his home. He took an indigene as his wife and encouraged his army to settle and do the same. He founded alexandria and brought people from all over the world to inhabit it.

The US was founded as a nation of immigrants. It has seen wave after wave of immigrants who were the most pragmatic and ambitious of their people. They immigrate and shed their cultures. Their children comingle.
Cont>

Apr 06, 2016
These Leaders had much experience in husbanding. They knew that weakness, not strength, results from lack of genetic diversity.

The main effect the huns and the mongols seemed to have was to set Asian tribes in motion. Huns drove germanic tribes deep into europe. The mongols gathered many ethnic peoples for their armies and their new cities. They dispersed the khazari and drove them too into europe.

And the conquistadors did not kill all the people. They obliterated the cultures and secured the commodities, which were the real threats, and then settled, interbred, and repopulated.

The wild success of young conquerors like Alexander and Qin and genghis khan and pizarro and -yes- hitler and stalin, makes one wonder if they weren't taught how to conquer. Aristotle schooled not only Alexander but the future commander of darius' Greek mercenaries, and darius' own advisor, artabazus.

One begins to suspect that Leaders above a certain level may all be on the same Side.

Apr 06, 2016
But if so, the power would seem to be in the Teachers and not those they choose to do the Work.
So the proof you'll need (if anywhere) will be in letters, journals and art that are archived somewhere
Hitchens once related a chilling fact - of the 25000+ books the conquistadors initially found, only 3 remain. The church destroyed the rest. During the middle ages all the ancient works in Europe were gathered up and sequestered or burned. The library of alexandria was burned 3 times, once by the roman church.

How much of the history we know is real and how much is fodder for the flocks?
Unless you find that proof
If we assume that a Leader caste as described in platos Republic actively sought to disguise itself then understanding them would become a forensic affair.
your idea has no other value than being food for thought and definitely isn't something worth defending
Of course it is. Humans plan. We should expect evidence of Planning at the top, not chaos.

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