DNA Links 3 People To Ancient Remains; Still Living In The Same Area 5,000 Years Later
Native people on the Lucy Islands claim to have been living there for countless generations, and new research has confirmed they weren’t lying.
Researchers were able to track the maternal lineage of three people back thousands of years to ancient Native Americans, according to a press release.
The team compared the mitochondrial DNA (which can only be inherited maternally) of three living individuals with four ancient ones. The people were from British Columbia, Canada, which is home to the Tsimshian, Haida and Nisga’a people.
The native people claim to have been living in the area for countless generations, but there has been no physical evidence of this until now.
"Having a DNA link showing direct maternal ancestry dating back at least 5,000 years is huge as far as helping the Metlakatla prove that this territory was theirs over the millennia," Barbara Petzelt, an author and participant in the study, said.
The team found female remains in a house-like structure in the Lucy Islands, thought to be up to 6,400 years old. After examining her mitogenome, they found it matched another set of female remains believed to be 2,500 years old.
A participant in the study was found to hold the same genome, meaning she was related to the ancient women. Three other living participants were related to remains found on the same island.