The scientists confirm that the oldest natural mummy in the world is the ancestor of the Native Americans


The researchers recently concluded that a skeleton of 10,000 years ago in Nevada, believed to belong to the oldest preserved mummy in the world, represents that of an ancestor of a modern Native American tribe.

Second SlashGear, the so-called "Mummy Spirit Cave" was originally thought of as the skeleton of an individual belonging to the "Paleoamerican" group that preached the Native Americans in North America. However, this theory was refuted by scientists behind the new research, which extracted DNA from the prehistoric skull and concluded, based on DNA analysis, that the mummy was actually an ancestor of the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone tribe in Nevada.

A report from guardian he also noted that the Spirit Cave mummy, which was first discovered in 1940, was the skeleton of an adult male who died about 40 years. The individual, who wore moccasins at the time of his burial, was wrapped in a reed mat and a rabbit skin cover. Mummy research was conducted with the assistance and approval of the Paiute-Shoshone tribe of Fallon, who raised the skeleton this summer after a "decades long legal dispute" with the scientists about the need to keep it in a museum or furnish it burial.

"[It] confirms what we have always known from our oral tradition and other evidence – that the man taken from his last resting place in Spirit Cave is our ancestor of the Native Americans, "said the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone tribe in a statement .

The evolutionary geneticist of the University of Cambridge, Eske Willerslev, who led the team that performed DNA sequencing on the Spirit Cave mummy, attended the burial ceremony at the start of this year and remembered al guardian that there was a lot of "cries, chants and prayers" involved, as well as the placement of goodbye gifts. He described the experience as emotionally similar to that of burying a close relative, even though the mummy was originally buried about 10,000 years ago.

Willerslev also said that the analysis of his team has shown that it is too simplistic to base the ancestry on the shape of his skull, since the aforementioned theory that the Spirit Cave mummy was Paleoamerican was based on how his skull had a different form from that of the Native Americans.

"Looking at the bumps and shapes of a head does not help to understand the true genetic genealogy of a population – we have shown that you can have people who look very different but closely related".

The above research was part of a larger multinational project on the descent of modern North and South Americans, documented in separate studies published in magazines Science, Scientific progress, is Cell. In addition to establishing that the oldest natural mummy in the world shares DNA with an existing Native American tribe, the project also revealed that there have been two migrations to South America that have not been documented in previous studies.

Likewise, researchers have discovered some evidence of Australasian descent in native South Americans, but found no such traces in native North America. Both the guardian is SlashGear he pointed out that this might suggest that modern humans arrived in the Americas about 30,000 years ago, far earlier than originally thought.



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