Jan 9, 2009 | 7
There's new evidence that the first inhabitants of North America might have arrived by both land and sea. Researchers analyzed the genetic material of modern indigenous people from North and South America to trace two rare lines back to the continents' first inhabitants. The study, published in Current Biology, provides the first genetic evidence that the ancestors of many living Native Americans took two distinct routes from Beringia (a region that included the now-submerged Bering land bridge as well as portions of Siberia and Alaska) some 15,000 to 17,000 years ago.
The new findings fly in the face of the prevailing genetic theory that just one wave of migration traveled down the ice-free Pacific coast from Beringia.
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