Inuk’s Ancestry: The 4,000 Year-Old Paleo-Eskimo Genome

Hi all, this is Kambiz. I’m resurfacing to share with you a new Peopling of the America’s research that peeked my interests. The Nature paper is titled, “Ancient human genome sequence of an extinct Palaeo-Eskimo.” The preserved nuclear DNA of a 4,000-year-old man’s tuft of hair, found out of Greenland’s permafrost, has been sequenced and many new pieces about his phenotype and ancestry are published in the current paper..

Aside from his brown eyes, brown skin and facial hair, there are similarities (that I don’t know of because I haven’t read the full paper) which most closely resemble those found in indigenous inhabitants of eastern Siberia… Possibly the Saqqaq. The findings support the implications of the team’s mitochondrial DNA analysis of the hair previously published in Science in 2008. We’ve covered that paper before, here and here. The previous study also showed patterns of Siberian origin, and a distinct break between the Dorset culture and the ancestors of modern Inuit people.

One thought on “Inuk’s Ancestry: The 4,000 Year-Old Paleo-Eskimo Genome

  1. This is a fascinating research project, but I thought that the authors of the article needed to consider the alternative scenarios or possible implications.

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