The New World Arctic, the last region of the Americas to be populated by humans, has a relatively well-researched archaeology, but an understanding of its genetic history is lacking. We present genome-wide sequence data from ancient and present-day humans from Greenland, Arctic Canada, Alaska, Aleutian Islands, and Siberia. We show that Paleo-Eskimos (similar to 3000 BCE to 1300 CE) represent a migration pulse into the Americas independent of both Native American and Inuit expansions. Furthermore, the genetic continuity characterizing the Paleo-Eskimo period was interrupted by the arrival of a new population, representing the ancestors of present-day Inuit, with evidence of past gene flow between these lineages. Despite periodic abandonment of major Arctic regions, a single Paleo-Eskimo metapopulation likely survived in near-isolation for more than 4000 years, only to vanish around 700 years ago.
Science, 2014, Vol 345, Issue 6200
Historical Article; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Alaska; Arctic Regions; Base Sequence; Bone and Bones; Canada; DNA, Mitochondrial; Genome, Human; Greenland; Hair; History, Ancient; Human Migration; Humans; Inuits; Molecular Sequence Data; Siberia; Survivors; Tooth; Alaska USA, North America Nearctic region; Aleutian Islands North Pacific Pacific Ocean; Arctic Ocean Arctic Ocean; Canada North America Nearctic region; Greenland Nearctic region; Siberia Russia, Asia, Europe Palearctic region; archeology; gene flow; genetic prehistory; genome-wide sequence data; geographical distribution; species migration; Primates Mammalia Vertebrata Chordata Animalia (Animals, Chordates, Humans, Mammals, Primates, Vertebrates) - Hominidae  human common Fossil Native American, Inuit; 03506, Genetics - Animal; 03508, Genetics - Human; 03509, Genetics - Population genetics; 05000, Physical anthropology and ethnobiology; 10062, Biochemistry studies - Nucleic acids, purines and pyrimidines; 62520, Chordata: general and systematic - Mammalia; 63000, Paleozoology; 64500, Paleobiology; Population Studies; GSE59546 Gene Expression Omnibus nucleotide sequence; PRJEB6516 European Nucleotide Archive nucleotide sequence; Anthropology; Human Geography; Paleobiology; Population Genetics; MULTIDISCIPLINARY; POPULATION HISTORY; GENOME SEQUENCE; MTDNA VARIATION; GREENLAND; ADMIXTURE; AMERICA; CANADA; ESKIMO; DORSET; DIVERSITY; Research Articles; GENETICS; ONLINE