New Native American research is revealing some incredible findings about the people who crossed the Beringian land bridge more than 20,000 years ago. Instead of one group crossing the land bridge, two different groups crossed the bridge, and they split up once they got to Alaska. One group migrated south and the group that researchers now call the “Ancient Beringians” didn’t leave Alaska. In fact, that group never existed, according to archeologists, until a team of researchers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks unearthed a 6-year-old infant who didn’t match the DNA of any other known Native American group.
Professor of anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Ben Potter, is one of the lead authors of the new Native American research. Potter thinks finding the infant is the first evidence of the founding of the Native American population in the United States. The prehistory of the Native American population is more complex than scientists thought, according to Professor Potter. Potter’s group is working on the what Potter calls “the Upward Sun River Site.” His team is in the process of unearthing DNA results that suggest the Native Americans who migrated south moved north again about 6,000 years ago, and they mingled with the Ancient Beringians. That group eventually replaced the Ancient Beringians, and they eventually took over the Beringians ancient land. The Native Americans who live in Alaska are descendants from two groups of ancient travelers, according to Potter. But there are still a lot of questions to answer about Native American ancestry.
The findings of Potter’s research are in the January 3rd edition of the journal Nature. Those findings are changing the timeline and the birth of the modern-day Native Americans. New research is proving Native Americans were in the United States much longer than scientists previously thought, and they inhabited every state in the United States. Many of those Native American groups vanished for one reason or another, but scientists are still working to make the real story of the founders of North America public information. That story is a story every American should know, according to Professor Potter.