Ancient DNA sequencing has definitely shown that the world's oldest natural mother – a 10,700-year-old skeleton discovered in Nevada almost 80 years ago – was native American.
While tracing migrants from old people through America, a team led by Eske Willerslev, professor of ecology and evolution at the University of Cambridge, confirmed that "The Spirit Cave Mummy", the oldest mother in North America, is an old ancestor of Fallon Paiute-Shoshone tribes.
Mumman, a 40-year-old man at the time of death, was first discovered in 1940 by Sydney and George Wheeler in a dry cave in Nevada, wrapped in a felt and matt made of sharp. The dry conditions had helped keep the remains, with their heads remaining completely intact, and the remains moved to the Nevada State Museum.
In 1996, radioactivity showed that the remains were approximately 9,400 years, making it the oldest mammal in North America. A year later, the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone tribe demanded a repatriation of the legs, but initially the access to the remains was denied. After receiving permission from the tribe, Willerslev conducted genetic analysis of the legs in 2016 and showed that the mummy was closest to indians. As a result, the body was handed over to the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone tribe and re-buried.
The results come as part of a much larger international study that tracked man's historical movement through North and South America. Extensive DNA analysis of human remains, between 600 and 12,000 years, found throughout America showed that people quickly moved across continents during the Ice Age 13,000 years ago.
Comparing the DNA profiles, and looking for similarities, in the ancient remains found from Alaska to Patagonia, helped the researcher to understand how people moved through the ancient region. A second study, published in Cell Thursday, studied genetic changes over the last 11,000 years, found genetic relationships between samples from Chile, Brazil and those found in Montana from similar periods.
Based on the analysis, the new research suggests that people spread rapidly across both North and South America about 10,000 years ago.
CNET's presentation guide: The best place to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list this season.
5G is your next big upgrade: All you need to know about the 5G Revolution.