The Earliest Modern Humans in Siberia: Who were They, Who were Their Ancestors, and Who are Their Descendants? View Homepage


Ontology type: schema:MonetaryGrant     


Grant Info

YEARS

2009-2012

FUNDING AMOUNT

19741 USD

ABSTRACT

Who were the earliest Siberians and to what extent were these people related to the first Americans? Traditionally, archaeologists and geneticists have held the view that the Americas were colonized either before or after the last glacial maximum (LGM) by Siberians that migrated over the Bering Land Bridge; however, this remains an hypothesis because archaeological research has not provided a clear progenitor in Siberia or Beringia for Clovis, widely accepted as the earliest archaeological culture in North America (ca. 13,000 years ago). Likewise, modern DNA studies can only predict past genetic relationships, leaving scientists to hypothesize about modern people?s origins. With National Science Foundation support, Dr. Kelly Graf and her colleagues will travel to St. Petersburg, Russia to collect ancient DNA samples from the earliest known modern human remains in Siberia: Mal'ta remains from a pre-LGM context and Afontova Gora-2 remains from a post-LGM context. Ancient DNA from these samples will be captured and analyzed in an attempt to reconstruct the complete mitochondrial (mt) DNA genomes for these individuals. Results from this study have the potential to answer some compelling questions in modern human dispersal research: who were the earliest modern Siberians, to what extent were they related to the first Americans, and how do they relate to living Asian and American populations? The project will also enhance the international relationship between two centers that study early human research, the Center for the Study of the First Americans, Texas A&M University, and the Center for Ancient Genetics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. In addition, the project will provide a valuable research experience for a junior female scientist, an underrepresented group in modern human dispersal research. More... »

URL

http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1003725&HistoricalAwards=false

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