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THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska

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Author Topic: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska  (Read 7589 times)
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« Reply #75 on: March 16, 2009, 09:26:52 pm »

                                   Ancient Hair Reveals Greenland Eskimos' Roots

Morning Edition,
May 30, 2008

A 3,000-year-old clump of human hair found frozen in Greenland may have solved a scientific mystery: Where did
all the ancient Eskimos come from?

The ancient clump of hair looks like something you'd sweep off a barbershop floor. "It's kind of brown, got a bit
of dirt in it, a bit of twigs, but ... it looks [in] remarkably good condition," says biologist Thomas Gilbert of the University of Copenhagen.

University of Copenhagen researchers had spent months in Greenland trying to find human remains, with no success. They then learned of this hair sample, which was discovered in the 1980s in Disko Bay, in western Greenland, and was being kept in a museum collection.

And the hair yielded something extremely rare the DNA of some of the earliest humans to live in the Arctic. By studying that DNA, researchers say they've been able to answer a longstanding question: Are modern Eskimos descended from ancient Native Americans, or did they come from somewhere else?

The answer, according to a new study published in the current issue of the journal Science, is somewhere else probably eastern Asia.

Gilbert says researchers have found almost no ancient human remains in Greenland and the northern reaches of North America. Other artifacts dating back thousands of years have been discovered but the hair is the first to contain usable DNA.

Past discoveries of hunting and fishing tools at archaeological sites proved that ancient Eskimos lived in Greenland, Gilbert says. But the sites didn't contain much biological evidence like teeth, bones or hair that could provide DNA samples.
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