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Ancient baby DNA: 12,600 y/o buried boy DNA found, key link to Native Americans

A few DNA strands used in scientific study
A few DNA strands used in scientific study
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

An ancient baby’s DNA was recently recovered in Montana, and it is currently believed to be a key link to Native American history as the oldest baby genome ever found from the New World. The DNA belonged to a young boy, no more than a couple years old, who was buried roughly 12,600 years ago by our human ancestors. Yahoo! News shares this Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, that this monumental discovery provides an incredibly important indication of the powerful roots connecting today’s modern populace to the native people of the once antique Americas.

The ancient baby DNA is still being closely examined by U.S. historical and scientific experts, but the rare find is believed to be the very oldest genome that has been successfully salvaged from what was once the “New World.” It seems that the genetic material provides evidence of the link between origins of American Indians today and their direct ancestors thousands of years ago in human history.

A number of artifacts that were discovered near the baby’s body point to the idea that prior to the boy’s premature death and burial, he was born into the Clovis culture. The Clovis culture had strong roots in North American tradition from roughly 13,000 years ago to 12,600 years ago. Remnants from an archaeological site discovered close by Clovis, N.M., helped give this early people and their way of life its name.

According to the press release on the ancient baby DNA, the young boy’s genome reveals that his people were in fact direct ancestors to a significant number of native peoples here in the Americas even today, providing an incredible link between the present and the past. Scientists noted in their report that the baby had more key connections to people now located in South America and Central America than those living in Canada, but there were still some DNA ties present. However, the exact reason behind this distinct difference hasn’t been made clear.

Researchers involved in this breaking investigation added that they had virtually no Native Americans' genetic material available here in the U.S. for suitable comparison, but that they believe the results would be very similar. This means that some Native Americans would be able to have their lineage traced to distantly related ancestors.

“The ancient DNA also indicates the 12,600-year-old baby boy's original ancestors came all the way from Asia, once again supporting the now widely believed notion of migration in history to the Americas by way of a vast land bridge that disappeared many years ago.”

It seems that the burial site of the child was not far from Livingston, Montana, and currently remains the sole confirmed burial site from the Clovis culture and people. The cause of the boy’s death has not been confirmed, but he was only believed to have been between 1 year old to 2 years old at the time of his early death.

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