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Welcome to History Buff, a blog for history lovers everywhere! History Buff brings news stories about archaeology from around the world together on one site. From finds in ancient Egypt to new discoveries in anthropology, History Buff wants to know.

Michelle Moran
Historical fiction author


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Native Alaskans trace ancestry to 10,000-year-old skeleton

McClatchy newspapers

Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Indians gathering in Juneau, Alaska, today will get a chance to prove they're directly related to one of the very first Alaskans - a 10,300-year old mariner whose bear-chewed bones were discovered a decade ago in a cave on Prince of Wales Island.

In return, molecular anthropologists collecting the participants' DNA hope to add to their knowledge about how the earliest Americans spread across the western hemisphere - possibly along coastal sea routes - in spite of the ice-choked plains.

First, however, they'll have to gather a little saliva, about a single mililiter per customer, by inducing potential relatives of the ancient Alaskan to spit into a laboratory test tube.

The fact that Southeast Alaska Native elders approve of the experiment - just as they earlier endorsed requests to examine the human remains - contrasts sharply with the protests and pitched legal battles Indian leaders in Washington state waged over the fate of "Kennewick Man," the 9,000-year-old Columbia River skeleton.
Tlingit elder Rosita Worl, president of the Sealaska Heritage Institute - the Southeast Alaska Native non-profit group that's helping stage the study - partially credits the institute's Council of Traditional Scholars.

Read the rest on the Guardian.