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History Buff, a blog for history lovers everywhere! History Buff brings
news stories about archaeology from around the world together on one site.
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historical fiction writer I am fascinated by news stories featuring the
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Native Alaskans trace ancestry to 10,000-year-old skeleton
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.