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Chungará (Arica)

On-line version ISSN 0717-7356

Abstract

MANRIQUEZ, Germán et al. MORPHOMETRIC AND mtDNA ANALYSES OF ARCHAIC SKELETAL REMAINS FROM SOUTHWESTERN SOUTH AMERICA. Chungará (Arica) [online]. 2011, vol.43, n.2, pp.283-292. ISSN 0717-7356.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-73562011000200009.

For decades anthropologists have discussed how and when the Americas were peopled. The prevailing view is that the first Paleoindians, ancestors of the Amerindians, arrived from Asia and Beringia to the American continent using a Pacific coastal route in pre-Clovis times. In this article skeletal remains dated 9000-4000 BP, excavated from archaeological sites in northern, central and southern Chile, were analyzed using geometric morphometric and ancient mtDNA techniques. Results indicate that the ancient cranial material from southwestern South America exhibit a wide range of cranial vault shape variation which is independent of chronology. mtDNA restriction and sequence analysis performed on the same skeletal remains, revealed only the presence of the main four founding mtDNA haplogroups (A, B, C and D) as early as 9,000 BP. Our results using morphometric and molecular mtDNA haplogroup data show that human populations inhabiting the Americas during archaic times can not be considered as belonging to two different groups on the basis of analyzed data. These results are consistent with those recently obtained using complete sequence mtDNA analyses.

Keywords : Paleoindian and archaic crania; geometric morphometrics; ancient mtDNA; peopling of America.

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