account for the origin of American Indians. Both waves originated ultimately from the southern latitudes of central Siberia. The first entered North America about 14,000 years ago and spread throughout both hemispheres. The second migration arrived later and remained restricted to North America. This migration may have originated from a region of Siberia occupied by the Kets, whose language Greenberg has suggested is related to Na-Dene. Many of the tribes of South America show strong signs of genetic drift, an indication that their populations have bred in isolation for many thousands of years. Ruiz-Linares estimates from a DNA signature found in two tribes, the Ticuna of the upper Amazon and the Wayuu, on the north coast of Colombia, that they have been genetically isolated for some 7,000 to 8,000 years. The finding suggests that tribalization—the division into small, warring populations who each defended a home territory—started soon after the first migrants reached South America.
Early division and an ancient origin for South America's tribal populations would go a long way toward explaining why Amerindian languages have grown so different from one another in such a relatively short time. If this genetic interpretation is correct, it would explain why the linguistic splitters are right to point to the large differences between Amerindian languages but also why Greenberg was right in lumping all the languages together in a single family. Should the new picture emerging from the Y chromosome be confirmed, it will lend support to Greenberg's idea of three waves of migration. The first arrivals would have crossed the Beringian land bridge after 14,000 years ago and before 11,000 years ago, when Beringia was submerged by rising sea level. They would have spread quite rapidly southward, perhaps by boat if the 12,500 years ago date for Monte Verde in southern Chile is correct. A second migration brought in the Na-Dene speakers, and sometime later the Eskimo-Aleuts arrived. The mitochondrial DNA lineages are now found in all three language groups, presumably because of subsequent mixing between them, but it seems that A, C and D predominated in the first migration, B and X in the second. The mitochondrial lineage known as X has turned up in recent surveys among the Sioux, Navajo, Ojibwa and other tribes of North America. Its discovery at first caused considerable surprise because X is one of the founding lineages of Europe. The finding generated some colorful theories, such as that the women from the Vikings' unsuccessful Vinland colony in North America had been abducted by the skraelings, as the Vikings called their Indian assailants. But geneticists soon showed that the cluster of X lineages in North America was at least 12,000 years old,140 and ancient mitochondrial DNA of the X lineage was discovered in bones some 1,200 years old from a site in Washington state, far distant from the Vinland colony and somewhat earlier.141 The explanation must be that X, a daughter lineage of N that reached India, participated in two major migrations. As already noted, some women of the X group of lineages moved westward into Europe while their sisters joined the expansion into the Central Asian steppes and Siberia. Many generations later, the descendants of these daughters of X were among the first discoverers of North America.
Adapting to Cold with Mitochondrial
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