Some Polynesians Carry DNA of Ancient Native Americans, New Study Finds

"A new genetic study suggests that Polynesians made an epic voyage to South America 800 years ago."

"About 3,000 years ago, people on the eastern edge of Asia began sailing east, crossing thousands of miles of ocean to reach uninhabited islands. Their descendants, some 2,000 years later, invented the double-hulled canoe to travel even farther east, reaching places like Hawaii and Rapa Nui.

Archaeologists and anthropologists have long debated: Just how far did the Polynesians’ canoes take them? Did they make it all the way to the Americas?

The results of a new study suggest that they did. Today, people on Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, and four other Polynesian islands carry small amounts of DNA inherited from people who lived in Colombia about 800 years ago. One explanation: Polynesians came to South America, and then took South Americans onto their boats to voyage back out to sea."

Carl Zimmer reports for the New York Times July 8, 2020.

Source: NYTimes, 07/09/2020