In the news: DNA tests show Sican culture in Peru genetically linked to Ainu people, along with populations of Siberia and Taiwan

DNA links found between ancient Peruvians and Japanese (Archaeology Daily, January, 11 2009)

ANI

A new study has revealed genetic links between people who inhabited northern Peru more than 1,000 years ago and the Japanese.

Japanese physical anthropologist Ken-ichi Shinoda performed DNA tests on the remains of human bodies found in the East Tomb and West Tomb in the Bosque de Pomas Historical Sanctuary in Peru, which are part of the Sican Culture Archaeological Project, funded by Japan’s government.

The director of the Sican National Museum, Carlos Elera, told the El Comercio newspaper that Shinoda found that people who lived more than 1,000 years ago in what today is the Lambayeque region, about 800 kilometers north of Lima, had genetic links to the contemporaneous populations of Ecuador, Colombia, Siberia, Taiwan and to the Ainu people of northern Japan.

The studies will be continued on descendents of the Mochica culture, from the same region, who are currently working on the Sican Project and with people who live in the vicinity of the Bosque de Pomac Historical Sanctuary.

According to Peruvian archaeologist Luis Chero, “Currently, the DNA results have great value because they can be understood to show that there were people who arrived in these zones from Asia and who then converted these zones into the great culture of the New World.”

The results of the studies will be presented at an exhibit on the Sican culture that will be set up for a year at the Tokyo Museum of Science and Nature.

Also to be displayed at that exhibit will be gold, silver and copper jewelry found in the tombs of the ancient Sican rulers and priests.

The above article suggests genetic links between the Ainu and the ancient Peruvians, however, the one is not necessarily derived from the other, more likely, the two cultures had common ancestry, see below:

Genetic link between Asians and native Americans: evidence from HLA genes and haplotypes

Katsushi Tokunaga, , a, Jun Ohashia, Makoto Bannaib and Takeo Jujic

Received 16 May 2001; accepted 15 June 2001 Available online 30 August 2001.

Abstract
We have been studying polymorphisms of HLA class I and II genes in East Asians including Buryat in Siberia, Mongolian, Han Chinese, Man Chinese, Korean Chinese, South Korean, and Taiwan indigenous populations in collaboration with many Asian scientists. Regional populations in Japan, Hondo-Japanese, Ryukyuan, and Ainu, were also studied. HLA-A, -B, and -DRB1 gene frequencies were subjected to the correspondence analysis and calculation of DA distances. The correspondence analysis demonstrated several major clusters of human populations in the world. “Mongoloid” populations were highly diversified, in which several clusters such as Northeast Asians, Southeast Asians, Oceanians, and Native Americans were observed. Interestingly, an indigenous population in North Japan, Ainu, was placed relatively close to Native Americans in the correspondence analysis. Distribution of particular HLA-A, -B, -DRB1 alleles and haplotypes was also analyzed in relation to migration and dispersal routes of ancestral populations. A number of alleles and haplotypes showed characteristic patterns of regional distribution. For example, B39-HR5-DQ7 (B*3901-DRB1*1406-DQB1*0301) was shared by Ainu and Native Americans. A24-Cw8-B48 was commonly observed in Taiwan indigenous populations, Maori in New Zealand, Orochon in Northeast China, Inuit, and Tlingit. These findings further support the genetic link between East Asians and Native Americans. We have proposed that various ancestral populations in East Asia, marked by different HLA haplotypes, had migrated and dispersed through multiple routes. Moreover, relatively small genetic distances and the sharing of several HLA haplotypes between Ainu and Native Americans suggest that these populations are descendants of some Upper Paleolithic populations of East Asia.

 

 

 

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