Tusk of a Woolly Mammoth buried in permafrost in northeastern Siberia. Credit: Love Dalén

DNA Study Finds an Ancient Human Population That Mysteriously Disappeared

A mysterious population of humans that lived in present-day Siberia vanished mysteriously some 10,000 years ago.


DNA studies can help scientists retrace the footsteps of our ancestors and find out how populations migrated across the planet. Now, a study of DNA samples has revealed that a mysterious population of humans that lived in present-day Siberia vanished mysteriously some 10,000 years ago. The discovery was revealed during a genetic study of human remains from North Asia that dates back some 7,500 years ago. Additionally, the research also revealed that people traveled from Asia to America, as was previously known, but the migration took place vice versa as well, as people traveled from the Americas to Asia across the Bering Land Bridge. The study saw scientists study the remains of an ancient shaman who lived some 6,500 years ago in western Siberia. The DNA analysis also revealed that the ancient shaman was found more than 1,500 kilometers away from the group of people he had genetic ties with.

Scientists also discovered that the previously unknown group of people lived in a region known as the Altai. This was a crossroads for human migration located between Siberia, China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan. Interestingly, scientists discovered the DNA of these mystery people in later communities that spread across North Asia, dating back from about 3,000 – 1,000 BC to the present era. The Altai region is of particular interest to scientists since it was there where experts discovered a new ancient human ancestor known as the Denisovans.

“We describe a previously unknown hunter-gatherer population in the Altai as early as 7,500 years old, which is a mixture between two distinct groups that lived in Siberia during the last Ice Age,” says Cosimo Posth at the University of Tübingen, Germany, and senior author of the study. “The Altai hunter-gatherer group contributed to many contemporaneous and subsequent populations across North Asia, showing how great the mobility of those foraging communities was.”


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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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