MAYA-GAIA INTRODUCTION & SITEMAP         page initiated: 12 01 10

Note: My maya-gaia website, evolving since 1997, is a chronicle of my passing all considered opinion
through the lens of my Nirvikalpa Samadhi with both an open-mind and healthy skepticism.

Examining the Genographic Project - National Geographic
geneticist using markers on the male Y-chromosome to tell the story of humankind's history.

Journey of Man PBS (2003) - Mutations, or genetic markers on the male Y- chromosome, allow geneticists to trace human descent through the past 2000 generations. Spencer Wells a leading population geneticist and director of the Genographic Project from National Geographic and IBM, tells a story about humankind's history over the last 50 thousand years. photo gallery, shop DVD, DVD online, youtube

the book Unlike most books which precede the movie, this one followed the PBS documentary. The book is quite independent and doesn't contain too much of the science of the Y-chromosome genetics and is less chronologically ordered than the PBS production but the illustrations are splendid. Deep Ancestry is Spencer Wells' second book and delves more into the science inside the Genographic Project.

The story of humankind's history has been established primarily from physical evidence that had to be interpreted by geologists, archaeologists, paleontologists and anthropologists. As in criminal court, this process is fraught with uncertainties as experts often draw conflicting conclusions from the same evidence. Genetic science now allows DNA to prove definitive connection between suspect and victim in criminal court and even finer analysis is providing exponentially more reliable data for cladistics and genographic mapping. However, while this may have mitigated controversy over the interpretation of some forensic evidence, hypotheses arise to challenge all but the narrowest conclusions regarding human evolution, so overall the scale and scope of controversy over the broader subject continues unabated.

Despite the compelling evidence the tracing of the Y chromosome marker provides for the common N. Asian ancestory of all living Amerindians - it is insufficient to definitively disprove alternative hypothesis about pre-Clovis populations based on archaeological and other physical evidence. The Solutrean Hypothesis proposes that paleolithic seal hunters in primitive canoes, following the edge of the Laurentide Ice Sheet from Europe, may be the ancestors of Clovis culture that went extinct along with the megafauna from a climatic event known as the Younger Dryas around 12.9 Kya. If all the Clovis died out before interacting with later trans-Siberian arrivals from Beringia 12 Kya- their European DNA would not be present in any extant Amerindians or at least be so rare as not to have shown up in any blood sample so far.

The absolute credibility of the claim that every extant human ancestry can be traced back in a direct line exclusively to the African bushmen of 50 KYA is still in question because there is no Y chromosome sample available from Homo erectus to discount theory that humans might have a mixed evolution that involved direct descendency from a much earlier population of that species in Asia that interbred with some of the later African diaspora.

Synopsis of The Journey of Man

By analysing the Y chromosome of people from around the world, genetic researchers were able to build a genographic map that shows the path behaviorally modern humans took in migrating out of Africa 50 Kya.

Evidence of Homo sapiens in a S. African cave 72 Kya but stone instead of bone points suggests the quantum leap in intellect had not yet evolved.

Climatic events 70-50 Kya causes sporadic ice age conditions that drop sea levels and turns lush African pastures into desert.

2000 generations ago (50 Kya) behaviorally advanced Homo sapiens - the direct ancestors of San and Hadzabe Bushmen (now extant in the Kalahari in Namibia and Tanzania) are driven by drought to follow their quarry searching for grasslands out of Africa. (The click language of the San and Hadzabe does not exist elsewhere in the world.)

The next genetic evidence for descendants out of Africa shows up at a 45 Kya site in Lake Mungo at Laura in Queensland, Australia. Somehow the aboriginal's ancestors were able to complete the journey (the drop in sea level that provided a continuous land route through Indonesia still left a 150 mile wide stretch of open sea to reach the continent.)

The search for the next time the African haplogroup marker shows up takes us to the temple city of Madurai in the Tamil Nadu District in southern India where genomic sequencing from one man shows a single nucleotide ancient bloodmarker in his Y chromosome. This is also the site where the earliest archaeological evidence of behaviorally modern Homo sapiens has been found.

About 40,000 years ago sapiens have spread to central asia following the grasslands resulting from cooling climate. An episode of migrations begins that moves people from central Asia - two groups moved east to China's north and south and another group moves down to India. It will take another five thousand years before the first people from central Asia migrate to Europe to become the Cro Magnon who create pictographs in Penche Merle cave in France.

Wells' earlier expedition in 1998 had provided blood samples from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan and he reconnects with a man named Niyazov -a Kazakh Turk who lives in Kazakhstan near the border of Kirgyzistan. Niyazov has African markers that go back 2000 generations and also has an important Y chromosome marker called M45. That indicates Central Asia is where M45 originated and where both Europeans and Native Americans were descendant from.

That marker is carried by people migrating to the Siberian arctic- ancestors of the contemporary Chukchi- nomadic reindeer herders whose entire sustinance is derived from lichen growing on the permafrost. Wills' expedition goes to town of Amguea in Siberia and travels via helicopter and converted Russian tank to Chukchi encampment 200 mi north of the arctic circle.

20 Kya, a group of their ancestors, an original tribe of perhaps 20-30 individuals journeyed across Beringia 20 Kya to N Alaska at the height of the ice age when temperatures got as cold (-60 below) as at any time in the human odessey. Here they settled for thousands of years trapped from further migration south by Alaskan glaciers.

Around 13 Kya as the ice age waned, a corridor opened up that allowed a small band consisting of as few as 2 males in a group of a dozen individuals to migrate south. In less than 1000 years, all of N and S America were populated by their descendants - from Inuit to Inca - with the Chukchi haplogroup marker.

Portraits of Descendants With Earliest Markers

San BushmanAustralian AboriginalMadurai IndiaKazakhChukchiNavajo
  Africa                     Australia                     India                 Kazakhstan               Siberia               Americas

Extended Photo Albums

San Bushman   Australian Aboriginal   Kasakhs   Chukchi   Navajo

Source: Journey of Man National Geographic

Stretched out, all the DNA from a single human would go to the moon and back 3000 times.

Genographic Map Map of early human migration patterns with photo albums of modern descendants of their earliest settlements. Source: Genographic Project - a global, five-year research initiative to trace the migration patterns of the African diaspora of prehistoric Homo sapiens that began 50 thousand years ago. National Geographic Maps, Interactive Atlas of the Human Journey.

The Human Family Tree - National Geographic interactive program

Genographic Profiles National Geographic interactive program presenting data from seven ethnicly diverse New York city residents who participated in the genographic project. People today are feverishly uprooting themselves and their Y chromosomes, moving, as it were, from Cambodia to the Outer Hebrides, from their yurts into the nearest multi-ethnic city. All the lineages Wells has found in Asia, he likes to say, could probably be found in a single nightclub in New York City's East Village, engaged in precoital rituals

Journey of Man Book Review In-depth review of Well's science by in Gene Expression - the Yahoo Group gnxpforum by Razib Khan. Razib has a background in biology & biochemistry and is an Unz Foundation Junior Fellow.

Music.Earth -where music meets your DNA - is a blog/website that attempts to comprehensively couple two subjects, genetic anthropology (specifically, the genetic account of the peopling of the world, where archaeogenetics meets genography) and its correlation with the ethnic or tribal musical heritage of the related tribes (ethnomusicology or in common parlance,  world music ).

Population Genetics The study of allele frequency distribution and change under the influence of the four main evolutionary processes: natural selection, genetic drift, mutation and gene flow. It also takes into account the factors of population subdivision and population structure. It attempts to explain such phenomena as adaptation and speciation. Amerindian Ancestral Home

Michael F. Hammer and his U. of Arizona colleagues, anthropologists Stephen Zegura and Tatiana Karafet, have recently confirmed some results. Their own Y chromosome collections tell them that the genetic separation of the Asian and American populations occurred no earlier than 17,000 years ago. And they think they have narrowed down a source region, an Asian ancestral home for Native Americans- the Altai Mountains of southwestern Siberia and western Mongolia.

Models of Migration The question of how, when and why humans (Paleo-Indians) first entered the Americas is of intense interest to archaeologists and anthropologists, and has been a subject of heated debate for centuries. While there is general agreement that America was first settled from Asia by people who migrated across Beringia, the pattern of migration, its timing, and the place of origin in Asia of the peoples who migrated to the Americas remains unclear As new discoveries come to light, past hypotheses are reevaluated and new theories constructed.

Paleoamerican Origins: Beyond Clovis (Peopling of the Americas Publication) Robson Bonnichsen, Editor (2005) Presents an overview of the peopling of the Americas by leading Paleoamerican specialists who make a strong case that the Clovis-first model, which proposed the Americas were only peopled once about 11,500 radiocarbon years ago by a small group of hunters from Siberia, can no longer be considered valid. New research suggests the Americas were peopled more than once by distinctly different populations. The possibility of long travel over both Atlantic and Pacific oceans on primitive craft is fully explored in this work.

Stone Age Clovis In recent years, researchers have unearthed many sites that appear to be pre-Clovis, some of them potentially doubling the time frame people have been in the Western Hemisphere. In this interactive map, peruse 28 possible pre-Clovis sites found throughout North America. The map shows glaciers, lakes, and shorelines as of 12,900 years ago. Not shown is a famous pre-Clovis site in South America, Monte Verde in Chile, which is 14,500 years old and features many organic artifacts, stone tools, and house structures. This is an updated version of a map that originally appeared in "The Case for a Pre-Clovis People," by Robson Bonnichsen and Alan L. Schneider, American Archaeology, Winter 2001-2002.

First Peoples in a New World: colonizing ice age America By David J. Meltzer (2009) Meltzer essentially discounts all hypotheses suggesting alternative origins for all Amerindians other than trans-Siberian ancestors crossing Beringia.

Evidence for an Extraterrestrial Impact Event 12,900 years ago that contributed to the megafaunal extinctions and the Younger Dryas cooling. (Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007) A carbon-rich black layer, dating to 12.9 ka, has been identified by C. V. Haynes, Jr. at >50 sites across North America as black mats, carbonaceous silts, or dark organic clays. The age of the base of this black layer coincides with the abrupt onset of Younger Dryas cooling, after which there is no evidence for either in situ extinct megafaunal remains or Clovis artifacts. At Murray Springs, AZ, a well known Clovis site, mammoth bones and Clovis-age stone tools lie directly beneath the black layer where, as described by Haynes: "The sudden extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna would be dramatically revealed by explaining that all were gone an instant before the black mat was deposited."

No Evidence for Clovis Comet Catastrophe ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2010) - New research challenges the controversial theory that an ancient comet impact devastated the Clovis people, one of the earliest known cultures to inhabit North America. Writing in the October issue of Current Anthropology, archaeologists Vance Holliday (University of Arizona) and David Meltzer (Southern Methodist University) argue that there is nothing in the archaeological record to suggest an abrupt collapse of Clovis populations.

Evidence of Impact Event ScienceDaily (Sep. 15, 2010) - Nanosize diamonds have been discovered in the Greenland ice sheet, according to a study reported by scientists in a recent online publication of the Journal of Glaciology. The finding adds credence to the controversial hypothesis that fragments of a comet struck across North America and Europe approximately 12,900 years ago. The peak of the Clovis era is generally considered to have run from 13,200 to 12,900 years ago. These associations, if confirmed, offer the most complete and recent geological record for an ET impact and its effects, such as global climate change and faunal extinction. This evidence also would represent a record of a major ET event having serious, widespread consequences for anatomically modern humans.

The Solutrean Hypothesis proposes that stone tool technology of the Solutrean culture in prehistoric Europe may have later influenced the development of the Clovis tool-making culture in the Americas, and that peoples from Europe may have been among the earliest settlers in the Americas. It was first proposed in 1998. Its key proponents include Dennis Stanford, of the Smithsonian Institution, and Bruce Bradley, of the University of Exeter.

Exploring Solutrean-Clovis Ice Age Atlantis? Exploring the Solutrean-Clovis ?connection? - David J. Meltzer,et al

Out of Africa An alternative genetic approach by molecular anthropologist Connie Mulligan who tracks the movements of ancient populations by working with mitochondrial DNA - passed exclusively from mothers to their children - and nuclear DNA, which contains genes from both parents. Her data suggests that a genetically distinct population common in Europe may have originally evolved in Yemen prior to a its expansion throughout Eurasia. Located at the bottom of the Arabian Peninsula with just a sliver of the Red Sea separating it from Africa, Yemen could be ground zero - the first place migrating people would have set foot as they left the Horn of Africa. She also proposes that humans Lived 20,000 Years In Beringia before lowering sea levels opened a land bridge passage to the Americas. Moreover, that 1,000 to 5,000 people migrated south to colonize both continents- a substantially higher number than the 100 or fewer individuals of previous estimates.

Origin of Amerindians - a blog by Robert Lindsay - extensive commentary on various social, political, economic, etc issues.




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