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Sequencing of Ancient Child’s DNA Proves First Americans Came From Siberia

In 1968, the remains of an infant boy who lived 12,600 years ago were discovered in Montana. The bones were an important find, since they still represent the only physical remains certifiably belonging to the Clovis people, North America’s oldest native culture that we know of. It is now, however, that scientists have announced the most exciting piece of news regarding the remains of the child they have named “Anzick-1” (presumably after his father Anzick-0). The little squirt’s genome has been sequenced and has shown that the first Americans inarguably came from Eastern Siberia.

While most anthropologists have long been in the same camp on this issue, a lack of DNA evidence has made it difficult to conclusively prove an East Asian origin for Native Americans until now. Even a study comparing current Siberian DNA to current Native American DNA – which would intuitively provide our answer – ended up being inconclusive. The sequencing of Anzick-1’s genome proved his Siberian ancestry and showed that he was part of a group that is immediately ancestral to 80% of the Native American population and slightly more distantly ancestral to the remaining 20%.


The mound where Anzick-1’s remains were found in Montana. (Mike Waters)

Anzick-1 was thought to be somewhere between 12-18 months old when he died, and while his cause of death remains unclear, scientists have ruled out choking on a LEGO block, since no such artifact was found at the burial site. What was found were bone and stone tools which were made in the signature Clovis style. The site also included an elk antler tool that was already hundreds of years old by the time Anzick-1’s body was buried, suggesting it may have had some sort of cultural or religious significance. His body was also covered in a red ochre, a naturally occurring pigment.


A Clovis style spear point. (John Weinstein)

Were the Clovis people truly the first migrants into the Americas, or will we someday discover an even earlier migration? Will we ever discover more Clovis burial sites in the American West? Tell us in the comments section below.


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  1. Maria says:

    From the teaching of Falun Dafa:

    “Many people say that the Mayan culture was related to today’s Mexicans. Actually,
    it had nothing at all to do with the Mexicans, who are only a mixed race of the Spaniards
    and the indigenous people. The Mayan culture, on the other hand, belonged to the previous
    civilization’s period in history. That human race was destroyed in Mexico, and only a small
    number of people survived. But the Mayan culture was directly related to Mongolians. I
    won’t get into the details here. Humankind doesn’t know its own historical origins.”

  2. Tiffany says:

    Yay archaeology/anthropology shows up here!. Society of American Archaeology puts out a monthly journal called American Antiquity and many archaeologists have covered this issue in this journal. A university library should have a section on archaeology/anthropology.
    For the controversy side, look for stuff on Monte Verde in Chile and Meadowcroft Shelter in the U.S. That should lead you to more stuffs on early migration theories into N America

  3. April says:

    As a History Nerd & (teacher) I am happy to see some actual science & history on The Nerdist site. Thanks for alerting me to this finding. I will research it more & maybe include it in a lesson plan.

  4. Tom says:

    This kind of discovery laughs in the face of good old fashioned white supremacy and religion-rasism (god hates blacks). The whole race argument is funny cause you go through history and find that us greater race that god meant to be the true sons are the ones who can’t adapt to or find meaning and enlightenment in our surroundings and make it worse. But even the bible isn’t full of eight people, its full of what the people who now get profiled as terrorist because of there skin. All the locations are in or around that area.

  5. Fleur Fourie says:

    Why do Justin Beiber articles have comments and this one does not? I have always been interested in what caused the migration and subsequent population of the North America’s and from the probably South America’s. Come to think of it I really need to research this more. Any tips?