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Two ancient human genomes reveal Polynesian ancestry among the indigenous Botocudos of Brazil

Elsevier Inc.
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.09.078
  • Biology


We present 14C dates, morphological, isotopic, and genomic sequence data from two human skulls identified as belonging to the indigenous Botocudo peoples from the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. We find that their genomic ancestry is Polynesian, with no detectable Native American component. Radiocarbon analysis of the skulls shows that the individuals had died prior to the beginning of the 19th century. We discuss possible scenarios and conclude that our findings could either represent genomic evidence of Polynesians reaching South America during their Pacific expansion, or European mediated transport.

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