Subscribe to Archaeology

Some East Asians May Have Been Wiped Out in the Last Ice Age

Friday, May 28, 2021

China Human JawboneBEIJING, CHINA—According to a Science Magazine report, paleogeneticist Qiaomei Fu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and her colleagues analyzed the genomes of 25 individuals whose remains were unearthed in Russia’s Amur region, which is located on the eastern edge of the China Plateau. The study suggests that a woman who lived between 34,000 and 32,000 years ago was closely related to a man whose 40,000-year-old remains were discovered in northeastern China’s Tianyuan Cave. These two individuals were also related to a woman who lived in Mongolia’s Salkhit Valley some 34,000 years ago. But by 19,000 years ago, at the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, a new group of people appears to have replaced these earlier inhabitants of the China Plateau. The remains of three men, including one who lived 19,000 years ago, and two who lived 14,000 years ago, were found to be closely related to people whose remains have been recovered in Siberia. These three men are thought to be among the ancestors of today’s northern East Asians and distant relatives of some Native Americans. The harsh weather conditions of the Last Glacial Maximum may have contributed to population turnover in East Asia, Fu explained. To read about Denisovan presence on the Tibetan Plateau, go to "Denisovans at Altitude," one of ARCHAEOLOGY's Top 10 Discoveries of 2019.

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement