Genetic evidence supports early contact between Easter Island and Americas

October 26, 2014 7:58 PM

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Genetic evidence supports early contact between Easter Island and Americas

New genomic evidence indicates early contact between Easter Island and the Americas. The new evidence suggests that people may have been crossing over from Easter Island to the Americas for a prolonged period of time before the Dutch commander Jakob Roggeveen arrived in 1722 with his ships. According to these recent findings, the genomic evidence shows that the Rapanui people inhabiting the most isolated islands had significant contact with Native Americans hundreds of years earlier.

The findings are reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on October 23, introducing the first genetic support for an early trans-Pacific route from Polynesia and the Americas, a trek that spans over 4,000 kilometers, or nearly 2,500 miles.

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