24,000-Year-Old Body Is Kin to Both Europeans and American Indians

Nicholas Wade, New York Times, November 20, 2013

The genome of a young boy buried at Mal’ta near Lake Baikal in eastern Siberia some 24,000 years ago has turned out to hold two surprises for anthropologists.

The first is that the boy’s DNA matches that of Western Europeans, showing that during the last Ice Age people from Europe had reached farther east across Eurasia than previously supposed. Though none of the Mal’ta boy’s skin or hair survive, his genes suggest he would have had brown hair, brown eyes and freckled skin.

The second surprise is that his DNA also matches a large proportion—some 25 percent—of the DNA of living Native Americans. The first people to arrive in the Americas have long been assumed to have descended from Siberian populations related to East Asians. It now seems that they may be a mixture between the Western Europeans who had reached Siberia and an East Asian population.

The Mal’ta boy was aged 3 to 4 and was buried under a stone slab wearing an ivory diadem, a bead necklace and a bird-shaped pendant. Elsewhere at the same site some 30 Venus figurines were found of the kind produced by the Upper Paleolithic cultures of Europe. The remains were excavated by Russian archaeologists over a 20-year period ending in 1958 and stored in museums in St. Petersburg.


The other surprise from the Mal’ta boy’s genome was that it matched to both Europeans and Native Americans but not to East Asians. Dr. Willerslev’s interpretation was that the ancestors of Native Americans had already separated from the East Asian population when they interbred with the people of the Mal’ta culture, and that this admixed population then crossed over the Beringian land bridge that then lay between Siberia and Alaska to become a founding population of Native Americans.

“We estimate that 14 to 38 percent of Native American ancestry may originate through gene flow from this ancient population,” he and colleagues wrote in an article published Wednesday in the journal Nature.


The Mal’ta people built houses that were partly underground, with bone walls and roofs made of reindeer antlers. Their culture is distinguished by its many art objects and its survival in an unforgiving climate.


Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Triarius

    Since it has become impossible to mask the fact that descendants of Europeans were in America, and possibly here first, the media will paint it as a multicultural garden of eden before the homogenous whites showed up. Despite the fact that Asians probably followed white people across and overwhelmed them in mass numbers forcibly.

    Whites have been trying to get away from nonwhites since the dawn of time, still to no avail. If we escaped to space there would be a first, and only, worldwide cooperation between all the other races to reach space themselves to seek us out.

    • Rhialto

      If Whites were trying to get away from nonwhites, why did White men engage in the exploration/colonization of Africa, North America, South America, Australia, and Asia? Maybe we should have stayed home!

      • Triarius

        It is in our nature to be inquisitive and explore. This is why we wanted to go to the moon and why we look for bigfoot. Why Europeans started colonization I have no idea. But you can look at who was in charge of the British empire and who financed it as well to get better insight.

        While we might have been better off staying at home, there is not a guarantee. Nonwhites would use some other excuse or rationality as to why they dying to enter our lands if “payback for colonization” wasn’t a card in their deck. Look at Sweden for example.

        • So CAL Snowman

          Europeans started colonization because Europe is naturally devoid of most natural resources. Europeans knew from trade and exploration that in order to advance technologically and economically we had to colonize the parts of the world that held strategic resources. Europeans are forward thinking people. The Roman empire understood this lesson well.

      • Heidi

        Wait — first of all it was Northern Africa that was controlled by Whites and half-Whites. The interior and lower portion of Africa was controlled by Blacks. Whites had been in the East, it is a push Westward that the “Caucasian” people have been forced to do.

        Leif Erikson was the ‘first’ Caucasian explorer to come to North America — and yet Europeans did not colonize — it wasn’t until the Crypto-Jew (Ynet Daily) Christopher Columbus and his Jewish financiers, that took slaves and began to colonize the Americas.

        Europeans were noted as freedom loving people from some of Rome’s finest thinkers.

        • Bossman

          Yes, Europeans are freedom loving people who loved to enslave and exploit people whom they considered to be inferior.

          • Heidi

            What are you talking about?
            I think you’ve confused the “elites” and rulers of European society with the general population and are trying to collectively punish Europeans for the crimes of a few.

            All people, of all races, have practiced slavery – it is not a unique institution to the European people, and to try to claim that it is, is not only perverse, but is academically dishonest.

            Your statement shows your lack of research and knowledge on the subject, I would encourage you to read some books and gain an accurate perspective of history.

    • Dave4088

      I think you’re on to something and I wouldn’t be surprised if Europeans were the first people to cross the Bering land bridge into N. America and later followed by the Asians who were the “wetbacks” of that time.

  • bigone4u

    Notice the respect for the dead that our Euro ancestors showed. I am always moved when I read about how carefully they were when they interred their deceased young. There were many tears shed over the death of the boy and much sadness among his friends and relatives. The white race shows a god-like goodness in these acts.

    • willbest

      Then we dig them up, probe them, and put them on display

      • bigone4u

        Yes, it’s sad some of the things done in the name of science. Disturbing the rest of the dead is one of them.

        • It wouldn’t bother me to have my bones put on display. I just wouldn’t want that done with my mother.

      • Heidi


  • John R

    Just more evidence confirming what is obvious to any objective observation: That the American Indians looked like a cross between Europeans and Asians. It is no wonder that Hollywood for so long managed to dress up Whites to look like Indians, and not look too unrealistic.

    • Sloppo

      I think the Cherokee Chief named Spring Frog looked more European than Asian.

      • Jack Burton

        An invalid example. He was born post-colonialism. He could likely have had admixture from a European colonial source.

        People have this distorted version of Amerindians because modern tribes have so much White admixture, that’s why they had to create blood quantum laws. Full-blooded Amerindians are extremely Mongoloid.

        • Bossman

          That is not how the early Europeans described them. Admittedly, some tribes looked more Mongoloid than others which suggest to me that when they left Asia they were already mixed or the very long time in America changed them. The important point for me is that the natives of the Americas and their racially mixed descendants do not identify with East Asians and do not interbreed with them.

          • Jack Burton

            Wrong, irrelevant and nonsensical.

    • Bossman

      I’ve this idea that American Indians are some kind of root race that existed before White Europeans and East Asians had fully differentiated from each other.

      • Andy

        There’s probably some truth to that, but it sounds like there were also partially-differentiated groups that migrated and then mixed.

        • Guest

          An invalid example, he was born post-colonialism. He could likely have had admixture from a European colonial source.

          People have this distorted version of Amerindians because modern tribes have so much White admixture, that’s why they had to create blood quantum laws. Full-blooded Amerindians are extremely Mongoloid.

          • Andy

            Who was born post-colonialism?

      • Jack Burton

        That makes no sense considering that Amerindians are ancient Asian immigrants.

        It’s generally accepted that the three root races are Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Negroid. Some have Australoids as another root, which is supported genetically. Then there are subraces under them.

        • John R

          “Asian” immigrants? What does “Asian” mean? We are talking about history thousands of years ago! Don’t you realize that present day political boundaries are artificial, that various peoples have been migrating back and forth throughout time? Uhhh, like I guess you also believe that the people of North America have been speaking English a thousand years ago, right? Or, that the people south of the border speak, “Latin” huh? (Rolling my eyes.)

          • Jack Burton

            You’re not too bright are you. You need everything spelled out.

            Nothing you said made any sense at all.

            It means they’re racially Mongoloid, they’re ancient Siberian immigrants, specifically they descend from Altaians. This is genetically proven.

            Politics has nothing to do with it, LOL, the concept didn’t exist 20,000 years ago.

        • Bossman

          They are ancient Asian immigrants with Caucasoid elements in their DNA. The important thing is that they left Asia a very long time ago and over that long time period they may have had different genetic mutations from East Asians who remained in East Asia. You should know that the natives of the Americas definitely do not identify themselves with East Asians.

      • John R

        Actually, even decades ago, The American Heritage Book of Indians, that I once read, kind of implied this. The American Indians are a very ancient race, and, it is believed, pre-dated the Mongoloid and Caucasoid, races.

        • Bossman

          Yeah, I’ve read books which suggest that European Cro-Magnon man and Paleo-Indian man were the same kind of men. They used the same tools.

  • Le Fox

    “This does away with the untestable Solutrean Hypothesis” – HAHAHAHA.

    Give me a minute to stop laughing.

  • freddy_hills

    This doesn’t do away with the Solutrean hypothesis. It provides an additional option for how the admixture could have occurred. The Solutrean hypothesis could also be correct. Having said that, I’m actually skeptical of th Solutrean hypothesis. I’d like more evidence before I either embrace or dismiss it.

  • Fighting_Northern_Spirit

    Taking a step back for a broader view, it strikes me as ridiculous that American Whites have to go back 24,000 years to legitimize their claim to their own nation. The history of all peoples is continual displacement, but only Whites are supposed to feel bad about it and let others displace us. I refuse to play that game.

    • M.

      Those who founded, fought for, and built a nation ex nihilo (which is exactly what Whites have done with Europe, the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa) should be the most entitled to own and inherit it.

  • Kenner

    “Brown hair, brown eyes, and freckles’…So, he was Irish, got drunk, and got lost…