They trekked to their new home from Siberia across Bering Strait and no contact was made with other cultures who had made the same journey at different times in history, including Intuit people and Native Americans.
Eventually around 700 years ago, the Paleo Eskimos disappeared and this was the time when ancestors of modern-day Intuit were seen moving eastward from Alaska, said the researchers in US Journal Science.
The director of Arctic Study Center at National Museum of Natural History at Smithsonian, William Fitzhugh, said that “They were, in a sense, sitting ducks and either they were pushed out into the fringes of the Arctic area where they couldn’t survive economically or else they may simply have been annihilated in some strange way,”
DNA was obtained by the researchers from hair samples, teeth and human bone from Greenland, Canada, Alaska and Arctic Siberia. Genomes of 2 Athabascan Native Americans, 1 Aleutian Islander, 2 Siberian Nivkhs and 2 present day Greenlandic Intuit were also sequenced. As per the study of the genetics, it was also shown that Paleo-Eskimos didn’t have any relation to Intuit or Native Americans.
Known as Saqqaq and Dorset people, Paleo Eskimos lived in small villages, and they had handful of houses that could accommodate 20-30 people in each. It is certainly hard to know their population size, but researchers numbered a few 1000s.
A uniformity was found by researchers in Mitochondrial DNA, coming from the mother. A Molecular biologist and a researcher at Natural History Museum of Denmark, Maanasa Raghavan says that the occupational history of Arctic is very unique in comparison with other regions across the globe.
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