Beringia and the Dispersal of Modern Humans to the Americas

Friday, February 17, 2017: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Room 309 (Hynes Convention Center)
Major questions about the peopling of the Americas remain unanswered. It is known that American populations derived from source populations in Asia, but how and when they became distinct from those ancestral groups, and when they emerged and dispersed into the American continents, are matters of debate and ongoing research. The pertinent archaeological record remains sparse, but new research in historical linguistics, geographic patterns of dental variation, and genomics -- including recent results from testing ancient DNA -- provide fresh insight into the origin of a distinctive Native American genome and the initial dispersal into the Americas. As the final major phase of the global dispersal of anatomically modern humans, these new results will be cast in the context of the existing archaeological and paleoenvironmental records, providing a higher resolution understanding of migration as a continuous global process. This session highlights new analytical approaches to understanding prehistoric population dynamics, emphasizing the importance of multidisciplinary, collaborative research in archaeology, linguistics, biological anthropology, and genetics.
Dennis O'Rourke, University of Kansas
John Hoffecker, University of Colorado
John Hoffecker, University of Colorado
Leslea Hlusko, University of California, Berkeley
Beringia and Beyond: New Dental Perspectives on the Peopling of the Americas