Investigating the genetic prehistory of the New World Arctic
Members of the Department of Archaeology, Dr. Vaughan Grimes and the late Prof. Priscilla Renouf, were among an international team of researchers who co-authored a recent article in the prestigious journal Science investigating the genetics of prehistoric Arctic populations.
This large-scale ancient DNA study utilized 169 samples of human remains from archaeological sites across the Arctic (Siberia to Greenland), which included the remains of Middle Dorset people who occupied Newfoundland (~2800-1000 years BP). This study has effectively demonstrated that the Dorset people were part of a genetically isolated but continuous population across the Canadian Arctic, and it has set the stage for the development of new and exciting research in Arctic archaeology.
The ground-breaking research has been extensively covered through a number of international news agencies:
- National Geographic: Ancient DNA Sheds New Light on Arctic's Earliest People
- Toronto Star: Ancient tooth DNA sheds light on origins of Arctic peoples
- New York Times: New Study Offers Clues to Swift Arctic Extinction
- BBC: DNA reveals history of vanished 'Paleo-Eskimos'