Updated 02:33 PM EST, Fri, Dec 04, 2020

Eastern Islanders & Native Americans Shocking Connection Revealed

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A recently-published genetic study in the online journal Cell Biology suggested that inhabitants of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) may have interbred with Native Americans earlier than assumed.

Titled "Genome-wide Ancestry Patterns in Rapanui Suggest Pre-European Admixture with Native Americans," the study provided evidence that Polynesian people made interaction with Native Americans before Europeans. Citing the latter's "discovery" of the Easter Island in A.D. 1722, researchers claimed that the Rapanui blood among its subjects had "genome-wide patterns" similar to Native Americans, as well.

The study concluded the Native Americans' admixture to date back in A.D. 1280-1495 -- this is about 19 - 23 generations from the present. The Europeans followed in A.D. 1850-1895.

With >650,000 SNP markers of 27 native Rapa Nui subjects genotyped and analyzed, the study specifically found a collective ancestry of 76% Polynesian, 8% Native American and 16% European.

Covering an enormous distance of about 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles), such findings indicate that oceans are not barriers between the Americas and Polynesia since then. It also suggests how good these ancient travelers are in seafaring; the researchers believe that the Rapanui people may have done round-trip voyages.

Leading the study, Anna-Sapfo Malaspinas from the Natural History Museum of Denmark's Centre for GeoGenetics said in a press statement, "Early human populations extensively explored the planet."

Malaspinas added that literary information may need to be updated, "Textbook versions of human colonization events -- the peopling of the Americas, for example -- need to be re-evaluated utilizing genomic data."

The Easter Island is part of the massive number of islands situated at the heart of the Pacific Ocean. They are collectively known as "Polynesia." According to the World Encyclopedia, the area is among the three major divisions of Oceania, the other two being Micronesia and Melanesia.

Polynesia is composed of the Easter Island, Hawaiian Islands, Phoenix Islands, Tokelau Islands, Samoan Islands, Cook Islands and French Polynesia. More remote than anybody else, people in these areas were said to have similar physical attributes, as well as common cultural and linguistic practices.

In a report by Nature World News, Polynesians are said to be popular for their architecture of head-and-torso stone statues. 900 of these craftsmanship are scattered all over the region, with some even weighing as much as 82 tons.

The Polynesian culture was reported to flourish around A.D. 1200, eventually falling on the 16th century. Whether the ancient civilization made connections with Latinos the other way around has not been thoroughly studied yet. Geneticist Mark Stoneking said via Reuters, "It will be interesting to see if in further studies any signal of Polynesian, Rapa Nui ancestry can be found in South Americans."

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