Learn about the first people who came to North and South America from Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kansas, Jennifer Raff at a free event on Thursday, February 29.
How–and when–did people first come to the American continents? In the last two decades, models to answer this question have been rapidly evolving. As researchers have worked to construct and test new models for the initial peopling of the Americas, they have increasingly incorporated evidence from the genomes of ancient peoples, which provide an archive of human population history. Ancient DNA has revealed a complex story of migrations, isolation, and adaptation, one which is still unfolding as more genomes are studied every year.
In this talk, Jennifer Raff will examine the latest genetic and archaeological evidence for the origins of the First Peoples. We will piece together a story told by fragments of DNA recovered from a tooth in Siberia, by a small broken knife found deep below the surface of a muddy pond in Florida, by the footprints of children left thousands of years ago on the banks of an ancient lake in New Mexico. We will explore why the same pieces of evidence tell different stories to different groups of scholars.
A picture of this history is gradually coming into focus, but there are still many unanswered questions. We will discuss the future of genetics and archaeological research, and the ethical directions in which this field needs to go.
Copies of Dr. Raff’s book, Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas
, are on sale at Magic City Books and will also be available for purchase at the event. If you will be attending the event virtually, you can order online at: https://magiccitybooks.square.site/product/origin/1924
From celebrated anthropologist Jennifer Raff comes the untold story–and fascinating mystery–of how humans migrated to the Americas.Origin
is the story of who the first peoples in the Americas were, how and why they made the crossing, how they dispersed south, and how they lived based on a new and powerful kind of evidence: their complete genomes. ORIGIN provides an overview of these new histories throughout North and South America, and a glimpse into how the tools of genetics reveal details about human history and evolution.
20,000 years ago, people crossed a great land bridge from Siberia into Western Alaska and then dispersed southward into what is now called the Americas. Until we venture out to other worlds, this remains the last time our species has populated an entirely new place, and this event has been a subject of deep fascination and controversy. No written records–and scant archaeological evidence–exist to tell us what happened or how it took place. Many different models have been proposed to explain how the Americas were peopled and what happened in the thousands of years that followed. A study of both past and present, ORIGIN explores how genetics is currently being used to construct narratives that profoundly impact Indigenous peoples of the Americas. It serves as a primer for anyone interested in how genetics has become entangled with identity in the way that society addresses the question “Who is indigenous?”