Yau, Bobby (2022) ARCHAEOGENETICS OF THE GREAT LAKES REGION OF NORTH AMERICA. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The initial movement of people into the Americas began approximately 16,000 years ago via a land bridge connecting Siberia and Alaska. This land bridge, known as Beringia, provided some resources for the nomadic lifestyle of hunter-gatherers and was suggested to be the culture for early Native Americans. Proposal of an alternative route, the transatlantic route, was also hypothesized due to the similarity of archaeological findings, raising questions for the initial studies regarding the entry and arrival time of Native Americans in the Americas continent. However, despite broad agreement that the first settlers entered via Beringia, this dispersal is still poorly understood. Previous publications have hinted at the possibility of a rapid migration into the Southern coast of the Americas via a coastal route, whilst other studies indicate the availability of the Ice-Free corridor after the last glacial maximum (LGM) as an important factor for populating Americas. Although much progress has been made using archaeological evidence to understand the movement of Native Americans, the implementation of the genetic methodology using archaeological human remains was used to complement the archaeological evidence. This allows the differentiation of possible admixture events between Native Americans of different regions, in which the physical evidence sometimes fails to provide a coherent picture.

The great lake region in the north is one of the center points for the congregation of indigenous population, with many different cultures and linguistic populations occupying this area, and utilizing the resources for survival purposes. This area was also suggested to be a crucial location for trading, bringing goods and people from a far. Speculation of competitions between tribes to obtain resources was hypothesed based on the understanding of post-European colonization with little understanding of Indigenous culturalism and contribution.

Here, I present low-coverage genome of two Maritime Archaic culture and nine Huron-Wendat individual predating the arrival of European in North America. Demonstrating genetic continuity between ancient populations and discovering mitochondrial haplogroups which appears to be specific to populations from the Great Lake region. The phylogeographic analysis of modern and ancient mitochondrial haplogroup of A and C, expresses different story suggesting perhaps a different introduction of these haplogroup into the Americas, demonstrating the uses of uniparental genomes shows greater detail of relationships between indigenous populations.

Yau THESIS.pdf - Accepted Version
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