Indigenous Americans had contact with Polynesians 800 years ago, DNA reveals

  • Study shows groups crossed vast ocean in about the year 1200
  • Proof of encounter found in DNA of present-day populations

Indigenous Americans and Polynesians bridged vast expanses of open ocean around the year 1200 and mingled, leaving incontrovertible proof of their encounter in the DNA of present-day populations, new studies have revealed.

Whether peoples from what is today Colombia or Ecuador drifted thousands of kilometres to tiny islands in the middle of the Pacific, or whether seafaring Polynesians sailed upwind to South America and then back again, is still unknown.

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