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December 16, 2014

DNA links 5,500 year old remains to 200x Great-Grandaughter

This is an exciting find for scientists who studied DNA from various individuals in an attempt to match them with four very old skeletons found previously.

The study used DNA samples from 60 modern members of the indigenous Tsimshian, Haida and Nisga’a tribes from the Metlakatla First Nation for a study.  The samples were compared with mitochondrial DNA extracted from the teeth of four ancient people: two skeletons aged 6,000 years and 5,500 years unearthed in an ancient shell midden on Lucy Island, and two skeletons aged 5,000 years and 2,500 years found on Dodge Island.

Three living individuals had DNA matches with the older Dodge Island skeleton, and three of the skeletons matched at least one living person.  The oldest Lucy Island skeleton didn’t match any living relatives, but did match a 10,300-year-old skeleton previously unearthed on Prince of Wales Island, Alaska. [Source: Abroad in the Yard]

Continue reading this fascinating story at

DNA links 5,500 year old remains of aboriginal woman found in Canada and her 200 x great-grandaughter who still lives nearby

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Celia Lewis said...

Fascinating to be able to link people over such a period of time. Prince of Wales Island seems so very far distant from the Metlakatla nation! So interesting.

Dave Robison said...

This is indeed, a stunning discovery, only possibly through the modern science of DNA. I notice, however, that is an advertiser. Keep in mind that Ancestry's test is autosomal only which is basically, a cousin match, the accuracy of which may be just 4 or 5 generations, possibly 6. The mtDNA referenced in the article is the DNA that is passed only by females to all her offspring. Thus the possibility of tracking a great many generations.