Premium Lucy's face after all is not African but Asian

Lucy's new face

Lucy's new face

A study made from fossil DNA confirms that there was only one ancestral population group of all ethnic groups in America which came from Siberia and North China

The theory that the settlement of the Americas would have occurred through two migratory waves from Northeast Asia - one of population with African and Australian traits and another of Amerindians similar to the present-day Indians - has just been dismantled.

A study of fossil DNA, with samples of the earliest skeletons found in the continent, has confirmed the existence of a single ancestral population group of all ethnicities in America that has origins in Siberia and North China.

With this discovery, Lucy's face - as the skull of the paleoamerican youth discovered in the decade of 1970 - was redesigned, as Agência Brasil reported. Lucy's new face is no longer African but Asian.

Archaeogenetic data - which mixes knowledge of archeology and genetics - show that all populations of America descend from a single population that came to the New World through the Bering Strait about 20,000 years ago. By DNA, it is possible to confirm the affinity of this migratory current with the peoples of Siberia and the North of China. The results of the research were published this Thursday in the scientific journal Cell.

The work was developed by 72 scientists from eight countries, from institutions such as the University of São Paulo (USP), Harvard University in the United States, and the Max Planck Institute in Germany.

Facial Reconstruction

The first facial reconstruction of Lucy, a woman who lived in Lagoa Santa (MG) 12,500 years ago, was made in the decade of 1990 by the British specialist Richard Neave.

Her facial lines were based on USP professor Walter Neves's theory that the population Lucy was part of-this refers to the fossil remains found in Minas Gerais in the 19th century-would have arrived in America before the ancestors of the present day indigenous peoples.

The first wave, therefore, would have African or Australian aborigine characteristics. According to Agência Brasil, the theory used as a basis of comparison the cranial morphology that indicated that these people were very different from the present natives.

Archaeologist André Menezes Strauss of the Museum of Archeology and Ethnology (MAE) at USP, who coordinated the Brazilian part of the study, explains that Neves' contribution made it possible to know that there were differences between the ancestral inhabitants and the recent indigenous people, but genetic studies with the current technologies dismantle his thesis that this difference happened in the migratory process between continents.