Republication from Science daily

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Source:Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human HistorySummary:The vast cultural and linguistic diversity of Latin American countries is still far from being fully represented by genetic surveys. Western South America in particular holds a key role in the history of the continent due to the presence of three major ecogeographic domains (the Andes, the Amazonia, and the Pacific Coast), and for hosting the earliest and largest complex societies. A new study reveals signatures of history, ecology and cultural diversity in the genetic makeup of living rural populations.

A thorough study, a collaboration between scientists and institutes from Europe, the USA, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, including geneticists, linguists and anthropologists, has shed new light on the population history of South America. The study, which involved working closely with local populations in numerous regions, was published in Molecular Biology and Evolution. The results confirmed the impact of large, complex societies already known from archaeological evidence, but also revealed previously unknown migrations and connections across vast distances, including in Amazonia, an area that has not been as deeply studied archaeologically.

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