Study: Ancient Polynesians and South Americans Had Contact
A new study shows that there was mixing between ancient native peoples from Polynesia and South America.
Researchers say they found a single episode of the two groups interbreeding around 800 years ago after a long trip across the Pacific Ocean.
For a long time, the question of such contact had been debated among scientists. The contact was theorized partly because of the presence of a kind of sweet potato in the islands of Polynesia. The plant is native to South and Central America.
Scientists said last week that an examination of DNA from 807 people made the results clear. The genetic material came from 14 Polynesian islands and Pacific coastal Native American populations from Mexico to Chile.
People from four island areas in French Polynesia had DNA that showed interbreeding with South Americans at around the year 1200. Those South Americans were most closely related to present-day native Colombians.
The islands are about 6,800 kilometers from South America.
People from Easter Island also had South American ancestry, some from modern Chilean immigrants and some from the same ancient mixing as the other islands.
Easter Island, which belongs to Chile, was settled sometime after the interbreeding 800 years ago. The island, which lies 3,700 kilometers west of South America, is known for its massive stone statues.
The study left open the question of who crossed the Pacific Ocean. Were Polynesians traveling east and arriving in Colombia or maybe Ecuador? Or were South Americans traveling west?
Alexander Ioannidis is a computational geneticist at Stanford University in California. He was the lead author of the research, which appears in the science journal Nature.
Ioannadis says he thinks the Polynesians crossed the Pacific, since they were "exploring the ocean and discovering some of the most distant Pacific islands around exactly the time of contact." The Reuters news agency reported his comments.
If the Polynesians reached the Americas, he added, they probably traveled in sailing canoes with two hulls. He noted these boats operate much like a modern catamaran, another kind of two-hulled boat.
The contact explains the mystery of how the sweet potato arrived in Polynesia centuries before European sailors. Ioannidis noted the vegetable's name in many Polynesian languages - kumara - sounds similar to its name in some languages spoken in the Andes Mountains.
I'm Alice Bryant.
The government declared Easter Monday a public holiday.
He can speak three foreign languages.
His catamaran will do 37 knots.
Ceiling and wall lights can operate independently
5.The island, which lies 3,700 kilometers west of South America, is known for its massive stone statues.
be known for 因...著名
The French are known for their love of their language.
He is known for taking a tough line on security.
6.For a long time, the question of such contact had been debated among scientists.
For a long time 长期以来
He has been waiting here for a long time.
We haven't corresponded for a long time.
长期以来，科学家们一直围绕这种接触的问题争论已久 。这种接触被理论化的部分原因是波利尼西亚群岛上出现了一种甘薯 。这种植物原产于南美洲和中美洲 。
科学家们上周表示，对807人的DNA检测结果十分清楚 。这些基因物质来自14个波利尼西亚群岛和从墨西哥到智利的太平洋沿岸美洲原住民 。
法属波利尼西亚四座岛屿地区的人们的基因显示，大约在公元1200年，与南美洲人进行了异血缘交配 。这些南美人与现今的哥伦比亚原住民关系最为密切 。
在公元800年前进行了异血缘交配后，他们开始定居在智利的复活节岛上 。该岛位于南美洲西部3700公里处，因其巨大的石像而闻名 。
亚历山大·约阿纳迪斯（Alexander Ioannidis）是加州斯坦福大学的计算遗传学家 。他是这项研究的首席作者，该研究发表在科学杂志《自然》上 。
约阿纳迪斯表示，他认为波利尼西亚人横渡了太平洋，因为他们“在探索海洋的过程中，发现了一些最遥远的太平洋岛屿，而发现这些岛屿的时间恰好与双方接触的时间一致 。”路透社报道了他的评论 。
他补充说，如果波利尼西亚人到达了美洲，他们很可能是乘坐带有两个船体的独木舟航行的 。他指出，这些船操作起来很像现代双体船 。
这种接触解开了甘薯如何比欧洲水手早数个世纪到达波利尼西亚的谜团 。约阿纳迪斯注意到，这种作物在许多波利尼西亚语言中的名字为库马拉——发音与安第斯山脉的某些语言中的甘薯的发音相似 。