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Type: Journal article
Title: A re-appraisal of the early Andean human remains from Lauricocha in Peru
Author: Fehren-Schmitz, L.
Llamas, B.
Lindauer, S.
Tomasto-Cagigao, E.
Kuzminsky, S.
Rohland, N.
Santos, F.
Kaulicke, P.
Valverde, G.
Richards, S.
Nordenfelt, S.
Seidenberg, V.
Mallick, S.
Cooper, A.
Reich, D.
Haak, W.
Citation: PLoS One, 2015; 10(6):e0127141-1-e0127141-13
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1932-6203
Editor: Petraglia, M.D.
Statement of
Lars Fehren-Schmitz, Bastien Llamas, Susanne Lindauer, Elsa Tomasto-Cagigao, Susan Kuzminsky, Nadin Rohland, Fabrício R. Santos, Peter Kaulicke, Guido Valverde, Stephen M. Richards, Susanne Nordenfelt, Verena Seidenberg, Swapan Mallick, Alan Cooper, David Reich, Wolfgang Haak
Abstract: The discovery of human remains from the Lauricocha cave in the Central Andean highlands in the 1960's provided the first direct evidence for human presence in the high altitude Andes. The skeletons found at this site were ascribed to the Early to Middle Holocene and represented the oldest known population of Western South America, and thus were used in several studies addressing the early population history of the continent. However, later excavations at Lauricocha led to doubts regarding the antiquity of the site. Here, we provide new dating, craniometric, and genetic evidence for this iconic site. We obtained new radiocarbon dates, generated complete mitochondrial genomes and nuclear SNP data from five individuals, and re-analyzed the human remains of Lauricocha to revise the initial morphological and craniometric analysis conducted in the 1960's. We show that Lauricocha was indeed occupied in the Early to Middle Holocene but the temporal spread of dates we obtained from the human remains show that they do not qualify as a single contemporaneous population. However, the genetic results from five of the individuals fall within the spectrum of genetic diversity observed in pre-Columbian and modern Native Central American populations.
Keywords: Humans
Rights: Copyright: © 2015 Fehren-Schmitz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0127141
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