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Ancient DNA sheds light on the peopling of the Mariana Islands

Researchers find that present-day Mariana Islanders’ ancestry is linked to the Philippines

Compared to the first peopling of Polynesia, the settlement of the Mariana Islands in the Western Pacific, which happened around 3,500 years ago, has received little attention. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, the Australian National University and the University of Guam have now obtained answers to long debated questions regarding the origin of the first colonizers of the Marianas and their relationship to the people who initially settled in Polynesia.

© Mike T. Carson