First Native Americans – #5 Comparison of the Migration Theories (Beringia, Solutrean, Coastal)

As somewhat of a conclusion to this part of the blog which deals with the migration of the Native Americans to North America, a comparison is offered between the three theories: Beringia, Solutrean, and Coastal.  The second part of this blog will discus the ancient cultures of our first Native Americans.

The debate on the migration paths and source of the original Paleo-Americans for North America is ongoing with new issues and findings occurring more often today than ever before with all the technological advancement in this 21st century.

Migration Theories

  1. Three of the Popular Theory on the Paleo- American Migration to North America

Accepting all of these migration theories to the America’s is totally acceptable to many who study this issue.  As to which was first is where the debate gets strong and continues.

Phylogeography is the study of the historical processes that may be responsible for the contemporary geographic distributions of individuals. This is accomplished by considering the geographic distribution of individuals in light of genetics, particularly population genetics.

Recent phylogeographic analyses using the DNA of present day Native Americans has revealed that two paths of migration from Beringia into the North American interior occurred basically at the same time.  Haplogroup D4h3 and X2a were found to be common among the 276 Native Americans from across the United States. From further study, it was found that Haplogroup D4h3 spread into the Americas along the Pacific coast and X2a entered through the ice-free corridor between the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets, both approximately 13,000 to 15,000 years ago.  It is also possible, but not considered likely by opponents, that the X2a haplogroup came from Europe as proposed by the Solutrean Theory.  (Haplogroup X has a wide geographic range covering Europe, North Africa, Asia and North)

These results provide an argument that at least there was a dual origin for Paleo-Americans using the Pacific Coastal Theory and Beringia Theory paths (and possibly a third using the Solutrean Theory).

As a conclusion on the issue of migration, the following table is provided:

Theory Comparison Table

 So which is correct?  The debate goes on and a solution is not going to be soon. Discounting the specific dates as to when each of these theories for the initial migrations, one can strongly consider that any or all could be correct as to the path and sources of the Paleo- American migration into North America.

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