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The first modern humans (Homo sapiens) evolved in Africa around 200,000 years ago and then migrated (moved) to almost every corner of the globe! Archaeological artifacts tell us that around 6,000 years ago, people moved into the Caribbean for the first time. We wanted to use ancient DNA to find out where these people had come from. To find this answer, we needed both archaeology and DNA. 

We learned that the first settlers of the Caribbean came from Central or South America. They used stone tools and probably gathered wild plants and hunted animals. Another group of people moved into the Caribbean thousands of years later from South America and brought clay pots and farming. Ancient DNA can help us tell the story of people who lived thousands of years ago. And it can help us understand how they are connected to people living today!

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Summary of research
Scientists used ancient DNA, radiocarbon dating, and archaeological remains to find out where the first people in the Caribbean came from.
Reading level
Scientific field
Key words
NGSS standards
AP Environmental science topics
IB Biology topics
Scientific methods
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Location of research
Scientist Affiliation
Publication date
March 2021

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