A paleogenome from a Holocene individual supports genetic continuity in Southeast Alaska

Alber Aqil, Stephanie Gill, Omer Gokcumen, Ripan S. Malhi, Esther Aaltséen Reese, Jane L. Smith, Timothy T. Heaton, Charlotte Lindqvist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many specifics of the population histories of the Indigenous peoples of North America remain contentious owing to a dearth of physical evidence. Only few ancient human genomes have been recovered from the Pacific Northwest Coast, a region increasingly supported as a coastal migration route for the initial peopling of the Americas. Here, we report paleogenomic data from the remains of a ∼3,000-year-old female individual from Southeast Alaska, named Tatóok yík yées sháawat (TYYS). Our results demonstrate at least 3,000 years of matrilineal genetic continuity in Southeast Alaska, and that TYYS is most closely related to ancient and present-day northern Pacific Northwest Coast Indigenous Americans. We find no evidence of Paleo-Inuit (represented by Saqqaq) ancestry in present-day or ancient Pacific Northwest peoples. Instead, our analyses suggest the Saqqaq genome harbors Northern Native American ancestry. This study sheds further light on the human population history of the northern Pacific Northwest Coast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106581
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 19 2023


  • Genomics
  • Human Genetics
  • Paleobiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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