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Earlier Native Americans

Some of the earliest settlers of America may have come fromAustralia, southern Asia, and the Pacific, instead of overthe Bering ice bridge (which no longer exists) from Siberia.Ancient bones 12,000 years old have long and narrow headsthat are very different from the short, broad skulls oftoday's Native Americans, who trace their origins from thenorth. This means that present-day Indians were not thefirst people here.

In bbcnews.com, Paul Rincon quotes archeologist SilviaGonzalez as saying, "They appear more similar to southernAsians, Australians and populations of the South Pacific Rimthan they do to northern Asians. We think there were severalmigration waves into the Americas at different times bydifferent human groups."

She thinks the first migration came from Australia via Japanand Polynesia, down the Pacific coast of America. The lasttribe with long-headed ancestors was called the Pericues,and they lived on the Baja peninsula. They died out in the18th century because of disease. Spanish missionariesreported that they were of a different racial type and haddifferent customs than other Native Americans.

If present-day Indian tribes aren't related to the firstpeople to settle in the Americas, this could have legalimplications for legislation about the return of NativeAmerican land, remains and artifacts.

Who were these early Americans? Theirghostscould tell us.

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