12,000 year old lineage of the first settlers in the Americas

About 30 human skeletons that have been dated to the second millennium BC have been discovered in the cave of La Grave, in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, and could provide vital clues relating to the first settlers in the Americas according to archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

Oldest genetic lineages

The bones are related with early groups that populated the continent. Image: INAH

Based on osteometric studies, ancient DNA and radiocarbon tests that have been applied to the skeletal remains which began to be recovered in 2011 near the town of Tula, it is possible this area has signs of one of the oldest genetic lineages in the Americas, associated with the men who crossed into the continent around 12 thousand years ago.

The exploration and excavation of burial caves in Tamaulipas seeks to “better understand the origin, development, quality and lifestyle of ancient cultures who settled in the region,” said physical anthropologist Jesús Ernesto González Velasco who works at the INAH Centre, Tamaulipas.

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