Ancient DNA extracted from two sites in the region reveals the earliest settlement dates in the Marianas, according to the results of a new study that will be presented today at the American Memorial Park theater.
The study, called “Ancient DNA Confirms Biological and Cultural Continuities in the Marianas for more than 2,500 Years,” will be presented by Rosalind Hunter-Anderson and Joanne Eakin starting at 7pm, according to a Facebook post of the Northern Marianas Humanities Council.
The council’s summary of the study states that the study of ancient DNA from the Naton Beach site in Guam and the Anaguan site on Saipan reveals the earliest settlement dates in the Marianas (some 2,755-2,490 years before the present) “and origins in Island Southeast Asia of Unai (Pre-Latte Period) settlers and their Latte Period descendants.”
Genomic analysis allows for the identification of family groups and shows strong continuities in the cultural practices of matrilocality (husband comes to live in wife’s household) and the tendency for close relatives to be buried near one another, it added. (Saipan Tribune)