New York —

Analysis of the genetic material of 89 people, some of whom lived 9,000 years ago, reveals new clues about the ancient inhabitants of the Andes region.

From the Incas we have great evidence of what was their impressive passage through Earth.

We know about their culture, their temples and its valuable advances in areas such as agriculture, architecture, and engineering.

However, we know much less about the Genetic information that ran through his DNA.

Now, new research that has come out as the first large-scale study of the ancient genome of those who inhabited the Andes, reveals valuable clues about the Incas and other civilizations in the region.

The study shows the movements, geographical distribution and cultural exchanges of pre-Columbian peoples that lived until 9,000 years ago.

Gustavo Politis Researchers analyzed remains of people who lived even up to 9,000 years ago.

What did it consist of?

A team of scientists from 8 countries, including Bolivia, Argentina, Chile and Peru, sequenced the genetic material of 89 skeletons of people who lived in the central Andes region between 500 and 9,000 years ago.

The analysis included the genome of several civilizations that preceded the Incas and for which until now there was no genetic information, such as the tiwanaku in the Lake Titicaca basin; wari, in central and southern Peru; and la moche, in northern Peru.

Then, they took that genetic information and compared it with people who inhabit the region today to observe the changes over time and understand how people from different cultures and regions interacted.

What did you find?

The analysis showed that the populations that lived in the highlands were genetically different to those who lived on the Pacific coast.

Guido Valverde The study revealed genetic differences between the different regions of the Inca empire.

These differences were mostly at the genetic code level, although it could possibly also be reflected in the phenotypeNathan Nakatsuka, a biologist and geneticist at the David Reich laboratory at Harvard University and lead author of the study, explains to the BBC World.

Comparison with the genes of the current inhabitants showed that these genetic differences have persisted to this day and was not completely destroyed with the arrival of the Spanish, according to Nakatsuka.

The genomic map they put together also shows that this genetic structure began to develop about 5,800 years ago, followed by a genetic exchange due to migrations between the northern and southern regions, and between the highlands and the coast.

. The Inca empire lasted for 100 years.

One of the surprising findings, for example, was having found genetic traces of a population of Cusco, in Peru, in a child sacrifice in what is now southern Argentina.

“It was interesting to discover signs of mobility long-range during the Inca period, ”Professor Bastien Llamas, of the Ancient DNA Center at the Adelaide University of Australia and part of the research team, said in a statement.

“Archeology shows that the Incas occupied thousands of kilometers from Ecuador to northern Chile, which is why when the Europeans arrived they discovered a great empire, but we found close genetic relationships between individuals in the ends of the empire“Llamas says.

Later, about 2,000 years ago, that genetic exchange stopped, despite the fact that people of different origins lived as neighbors in the Inca or Tiwanaku metropolis, which, saving distances, could be the equivalent of cosmopolitan atmosphere that is lived today in cities like New York.

. The study of the genome raises new questions about pre-Columbian civilizations.

New questions

These findings, in turn, serve as the basis for beginning to answer more questions about the genetic information of pre-Columbian civilizations.

Nakatsuka mentions, for example, that the study is useful to begin to understand better what motivated the movements and migrations of these cultures throughout the territory.

It also opens the door to find out if there was a difference in the number of men and women who moved from one place to another; or if you can detect any genetic difference associated with how these cultures were divided into social classes.

The research also helps to nourish the genetic information that we have about the ancient inhabitants of America, since until now the most important genomic maps have been made mainly in Eurasia.

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