Friday, April 6, 2018

The Genetic Lineages of the Modern heirs of the Incan Empire

A team consisting of members from across South America has recently published the first genetic study on the modern descendants of the imperial Inca lineages. The Inca arrived in the Cusco valley and established the largest empire in the Americas, Tawantinsuyu; which served as the cultural center of the Andes for six thousand years. However, despite the vast collections of archaeological and cultural findings, the history of these people vanishes in time due to the lack of a proper writing system. The DNA of mummified remains could have helped the researchers, however most were burned or buried in unknown locations when the Christian conquistadors were persecuting these people. Fortunately, most of the Inca noble families' descendants still live in South America and are the most homogeneous group of Inca lineage. These individuals were studied looking for markers on the Y chromosome and the mtDNA, the results were then compared to the natives from Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Brazil. "The results show distinctive patrilineal origins to two founder individuals who lived between 1000 to 1500 AD, a period between the decline of former Tiwanaku (south) and Wari (north) contemporary empires, and the rise of the Inca empire a few centuries later," says geneticist Fabricio Santos from the University Federal de Minas Gerais. The work also showed that the mtDNA varied widely, suggesting that arranged marriages with neighboring people to form bonds betweens nobles across the empire.
I think its incredible that these Inca families are still showing continuity since before the Americas were "discovered". I also think its very important to study these groups of people, it is a good feeling when you know some history about your past and the people you come from. The colonization of the globe by europeans, really messed this up for people across the globe. Not only were the lives of these people ruined but it makes many feel like they don't fit in anywhere and do not know their family history. Of course the people of South America are not the only ones studies like this should continue around the world.
Read more at:

1 comment:

  1. I think the most fascinating part of this is that they were able to trace back their origins to before the rise of the Inca empire, whose descendants are the ones participating in the study.