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Ancient Skeleton Shedding Light on First Americans

By MALCOLM RITTER
|  Thursday, May 15, 2014  |  Updated 1:25 PM CDT
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Ancient Skeleton Shedding Light on First Americans

Thousands of years ago, a teenage girl in a Mexican cave fell into a deep hole and died. Now, her skeleton and her DNA are helping scientists study the origins of the first Americans.

The finding bolsters the theory that the first Americans arrived from Asia by way of an ancient land bridge to Alaska that is now submerged.

The girl's nearly complete skeleton was discovered in a now water-filled cave in the eastern part of the Yucatan Peninsula.

An analysis of her remains was released Thursday by the journal Science. Her skull resembles ancient skeletal remains previously found in the Americas. Her DNA links her to the ancient land bridge, and suggests she shares ancestors with today's native peoples of the Americas.

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