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Luzio, similar to current Indigenous people

Luzio, the oldest human skeleton found in the state of São Paulo, lived around 10,400 years ago in what is now Vale do Ribeira, and is a descendent of the same ancestral population that inhabited America 16,000 years ago. Genetically he was very similar to the Indigenous peoples now living in the interior of Brazil and had no direct relationship with coastal peoples. An analysis by 20 Brazilian and six foreign institutions of 33 DNA samples taken from human bones found across Brazil reinforced the hypothesis that a single wave of migrants settled the Americas. “All ancient or current peoples in South America originated from this first group of migrants,” said archaeologist André Strauss of the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at the University of São Paulo (MAE-USP), one of the authors of the paper. The first inhabitants of Brazil did not, however, form a single and homogeneous group. Luzio, Luzia (a 12,000-year-old fossil found in a cave in Minas Gerais), and another skeleton discovered in the municipality of Pains, Minas Gerais, had stretches of DNA that distinguished them from each other and indicated cultural differences: they were all hunters-gatherers, but Luzio’s people built shell mounds (middens) on riverbanks, while Luzia’s people did not (Nature Ecology and Evolution, July 31).