Haplogroup X2A: Searching for the Origins of Clovis in the Americas
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The Clovis First theory suggests that big game hunters peopled the Americas about 12,800 years ago by way of a land bridge, Beringia, with a very distinct Clovis technology. For a while, almost every archaeologist believed this to be true, but some kept looking for different possibilities. This theory has since been refuted due to an increasing number of older sites. Since the Clovis theory has been proven incorrect, there has been a lot of controversy in the archeological world over how the Americas were first occupied. Different archaeologists have spoken up about new theories of how the Americas could have been peopled, but a majority of these theories have been unable to find a connection to Clovis. In order to support a theory, archaeologists must look at all sorts of evidence, such as artifacts, sites, or DNA. DNA is probably the most influential evidence because it gives direct information. Today, we can look at modern Native Americans' DNA to see who their lineage could be linked to. The most common descent found has been Siberian and Asian through haplogroups A, B, C, D, and X, but there is an anomaly that is haplogroup X2a. The haplogroup is found on the Eastern part of America and the Western part of Europe; this proposes that the Solutrean population could have gradually sailed across the Atlantic and populated the Americas. This paper will look at this phenomenon and how it connects to the Solutrean hypothesis by discussing the Solutrean and Clovis technologies, looking at some relevant sites, and analyzing the data of haplogroup X2a. The evidence presented produces the conclusion that the Solutrean hypothesis provides the most reasonable explanation for the origin of Clovis, yet this does not necessarily disprove other route theories. A clearer understanding of the peopling of the Americas will come from continuing research.