The Caribbean was one of the last regions of the Americas to be settled by humans, but where they came from and how and when they reached the islands remain unclear. We generated genome-wide data for 93 ancient Caribbean islanders dating between 3200 and 400 calibrated years before the present and found evidence of at least three separate dispersals into the region, including two early dispersals into the Western Caribbean, one of which seems connected to radiation events in North America. This was followed by a later expansion from South America. We also detected genetic differences between the early settlers and the newcomers from South America, with almost no evidence of admixture. Our results add to our understanding of the initial peopling of the Caribbean and the movements of Archaic Age peoples in the Americas.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The research was funded by the Max Planck Society and the European Research Council under the 7th Framework Program (grant agreement no. 319209, ERC Synergy Project NEXUS1492). H.S. was supported by the HERA (Humanities in the European Research Area) Joint Research Program "Uses of the Past" (CitiGen) and the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement no. 649307. W.J.P. and M.A.N.-C. were supported by the National Science Foundation (BCS-0612727 and BCS- 1622479). C.L.-F. was supported by a grant from the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (PGC2018-0955931-B-100, AEI/FEDER, UE). M.R. was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (435-2016-0529). M.R., Y.C.d.A., U.M.G.H., and S.T.H.G. were supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (standard research grant SSHRC - 410-2011-1179 and SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship - 756-2016-0180) and several University of Winnipeg internal grants (Major grant 2017, 2018; Partnership Development grant 2017, 2018; and Discretionary grant 2017, 2018).