Sinodonty and/or Sundadonty: Revisiting the Three-Wave Model for the Peopling of the Americas

Author(s): George Scott; Roman Schomberg

Year: 2015


Starting with a single root trait, C.G. Turner II developed a model for the peopling of the Americas that involved three migratory waves: (1) Amerind; (2) Na-Dene/Northwest Coast; and (3) Eskimo-Aleut. After expanding to 29 variables, he found the same general pattern and contended that all New World populations were derived from Sinodont groups in Northeast Asia. Recently, researchers have challenged the three-wave model on genetic, archaeological, and dental grounds, including the notion that some groups are derived from Sundadonts (Southeast Asians) rather than Sinodonts (Northeast Asians). To reevaluate the three-wave model and Sinodont origins of New World groups, 23 crown and root traits were analyzed in 31 large samples, including Southeast Asians (4), Australians (4), Northeast Asians (4), North American Indians (4), South American Indians (5), Mesoamericans (2), Na-Dene/Northwest Coast (4), and Eskimo-Aleuts (4). Unrooted neighbor-joining trees and ordinations exhibit the same pattern. At the two extremes are Australians and Native Americans. Southeast and East Asians fall between the extremes with Southeast Asians closer to Australians and East Asians closer to Native Americans. This analysis reveals no hint of Sundadont ancestry in Native Americans and supports the notion that the New World was peopled in three major waves.

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Cite this Record

Sinodonty and/or Sundadonty: Revisiting the Three-Wave Model for the Peopling of the Americas. George Scott, Roman Schomberg. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 394944)