There’s a new paper out on the genetic prehistory of the Canadian Arctic. Basically, it says that existing Eskimos replaced a genetically different population less than 700 years ago, and that those earlier Paleo-Eskimos (Dorset culture) represent yet another separate migration from Asia (in addition to the PaleoIndians, the Na-Dene, and the Eskimo). They put this in such a nice way: “the genetic continuity characterizing the Paleo-Eskimo period was interrupted by the arrival of a new population.”
Which likely means that the neo-Eskimos killed off the Dorset people. Obviously they weren’t farmers, the usual suspects in replacement, but the new guys had a more sophisticated technology (and probably greater numbers), with bows, large skin boats, dog sleds, whale-hunting gear, etc.
This is fairly obvious, so much so that even the New York Times and the Washington Post mentioned extermination by the newcomers as a possible explanation.
This pre-agricultural genocide makes you wonder just how often similar wipeouts may happened in the past…
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I suspect such wipeouts were pretty common. Any reading of history makes one thing clear: everyone was (and is) fighting with everyone else. There is no reason to think this just started with invention of writing.