Ancient DNA from two skeletons of humans who lived in Guam 2,200 years ago linked their ancestry to the Philippines, according to researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Australian National University and the University of Guam.
There is debate over where people came from to get to the Marianas, with evidence pointing to the Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea, or the Bismarck Archipelago.
The two skeletons are also closely related to ancient humans from Vanuatu and Tonga, indicating that the early Mariana Islanders may have been involved in the colonization of Polynesia.
They crossed more than 2,000 kilometers of open ocean to get there, whereas voyages of similar length did not occur anywhere else until more than 2,000 years later.
While the new results provide interesting new insights, they are based on only two skeletons that date from around 1,400 years after the first human settlement in Guam.