In spite of its location midway down the eastern seaboard of the continent of South America, there is a blur of European conflict shaped by the colonial interests of Spanish, British, and Portuguese powers.

The land was home to many indigenous cultures that called the rolling hills and plains home for thousands of years.

Thanks to the efforts of researchers from the University of the Republic, Montevideo, in Uruguay, and the Florida Atlantic University in the US, the lost past is being heard.

Their investigation of the remains of two individuals who lived before Christopher Columbus has revealed surprising connections between populations across the Americas. South America's indigenous people all trace from a single migration, but the findings challenge that idea.

This contributes to the idea of South America being a place where multi-regional diversity existed, instead of a single Native American race in North and South America.

Two sets of remains were found in a 2,000-year-old archeological dig site in Rocha, a coastal city in southeastern Uruguay. It was thought to be around 1,400 years old. The sex of the other was hard to pin down, but it appeared to have been around 650 years ago.

The genetics of each contributed to a larger story of a complex ancestry that connected indigenous Uruguayans with genomes uncovered from ancient Panama, the stretch of land linking South America with the continent to the north and eastern Brazil.

The findings could show a migration path down from the north or a later return migration from the south.

Surprisingly, the couple's genomes didn't seem to be related to the modern-day Indigenous Amazonian populations.

A separation of ancestries among South America's spread of indigenous populations is the most likely explanation for this pattern.

Lindo says it runs counter to the theory of a single migration that split at the foot of the Andes.

It will take a lot more evidence from a wide range of sources in order to settle the debate once and for all.

The damp, warm conditions across much of the continent make it hard for any DNA to be found inside the bones of the dead.

Lindo says that if you are of European descent, you can use your genetic information to find out where your ancestors came from.

If you are descended from people indigenous to the Americas, you may be able to learn that some portion of your genome is Native American, but it is unlikely that you can trace a direct descendant because there are not enough ancient DNA references available.

The task of tracing the human story prior to the European invasion is more difficult because of the loss and displacement of indigenous populations through genocide and slavery.

The final chapter of an ethnic past ended when a group of indigenous people met their end at the hands of the state.

Hundreds were taken into slavery by the banks of Salsipuedes Creek.

Since then, there has been no ethnic presence in the country. It is a good place to start learning more about how the indigenous populations of the country fit into a larger picture.

Lindo says that they were able to reconstruct at least a small part of their genetic prehistory through the first whole genome sequence of the Indigenous people of the region.

The research was published in a journal.