We of the GCAS prefer to keep this here website focused on the archaeological advances made in our own region, but we always make an exception for any DNA research that comes our way. [Maps on right via New York Times.] As reported in the New York Times of July 8, 2020, a new comparative study of the DNA of more than 800 people from Polynesian islands and South America's Pacific Coast discloses contact between ancient Polynesians and indigenous South Americans around 1200CE.
The article clarifies that it is known that people migrated from Asia across the Western Pacific Ocean into Eastern Polynesia including the Marquesas by about 800 BCE. It appears, then, that these travelers would have had ample time before 1200CE to sail back and forth between Polynesia and mainland South America.
As is typical with scientific discoveries, new evidence leads to more intriguing questions that demand further research. Perhaps further genetic studies of indigenous populations and ancient human remains found throughout the Pacific Basin may yield further clues and push further back the time line for migration by boat into the Eastern Pacific.