Africa, African Enslaved Remains, African Enslaved Remains Found, cameroon, Ghana, News, Nigeria, World -

New Bones Discovered, Traced Back to 17th Century Enslaved Africans

Africa, African Enslaved Remains, African Enslaved Remains Found, cameroon, Ghana, News, Nigeria, World -

New Bones Discovered, Traced Back to 17th Century Enslaved Africans

Untitled1
Using a new approach to DNA analysis, the 17th century bones of three enslaved Africans have been traced to their countries of origin for the first time, researchers said Monday.

Until now, uncovering the precise origins of the 12 million African slaves sent to the New World between 1500 and 1850 has been challenging, since few historical records exist from the time. Often, the ports from which the slaves were shipped is known, but not the nations from which they came.

The three enslaved people analyzed for this study came from what is modern-day Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria, according to the findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a peer-reviewed US journal.

At first, scientists did not expect to find out much about the remains of two men and a woman that were uncovered in 2010 at a beach-side construction site on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, since they had retained little DNA due to the hot climate.

But using a new approach called whole genome capture, and comparing the DNA found in the bones to reference samples of people from 11 different West African countries, researchers were able to trace the enslaved people, known as the Zoutsteeg Three because they were unearthed in the Zoutsteeg area of Philipsburg.

They could also tell that one came from a Bantu-speaking area of Cameroon, and the other two came from non-Bantu-speaking areas of Nigeria and Ghana.

“To our knowledge, these findings provide the first direct evidence for the ethnic origins of enslaved Africans, at a time for which historical records are scarce, and demonstrate that genomic data provide another type of record that can shed new light on long-standing historical questions,” said the study led by Hannes Schroeder of the Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum, University of Copenhagen.

This knowledge of how to narrow down genetic histories even when DNA is scarce could boost research on other poorly preserved archaeological remains found in tropical settings, the study added.

“Our study underscores the value of whole-genome capture methods for ancient DNA research. These new methods enable us to use samples that were previously thought to be beyond our reach.”


Leave a comment

Related Posts

Black Hair Matters: The Affirmative Power of Politicians Like Ayanna Pressley and Stacey Abrams
When Ayanna Pressley got her Senegalese twists done for the first time about three years ago, it was a moment of affi...
Read More
Freshen Up Your Board Game Collection With This One-Day Amazon Sale
It’s not quite as jam-packed as Amazon’s Black Friday board game sale, but their 12 Days of Deals strategy game sale ...
Read More
It’s an Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl rematch: Alcorn State vs. N.C. A&T Braves win SWAC title and and now bring their high-powered offense to bowl game
Well, it’s all set. The matchup for the Dec. 15 Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl in Atlanta is actually a rematch: ...
Read More
HBO’s ‘Say Her Name’ has few answers about what happened to Sandra Bland But new documentary gives her a voice, even in death
The mother of Sandra Bland, the Illinois woman who committed suicide in a Texas jail after being hauled there for bac...
Read More

Tags