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Origin and health status of first-generation Africans from early colonial Mexico

MPS-Authors
/persons/resource/persons214002

Barquera,  Rodrigo
Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons224809

Lamnidis,  Thiseas Christos
Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons217824

Lankapalli,  Aditya Kumar
Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons247389

Kocher,  Arthur
tide, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons222236

Nelson,  Elizabeth A.
Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons222935

Perez Ramallo,  Patxi
Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons189331

Immel,  Alexander
Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;
Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons188392

Bos,  Kirsten
Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons72536

Barbieri,  Chiara
Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons198648

Roberts,  Patrick
Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons179620

Herbig,  Alexander
Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons221052

Kühnert,  Denise
tide, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons72801

Krause,  Johannes
Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Barquera, R., Lamnidis, T. C., Lankapalli, A. K., Kocher, A., Hernández-Zaragoza, D. I., Nelson, E. A., et al. (2020). Origin and health status of first-generation Africans from early colonial Mexico. Current Biology, 30(11): 2020.04.002, pp. 2078-2091.e11. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2020.04.002.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-5043-4
Abstract
The forced relocation of several thousand Africans during Mexico?s historic period has so far been documented mostly through archival sources, which provide only sparse detail on their origins and lived experience. Here, we employ a bioarchaeological approach to explore the life history of three 16th century Africans from a mass burial at the San José de los Naturales Royal Hospital in Mexico City. Our approach draws together ancient genomic data, osteological analysis, strontium isotope data from tooth enamel, δ13C and δ15N isotope data from dentine, and ethnohistorical information to reveal unprecedented detail on their origins and health. Analyses of skeletal features, radiogenic isotopes, and genetic data from uniparental, genome-wide, and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) markers are consistent with a Sub-Saharan African origin for all three individuals. Complete genomes of Treponema pallidum sub. pertenue (causative agent of yaws) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) recovered from these individuals provide insight into their health as related to infectious disease. Phylogenetic analysis of both pathogens reveals their close relationship to strains circulating in current West African populations, lending support to their origins in this region. The further relationship between the treponemal genome retrieved and a treponemal genome previously typed in an individual from Colonial Mexico highlights the role of the transatlantic slave trade in the introduction and dissemination of pathogens into the New World. Putting together all lines of evidence, we were able to create a biological portrait of three individuals whose life stories have long been silenced by disreputable historical events.