The remains of discovered 17th century bones have been found to originate from Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroun
17th March 2015 The 17th century bones of three African slaves that were found at a beach-side construction site on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, recently have been traced to their countries of origin for the first time. Scientists have had a hard time finding out the exact origins of the 12 million African slaves sent to the New World between 1500 and 1850. The roots of the two men and a woman have been discovered as Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroun according to the findings from the National Academy of Sciences.
A new scientific method known as genome capture was responsible for the success achieved because earlier on, the scientists did not expect to find out much about the remains of the two men and a woman uncovered in 2010, as the remains retained little DNA as a result of the hot weather.
The study led by Hannes Schroeder of the Centre for Geo Genetics at the Natural History Museum, University of Copenhagen in a statement revealed that “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,”
The new progress means that even with scarcity of DNA, genetic histories can still be narrowed down more easily and boost research on other poorly preserved archeological remains found in tropical settings.
The new and improved whole-genome capture methods for ancient DNA research now enables scientists to use samples that they previously thought to be too complicated and beyond reach.