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Sun Dec 27, 2020, 08:16 AM

Ancient DNA retells story of Caribbean's first people, with a few plot twists

The genetic evidence offers new insights into the peopling of the Caribbean. The islands' first inhabitants, a group of stone tool-users, boated to Cuba about 6,000 years ago, gradually expanding eastward to other islands during the region's Archaic Age. Where they came from remains unclear -- while they are more closely related to Central and South Americans than to North Americans, their genetics do not match any particular Indigenous group. However, similar artifacts found in Belize and Cuba may suggest a Central American origin, Keegan said.

About 2,500-3,000 years ago, farmers and potters related to the Arawak-speakers of northeast South America established a second pathway into the Caribbean. Using the fingers of South America's Orinoco River Basin like highways, they travelled from the interior to coastal Venezuela and pushed north into the Caribbean Sea, settling Puerto Rico and eventually moving westward. Their arrival ushered in the region's Ceramic Age, marked by agriculture and the widespread production and use of pottery.

Over time, nearly all genetic traces of Archaic Age people vanished, except for a holdout community in western Cuba that persisted as late as European arrival. Intermarriage between the two groups was rare, with only three individuals in the study showing mixed ancestry.

Many present-day Cubans, Dominicans and Puerto Ricans are the descendants of Ceramic Age people, as well as European immigrants and enslaved Africans. But researchers noted only marginal evidence of Archaic Age ancestry in modern individuals.

"That's a big mystery," Keegan said. "For Cuba, it's especially curious that we don't see more Archaic ancestry."

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201223125751.htm

As ancient DNA studies expand, the history of population replacements becomes clearer.

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Reply Ancient DNA retells story of Caribbean's first people, with a few plot twists (Original post)
Klaralven Dec 27 OP
pansypoo53219 Dec 27 #1
Klaralven Dec 27 #2
wnylib Dec 27 #4
secondwind Dec 27 #3
wnylib Dec 27 #5
abqtommy Dec 27 #6
csziggy Dec 27 #7

Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 08:29 AM

1. genocide/disease.

escape?

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Response to pansypoo53219 (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 09:15 AM

2. We are all descendants of those who bred faster, lived longer, and killed better than the others

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Response to Klaralven (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 11:10 AM

4. Or who were just plain lucky to

be in the right place at the right time, or not be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Or were part of a cooperative group that looked out for one another.

Or had a genetic glitch that just happened to be beneficial.

It really can be quite random, no matter how fast you breed or how well you kill.

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Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 09:42 AM

3. We live in the Dominican Republic, my family goes back to the 1880's.....


prior to that, they were descended from the Spanish. I have a relative who was knighted by the Queen of Spain for fighting against the British in Puerto Rico... ancestry is fascinating.....

When the pandemic is over, my sister and I plan to go to Spain and look him up.. perhaps there is a family shield..

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Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 11:17 AM

5. In the modern population, there might

also be a trace of Native Americans from Algonquian tribes of the New England region. The British colonists of New England shipped Native war captives to the Caribbean to trade for enslaved Africans. Sometimes they raided Native villages or hunting and fishing encampments for the purpose of obtaining captives to trade.

Any who survived the trip and the cane field slave labor might have blended their DNA into the mix.

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Response to Klaralven (Original post)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 11:29 AM

6. In my study of history I'm informed that Columbus and the Spanish practiced a particularly brutal

form of genocide on the indigenous people they met in the Caribbean. And now some are wondering
where they went? Studying DNA is interesting but it doesn't tell the whole story...

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Response to abqtommy (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 27, 2020, 11:43 AM

7. Add to that horrendous treatment, the introduction of diseases

Some estimates are that between 80-95% of Caribbean native populations were killed off by disease and maltreatment in the first 20-30 years of Spanish intrusion.

That is why the Spanish (and other European invaders) imported African slaves very early on - there were no longer enough workers for them to exploit the land.

"1593" by Charles Mann discusses the period immediately following the Columbus "discovery" of the Americas. He covers the genocide very thoroughly. His other book, "1591" describes the Americas before Columbus. Both are very interesting books.

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