The Caribbean was settled in three waves

when and where did the first inhabitants of the Caribbean, was yet unclear. Although archaeological finds suggest that there could have been 8,000 years ago, pe

The Caribbean was settled in three waves

when and where did the first inhabitants of the Caribbean, was yet unclear. Although archaeological finds suggest that there could have been 8,000 years ago, people on some of the coast and surrounding Islands. The oldest evidence for the colonization of Cuba, Barbados or St. Martin, Dating back approximately 5000 years, as Kathrin Nägele from the Max-Planck-Institute for human history in Jena and their colleagues explain. The Fund characteristic pottery fragments reveals that around 2800 years, new immigrants brought a different culture to the Islands.

DNA analyses to reveal the origin of the early inhabitants of the island

however, How these different settlers on the Islands of the Caribbean are distributed and where they came from, had yet to notice. Therefore, Nägele and her Team have taken genetic data to help. For their study, they analyzed residents DNA from the bones and teeth 93 of the prehistoric island. Among the dead were 52 members of the older culture, which had died from 3200 to 700 years in Cuba, as well as 41 members of the ceramics culture, which had been buried in front of 1500 to 540 years in Cuba, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Guadelupe, and St. Lucia. On the basis of Genvergleichen, the scientists could determine with which peoples in the Region, these deaths were most closely related.

"by Using this data, we can obtain a rather detailed picture of the early population history of the Caribbean," explains senior author Johannes Krause from the max Planck Institute for human history. The DNA analyses revealed that the early inhabitants of the Caribbean are mostly related to the ancestors of the present Indians of North America. You must have come, therefore, from the North American mainland to the Caribbean Islands. But at the same time, the scientists also found in this elderly population group at least two genetically distinct groups. Taken together, they conclude that there were at least two early waves of immigration, in which people of North America from the Western Caribbean populated.

new arrivals from South America

On this first settlements followed around 2800 years ago, a third wave of immigration by the representatives of the ceramic culture. This does not, however, came from North America, but reached the Islands of the South. "We find that the individuals from the ceramic age contexts, genetically, forming a Cluster with the present-day inhabitants of South America", report of Nägele and your colleagues. The Genetic data also suggest that these people first, the lesser Antilles and Puerto Rico populated, its spread increased and then but there about 1000 years.

"Presumably, the presence of communities of older cultures in Hispaniola and Cuba to be held in her rise," says the scientist. At the earliest, in front of around 1500 years, the culture of potters from then spread in the Rest of the Caribbean. Interesting, however: "Although the different groups at the same time, lived in the Caribbean, we find surprisingly little evidence of genetic mixing," explains Nägeles colleague Cosimo Posth. The genetic differences confirm the archaeological finds, which also show clear differences between the archaic cultures and the Ceramists.

"The results of this study give further evidence on the complex diversity of the Caribbean before the arrival of Europeans, and show the Connections to the American mainland," says Co-author Corinne Hofman of Leiden University. "This is reflected in the archaeology, but it is fascinating to see this by the genetic data confirmed." At the same time, the results show that the sea was, apparently, even for the early settlers hardly an obstacle.

source: Max-Planck-Institute for the history of mankind; article: Science, doi: 10.1126/science.aba8697

*The contribution "of the Caribbean was released is populated in three waves" of Wissenschaft.de. Contact with the executives here.

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Updated Date: 09 June 2020, 07:27

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