05 February 2006

Earliest Evidence of Africans in New World Found

Scientists have identified teeth in an ancient cemetary in Campeche, Mexico as African. The teeth, dated to around 1550, had mutilations that were distinctively African, so researchers tested the teeth's mineral composition which confirmed their African origin.

The discovery of the remains of slaves born in Africa from such an early date shows that slavery became an integral aspect of the New World economy not long after the Conquistadors completed the subjugation of Mexico...

African slaves were brought to the New World as the Spanish needed labor to harvest timber and work in the mines that enriched Spain. Early in their rule, the Spanish enslaved Indians to perform heavy labor, but they turned to the African slave trade as diseases introduced by Europeans decimated native peoples.

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