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Filling in the gaps in the slave trade

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Author Topic: Filling in the gaps in the slave trade  (Read 85 times)
Booker Gant
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« on: December 04, 2011, 05:32:53 pm »

Schroeder got the idea for the collaboration after studying isotopes of strontium, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen in the bones and teeth of slaves buried at the Newton plantation in southern Barbados. Archaeologists were keen to find a method to distinguish between first-generation captives and individuals who were subsequently born on the island, and to relate that to ancient African cultural practices such as filing teeth or burying grave goods with bodies.

Of 25 individuals studied, Schroeder showed that 7 were first-generation captives born in Africa, including one who had made the Atlantic crossing as a child1.

Schroeder was subsequently keen to use DNA to pin down the ethnic origins of slaves to particular regions within Africa, and to bring together researchers of different disciplines. The resulting project, called EUROTAST (for Europe and Trans Atlantic Slave Trade), is funded by a grant from the European Union’s Marie Curie network, and will support 15 researchers at 10 institutions in Denmark, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Iceland.
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