Caribbean’s first Indian inhabitants were nearly wiped out by other Indian invaders from South America a thousand years before arrival of Columbus and Europeans, DNA study finds
By Julio Severo
The Caribbean Islands was one of the last places in the Americas to be inhabited by humans almost 6,000 years ago — but the inhabitants were almost wiped out by Indian invaders, according to DNA evidence.
|According to the National Anthropology and History Institute in Mexico, some of the remains could have been of women and children killed in ritual sacrifices to please the gods
After a massive genetic analysis of hundreds of individuals, researchers believe the region’s first Indian inhabitants were wiped out by a second wave of Indian colonists arriving from South America more than 3,000 years later.
This extermination, possibly caused by disease or warfare, would have happened a millennia before Columbus landed on the Bahamas in 1492, establishing European presence in the Western Hemisphere.
The earliest Caribbean settlers are believed to be Indians who arrived in Cuba between 6,000 and 7,000 years ago.
It’s not entirely clear where these Indians came from, or how, though they appear to be more closely related to Central and South American Indians than indigenous North Americans.
Human remains don’t last very long in the tropics, but an international team led by Harvard Medical School’s David Reich found a trove of genetic material in an usual place: The small but dense bone protecting the inner ear, which survived the ravages of time.
They were able to extract and analyze DNA from 174 individuals who lived in the Caribbean and Venezuela between 400 and 3,100 years ago, combining the data with DNA from 89 previously sequenced individuals.
The results, the largest study of ancient human DNA in the Americas to date, also revealed that native populations at the time of Columbus’ arrival were much smaller than Europeans believed.
In the early 1500s, historian Bartolomé de las Casas estimated that there were over 3 million natives on Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, home to modern-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
But extrapolating from the genetic data they culled, researchers put that number closer to between 10,000 and 50,000.
If correct, it would extinguish the common left-wing revisionism that millions of Indigenous Caribbeans were killed by Europeans.
It’s probable the numbers were inflated to impress European patrons, said Reich.
In spite of such historical evidence, left-wing historians have sought to advance a baseless revisionism that ignores the reality of widespread sacrifices, cannibalism, wars and slaughters between Indian tribes. They prefer to blame exclusively Europeans for every slaughter among Indians.
Yet, reality is not favorable to left-wing revisionism.
Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of 119 more men, women and children at the Aztec “tower of skulls” under Mexico City — with many believed to have been victims of human sacrifice.
The tower was first discovered back in 2017, when archaeologists found more than 650 skulls caked in lime and thousands of fragments in the cylindrical edifice near the site of the Templo Mayor, one of the main temples in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, which later became Mexico City.
According to the National Anthropology and History Institute, the remains are of Indians believed to have been captured Indian enemy warriors while others could have been killed in ritual sacrifices to appease the gods.
In a typical ritual, sacrificial victims would be taken to the top of the temple where four Indian priests would lay them down on a stone slab.
The victim’s abdomen would be sliced open by a fifth priest using a ceremonial flint knife to cut right through the diaphragm and split open the chest.
The Indian priest would grab the heart and tear it out, still beating.
It would then be placed in a bowl held by a statue of the honored god, and the body thrown down the temple’s stairs landing at a terrace at the base of the pyramid.
For the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, the Aztecs reported that they sacrificed about 80,400 prisoners over the course of four days.
So European settlers found in the Americas a violent and hostile Indian culture that was already destroying and sacrificing other Indians and certainly would destroy and sacrifice weak Europeans. This only did not happen because Europeans showed a greater defensive and offensive power.
Portuguese version of this article: Os primeiros habitantes índios do Caribe foram quase exterminados por outros invasores índios da América do Sul mil anos antes da chegada de Colombo e dos europeus, revela estudo de DNA
Source: Last Days Watchman
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