Our project examines the role of migration in the development of the large autonomous Swahili towns and city-states that grew out of small fishing, agrarian, and pastoral settlements on the East African coast in the late first millennium CE. Our sample is comprised of 97 individuals from three sites on the Kenya coast: Mtwapa (N=72; 900-1732 BCE) near Mombasa, and two sites in the Lamu archipelago, Manda (N=16; 800-1400 BCE), and Shanga (N=9; 800-1400 BCE). The teeth were well preserved and about 80% of the samples yield genetic material. We sequenced the HVRI of the mitochondrial control region. We found that, while early Swahili populations were primarily of African origin and consisted of haplogroups commonly found throughout East Africa and in Bantu speaking groups in sub-Saharan Africa, but the Swahili were much more diverse than has been commonly supposed and included haplotypes less commonly found in the area today.

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DECODING THE SWAHILI: ANCIENT DNA STUDIES ON THE KENYAN COAST. Sloan Williams, Lindsey Proctor, Chapurukha Kusimba, Janet Monge, Alan Morris. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398421)

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min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;