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Ancient mtDNA: both Amazonian and Andean migrants in western Puerto Rico by late Saladoid times

Author(s): Juan Martinez-Cruzado ; Juan Ortiz-Aguilú ; Jennifer Raff ; Andrés Príncipe ; María Nieves-Colón

Year: 2016

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The Machuca archaeological site in western Puerto Rico is found in the Añasco river flood-plain, next to one of the presumed ancient mouths of the river, less than half a kilometer east of the shoreline. The first burial was found in a fetal position together with ceramic remains of the Late Saladoid or Cuevas period. Radiocarbon dating on bone collagen placed the burial at AD 550 to 660 (2-sigma calibration) whereas that on charred material found inside one of the pots placed it at AD 650 to 780. DNA extracted from the first cervical vertebra produced a sequence from three overlapping mtDNA segments spanning the whole HVR-I identical only to one described from a modern northern Amazon Brazilian, closely related to clade D1g2a. MtDNA obtained from a tibia of a second burial found in a similar ceramic context approximately 40 meters from the first produced sequences from two non-overlapping HVR-I segments. The sequences obtained strongly suggested it belonged to haplogroup A2 and that it was closely related to modern haplotypes described only for the Colombian highlands. In summary, results suggest South American migrants from both the Andean and Amazonian regions had arrived to western Puerto Rico by late Saladoid times.

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Ancient mtDNA: both Amazonian and Andean migrants in western Puerto Rico by late Saladoid times. Juan Martinez-Cruzado, Juan Ortiz-Aguilú, Jennifer Raff, Andrés Príncipe, María Nieves-Colón. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403193)


aDNA Puerto Rico

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min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America