To the Caribbean and Beyond: Complete Mitogenomes of Ancient Guinea Pigs (Cavia porcellus) as a Proxy for Human Interaction in the Late Ceramic Age
The Caribbean Ceramic Age (AD500-1500) was associated with increased interaction between the islands and mainland South America. The domestic guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) was introduced to the Caribbean post-AD500 through human transportation. Archaeological remains of guinea pigs are present on several Caribbean islands. This study used complete mitogenomes from ancient guinea pigs as a commensal model to identify likely human migration routes and interaction spheres within the Caribbean region. Possible origins of early historic European and North American guinea pigs were also determined. Complete mitogenomes of 23 ancient and two modern guinea pigs were obtained. The identified haplogroups indicate that two introductions of guinea pigs to the Caribbean likely occurred, both from Peru, to Puerto Rico (AD500) and the Lesser Antilles (AD1000). A potential origin for historic European domestic guinea pigs was identified as the Andean region encompassing Peru and Bolivia. A historic period North American guinea pig was found to have likely come from Peru. This study is the first to use next-generation sequencing to obtain complete mitogenomes of a commensal animal to investigate prehistoric interaction in the pan-Caribbean region, and results are in agreement with current archaeological evidence for human mobility and interaction in the Caribbean.
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To the Caribbean and Beyond: Complete Mitogenomes of Ancient Guinea Pigs (Cavia porcellus) as a Proxy for Human Interaction in the Late Ceramic Age. Susan deFrance, Edana Lord, Michelle LeFebvre, Catherine Collins, Elizabeth Matisoo-Smith. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443037)
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min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20631