From North America to Europe: Preliminary Biomolecular results Regarding the Transatlantic History of the Turkey
This is an abstract from the "Current Research on Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) Domestication, Husbandry and Management in North America and Beyond" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
While there is a growing body of studies on turkey domestication and use in North America, many questions remain unanswered regarding its introduction to Europe and its subsequent breeding. Which populations of turkeys were imported in Europe and when? How fast did they spread in the Old World? How did they integrate the pre-existing breeding economy? Through the application of a set of biomolecular approaches (archaeogenomics, peptide mass fingerprinting (ZooMS) and stable isotopes), this presentation explores the challenges in understanding the transatlantic history of the turkey. According to historical accounts, the turkeys were imported to Spain, from Mexico or Central America, in 1511. Through the mitochondrial DNA analysis of archaeological turkey bones dated from the 16th to 19th century, we evaluate the relationship between European turkeys and the different American populations to pinpoint their geographic origin. Stable isotopes from bone collagen allow us to identify a shift in turkey diet, consistent with their adaptation to the European poultry husbandry system. Finally, we highlight the difficulty of turkey bone identification in European assemblages due to the presence of different galliforms of similar size and introduce the use of ZooMS to improve species identification.
Cite this Record
From North America to Europe: Preliminary Biomolecular results Regarding the Transatlantic History of the Turkey. Aurelie Manin, Camilla Speller, Michelle Alexander. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450892)
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min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;
Abstract Id(s): 23370