What the Spanish Brought with Them: Phenetic Complexity of the Spanish Population at Contact


This is an abstract from the "Approaches to Cultural and Biological Complexity in Mexico at the Time of Spanish Conquest" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Colonial contact in Mexico brought together populations from diverse regions of the world – Europe (especially Spain), Mexico, Africa, and eventually, Asia. While much attention has been focused on the contributions of these groups to the admixed population that resulted, this attention has primarily been about quantifying broad patterns of continental ancestry, and so may have missed much by ignoring the diversity that existed within each region. We begin to address this shortfall using evidence from dental morphology, which provides phenetic evidence of population genetic admixture. Data from 10 European countries, 13 African countries, and Mexico (n=3552) from the 9th century to the present were analyzed using Structure, a program that estimates ancestry proportions at the individual level. Results reflect the genetic complexity of the Spanish colonizers. Medieval Spanish samples are more similar to those from Morocco and Tunisia than from other European countries. Historic Mestizos cluster with Europeans, including Spain and Morocco. However, contemporary Mestizo samples cluster together, separated from their European, African, and Native American ancestors. Our results show that including North African samples provides a better understanding of the Old World Origins of admixed populations in North America.

Cite this Record

What the Spanish Brought with Them: Phenetic Complexity of the Spanish Population at Contact. Heather Edgar, Cathy Willermet, Corey Ragsdale, Katelyn Rusk. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451221)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -10.151; min lat: 29.459 ; max long: 42.847; max lat: 47.99 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 26122