Native Village Youth and Education News
September 2009


Did Africans Come With Columbus?
By Live Science
Condensed by Native Village

Dominican Republic: Skeleton teeth from Christopher Columbus's crew members have been found on Hispaniola [Dominican Republic]. The teeth show that 500 years ago, at least one African may have traveled to the New World as a contemporary of the explorer.

The graves were found in La Isabela, the first European town in America. Chemical details of the tooth enamel are being analyzed by researchers.

It was known that Columbus had a personal African slave on his voyages. The new analysis could mean that Africans played a much larger role in America's first documented exploration. Most consider that the first Africans arrived as slaves.

A team led by T. Douglas Prices from the University of Wisconsis/Madison and Professor T Price and Autonomous University of the Yucatan to learn are learning more about La Isabela colony,  La Isabela only lasted less than five years. Despite its brief existence, it's believed to have been a substantial settlement with a church, public buildings, and  private dwellings.

La Isabela is also the only known settlement in America where Columbus actually lived.

Most thought the only residents were men from the 17 vessels that comprised Columbus’s second visit to the New World.  New analysis from earlier remains now portrays a different picture. It suggests that native Taínos, women and children, and possibly African individuals, were also living among the Spaniards.

Columbus's crew members remained on Hispaniola when Columbus returned to Europe following his second voyage to America in 1493-94.

skeleton photo: © Fernando Luna Calderon|htmlws-main|dl1|link6|

Background: Robert Kaufman Fabrics:

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