Ancient DNA is reshaping our understanding of the Ancient Caribbean
The last two weeks have been revolutionary, Amazing, Historical, life changing, game changing and if youre a geek like me, the two best academic weeks I have had in a long , long time! Let me explain.
About a week and a half ago, our friend and partner
Sr. Juan Ramon Aviles Morales founder of Taino DNA and Genealogy invited us to a ZOOM meeting where Dr. Reich and his team revealed the results of their study of ancient genomes of the ancient Caribbean. Asking the usual questions “who were the
people who populated the Caribbean? Where did they come from? And of course where did they go?
I will summarize a bit here per my understanding of this very complicated yet liberating work. As I always preach, never take anything I say as
gospel and certainly not as if it were gospel, read the paper yourself (SEE ATTACHED) I am simply reporting their conclusions as I understood them. AS for Dr. Reichs Study,
What they found:
1) His team
analyzed the genomes of bones from sites in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba.
2) His team was composed of American and Caribbean Archaeo-geneticists (so no one can say that the results were biased based on Eurocentric perspectives).
Far from it, they were seeking the truth.
3) The separated the bones which went back at least 6,000 years into 3 distinct categories
a) Archaic period (the first settlers)
b) Lithic Period
c) Ceramic period
They found that the archaic peoples showed admixture in only one individual from the Cermic or Lithic period of Puerto Rico. Those archaics from Cuba showed no Admixture with the rest of the population.
This means that the first peoples on the island did not mix with the later arrivals. They found basically 7 lineages, 6 of these were all from South America and they all closely matched the Arawaks (but most of us already knew that our ancestors were not from
anywhere other than South America!
The 7 lineage remained elusive (More on that in a bit)
What they didn’t find
NOT ONE SINGLE genetic connection to the Mayans, Incas, or North America. All were
The most amazing discovery was that the late, great Dr. Irving Rouse, as Brilliant as he was, was wrong. There was always a problem (for me anyway) in the way Dr. Rouse lumped people together in neat boxes, such as the Classifications (Series)
CASIMIROID, SALADOID, Ostinoin, Mellican Ostinoid (Mellicoide) or Chican Ostinoid (Chidoide) and of Course SAUSOID, not to mention Barrancoid or any other COID I may have missed. This team found that in an area of the Dominican Republic, where
Saladoid , followed by Mellicoid and Chiocoide (all of our Cemi belong to the latter two) first arose, were all being created by the same people! Rouse thought there were 3 separate migrations, but no, it was all being created by the same people, genetically
speaking of course.
They also found that the people of Northern Haiti (also Arawak) were not related to any other group on the larger islands. Their closest matches are with the ancient peoples of Curazao. All the peoples living on the islands,
Taino, Macorix, Ciguayo etc were all ARAWAKAN. Out the window goes the theory that they were a remnant of migrations from the Yucatan, especially the Ciguayo! That broke my fat Taino heart as I loved the original theory! But all things untrue eventually die!
I hope they find evidence to the contrary, although that is HIGHLY unllkely at this point. There is more, much more. Please read the first paper.
The Second paper by Dr. Hannes Shroeder and Katherin Nagele was focused on the Archaics of Cuba. This is the group that Dr. Reichs had little to no information on and were a mystery. ENTER HANNES!
Dr. Shroeder is the geneticist who
sequenced the tooth found in the cave in the Eleuthra island of the Bahamas two years ago. That work was ground shaking. He and his team outdid themselves here. We will be posting our ZOOM meeting with him. But to summarize
The Cuban Archaics were diverse as were the Arawaks on the island of Cuba and the rest of the Caribbean. They also found :
1) The Archaic Cubans belonged to at least two Arawak Lineages!
2) They showed no evidence of admixture with Cubans other Archaics either.
3) One Branch of the Cuban Archaics are related to people that lived 5000 years ago on DRUM ROLLLLLLLLL CATALINA
ISLANDS off the coast of California! These islands were populated by the TONGVA and CHUMASH peoples (btw both of these groups are also considered extinct even though they are still there, I have met them, Indios! This study is not saying they were Tongva or
Chumash, just that they shared ancestry with these people 5000 years ago.
What they didn’t find
Just as with the other study No traces of Mayans, Incas, or anything outside of a very ancient connection
to North American Indians who lived Long before there were Mayans or Incas or anyone else.
The Caribbean was a very diverse place before contact. It was a very Diverse Arawakan region. It is always possible that perhaps connections to
the Yucatan or Honduras will one day arise, but thus far, nothing has been found neither in Modern Caribbeans or our Ancient Ancestors.
Please read Hannes work in the link below
The truth is out there!