How the skeletons of slaves were finally traced to their home

March 10, 2015 2:55 PM

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Though upward of 12 million Africans were enslaved and shipped to the Americas between 1500 and 1850, tracing their roots back home has been famously difficult—with poor record-keeping and poorly-preserved DNA samples partly to blame.

Now researchers from Stanford University and the University of Copenhagen report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that for the first time they've been able to use very old and very poor DNA samples, in this case extracted from the teeth roots of three skeletons on Saint Martin ...

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