Scientists confirm Christopher Columbus' bonesBreaking News
DNA samples from 500-year-old bone slivers could contradict the Dominican Republic's competing claim that the explorer was laid to rest in the New World, said Marcial Castro, a Spanish historian and teacher who devised the study that began in 2002.
However, some of Columbus' remains also could have been buried in the Dominican Republic, he said.
The announcement came a day before the 500th anniversary of Columbus' death in the Spanish city of Valladolid.
A forensic team led by Spanish geneticist Jose Antonio Lorente compared DNA from bones buried in a cathedral in Seville with DNA from remains known to be from Columbus' brother, Diego, who also is buried in the southern Spanish city.
"There is absolute matchup between the mitochondrial DNA we have studied from Columbus' brother and Christopher Columbus," Castro said in a telephone interview.
Mitochondria are cell components rich in the genetic material.
Juan Bautista Mieses, the director of the Columbus Lighthouse — a cross-shaped building several blocks long that the Dominican government built to house the explorer's remains — dismissed the researchers' findings. He insisted that Columbus is buried in the Dominican Republic.
"The remains have never left Dominican territory," Bautista said.
Castro and his colleagues say they had tried in vain for years to persuade the Dominican Republic to open up the monument to compare the remains inside with those of Diego Columbus.
"Now, studying the remains in the Dominican Republic is more necessary and exciting than ever," Castro said.
Although his team is convinced the bones in Seville are from Columbus, he said, that does not necessarily mean the ones in Santo Domingo are not. Columbus' body was moved several times after his death, and the tomb in Santo Domingo might conceivably also hold part of the explorer's body.
"We don't know what is in there," Castro said.
Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World in 1492, landing at the island of Hispaniola, which today comprises the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Historians have been debating for more than 100 years whether Spain or the Dominican Republic has legitimate bragging rights to the remains of Columbus.
comments powered by Disqus
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Transcribed Document: Soviet Politburo Discussed CIA Billion Dollar Spy Adolf Tolkachev
- Pentagon withholds Iraq War photos showing detainee abuse
- These Rebels Have Amassed A Library From Syria’s Ruins
- Was 1916 fire at Canadian Parliament set by German saboteur?
- United Nations Calls On U.S. To Pay African Americans Reparations For Slavery
- Juan Cole says America’s inclination to turn to the military started with Manifest Destiny
- History Jobs Drop
- Paul Krugman gives credence to Robert J. Gordon's pessimism about American economic growth
- Harvard President Drew Faust Condemns Free Tuition Proposal from Outsider Overseers Ticket
- Andrew Roberts says Trump is the Mussolini of America with double the vulgarity