Possibly oldest slave cemetery found in Canary Islands

Burial site found at Clavijo farm in Santa Maria de Guia, Canary Islands, was confirmed being the oldest cemetery of slaves on the Atlantic sea coast, dating to between 15th-17th century.

Skeleton burial found at the site (by EPA)

According to the researchers, the skeletons found during 2009 excavations at the site revealed that they were slaves thought to have come from different parts of North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. The cemetery was found near an ancient sugar plantation. This conclusion was reached after analysis of ancient DNA, stable isotopes, and skeletal markers of physical activity. The burials also yielded funerary practices related to enslaved people, and according to the researchers no such practices were ever before known from the islands. Most of the skeletons studied revealed that the slaves died in their 20s, with injuries in the spine, suggesting a pattern of labour involving high levels of effort, and physical markers being about the same as found on known skeletons from slave plantations in South Carolina, Surinam and Barbados.

Overview of the excavation site (by EPA)

(after Telesur, EPA & Daily Mail Online)

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