CAP - CARAÏBES ANTILLES PROJECT –PALEOGENOMICS: THE ORIGIN AND EVOLUTION OF CARIBBEAN GROUPS IN THE LESSER ANTILLES USING A PALAEOGENOMIC APPROACH
Marie-France Deguilloux (PACEA)
Plateforme Génome Transcriptome de Bordeaux 2;
Centre for GeoGenetics, University of Copenhagen.
Duration: 1.3 years (1st September 2013-31 December 2014)
10-month Research Contract Recruitment (Fanny Mendisco, Research Engineer, from 23/09/2013 to 22/07/2014)
This project proposes the characterisation of the historical and modern-day gene pools of the Caribbean Lesser Antilles so as to document for the first time the origin and assimilation of Caribbean groups when the Europeans arrived. The study should contribute arguments to the major discussions on several geographical scales:
- on a local scale, the palaeogenetic analysis of human remains coming from different funeral contexts should provide the possibility of testing a potential link between the genetic diversity of the groups and the diversity of the funeral practices identified, and of considering the funeral ideologies of the ceramic groups.
- on a regional scale, these unpublished data should provide an opportunity to find out if a genetic differentiation between groups in the Lesser Antilles and the Greater Antilles echoes their cultural differentiation. These data will provide an opportunity to consider the networks for the movement of goods and individuals between the two regions.
- on a continental scale: the palaeogenetic data will enable the identification of the origin(s) of the ceramic groups of the Antilles (Orinoco Basin?).
Finally, the opposition of ancient gene pools (pre-contact) and modern pools will provide the opportunity for a new diachronic study with the aim of characterising/quantifying the assimilation or disappearance of Caribbeanlines.
The difficulties expected due to the inadequate conservation of DNA will necessitate the development of innovative and effective methods of methods of palaeogenomic analysis (for obtaining complete mitochondrial/nuclear genomes).