October 08, 2007

Swabbing for Columbus

Seeking Columbus’s Origins, With a SwabA Genoese Cristoforo Colombo almost certainly did exist. Archives record his birth and early life. But there is little to tie that man to the one who crossed the Atlantic in 1492. Snippets from Columbus’s life point all around the southern European coast. He kept books in Catalan and his handwriting has, according to some, a Catalonian flair. He married a Portuguese noblewoman. He wrote in Castilian. He decorated his letters with a Hebrew cartouche.

Since it seems now that the best bet for deducing Columbus’s true hometown is to look for a genetic match in places where he might have lived, hundreds of Spaniards, Italians, and even a few Frenchmen have happily swabbed their cheeks to supply cells for comparison.
Comment:  Happy Indigenous Peoples Day!

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