The Guardian

DNA from 200-year-old pipe sheds light on life of enslaved African woman

US archaeologists trace roots of woman to modern-day Sierra Leone as part of ongoing ancestry research
‘As soon as people stepped on those slave ships in Africa ... that identity was lost,’ said the study’s chief archeologist. Pictured: The ‘Raise Up’ statute at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Alabama. Photograph: Brynn Anderson/AP

Archaeologists used DNA taken from a broken clay pipe stem found in Maryland to build a picture of an enslaved woman who died around 200 years ago and had origins in modern-day Sierra Leone. One researcher called the work “a mind-blower”.

“In this particular context,.

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