Interpretation of Haplogroup H in an Enslaved Individual

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Hahn, Miranda
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
In the summer of 2014 excavations took place to recover the remains of twenty individuals from an unmarked cemetery at the Nashville Zoo. After recovery these remains were then examined by Dr. Shannon Hodge who created a biological profile of each individual buried in the cemetery. The twenty individuals in the unmarked graves were likely enslaved African Americans, evidenced by their skeletal ancestry, the antebellum date of their burial, and their presence on a property known to have been a slaveholding. DNA analysis revealed that one individual from this cemetery, Burial Three, belonged to haplogroup H, which is common among those of European ancestry. Though this haplogroup is associated with Europeans, it is also found in northeastern Africa. It is likely that this individual’s maternal ancestry was not European, but rather that her ancestors were likely from northeastern Africa or Madagascar.
DNA, biological anthropology, Haplogroup H, archaeology, history