DNA analysis will allow us to know the origins of Christopher Columbus

The University of Granada is preparing to analyze the bones of Christopher Columbus to know the origins of the explorer.

In which country was Christopher Columbus born? After several years of interruption, the investigation resumes, led by a team of researchers from the University of Granada in collaboration with the University of Florence in Italy and the University of North Texas in the United States, to clear up the mystery surrounding the origins of the explorer of the New World.

Italian or Spanish?

More than 515 years after his death in 1506, the hypotheses are numerous. For some, “Cristoforo Colombo” was Genoese, but for others, “Cristóbal Colón” was rather Catalan. Or maybe he was Galician? The body of the explorer also sailed a lot. Buried in the Dominican Republic in 1542, his remains were repatriated to Seville in 1898. There are even two coffins, according to France Inter.

To put an end to the controversies, the first research began in 2003. The remains of the navigator, which rest in the cathedral of Seville, were analyzed, but without success, the techniques of the time not allowing to study the bones without degrading them.

DNA comparisons with members of Columbus’ family

Today, new technologies of DNA analysis allow reopening the investigation. The results will be compared with bones from the same period that belonged to members of the explorer’s family. “We worked with the remains of the cathedral of Seville and those of the son of Christopher Columbus, Hernando Columbus,” said AFP Marcial Castro, professor of history at the University of Granada.

A comparison will also be made with the DNA of living people with the same surname in different regions where the explorer would hypothetically originate.

A symbolic date to reveal the results

“We are not sure that we will get enough DNA, in quantity and quality, to reach a conclusion,” warned José Antonio Lorente, professor of forensic medicine at the University of Granada, at a press conference on May 19. It is a matter of offering all the information for historians and experts to interpret.

Answer in about 5 months, on October 12. A symbolic date since it is also the anniversary of the discovery of America.