Radiocarbon and DNA evidence for a pre-Columbian introduction of Polynesian chickens to Chile

Alice A. Storey, José Miguel Ramírez, Daniel Quiroz, David V. Burley, David J. Addison, Richard Walter, Atholl J. Anderson, Terry L. Hunt, J. Stephen Athens, Leon Huynen, Elizabeth A. Matisoo-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

167 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two issues long debated among Pacific and American prehistorians are (i) whether there was a pre-Columbian introduction of chicken (Gallus gallus) to the Americas and (ii) whether Polynesian contact with South America might be identified archaeologically, through the recovery of remains of unquestionable Polynesian origin. We present a radiocarbon date and an ancient DNA sequence from a single chicken bone recovered from the archaeological site of El Arenal-1, on the Arauco Peninsula, Chile. These results not only provide firm evidence for the pre-Columbian introduction of chickens to the Americas, but strongly suggest that it was a Polynesian introduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10335-10339
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume104
Issue number25
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 19 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ancient DNA
  • Gallus gallus
  • Polynesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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