Spanish Researchers To Discover Columbus’s Nationality With DNA Testing

Photo: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Sebastiano del Piombo's 1519 portrait of Columbus.

IT is one of the great historical puzzles, just where was Christopher Columbus from? A team from the University of Granada will soon find out by testing his DNA.

The famous explorer is thought to be Italian, but there is some speculation that he may have been Spanish, Portuguese, Croatian or even Polish. His early life is shrouded in mystery. There is little known about his early history, and the project is designed to settle the question.

Almost 20 years ago, researchers at the University of Granada’s medical school established by examining the DNA of bones in the cathedral of Sevilla were those of Columbus.

Since then scientific breakthroughs will allow the new team of researchers to discover much more, including a person’s geographic origins.

DNA collected from the remains of Columbus, his son Hernando and his brother Diego are to be examined at Granada University and laboratories in Mexico, America and Italy.

Columbus made four transatlantic trips on behalf of Spain between 1492 and 1504. He died on May 20, 1506, and was buried in Valladolid.

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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.