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The Azores were inhabited by humans 700 years before the Portuguese arrived

The Azores were inhabited by humans 700 years before the Portuguese arrived

Located in the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores were inhabited by humans seven centuries before the Portuguese came to this archipelago, according to an international study of researchers in several fields of science.

A study published in the journal PNAS showed that 700-year-old traces of human presence were preserved in the lands of the archipelago before the first Portuguese settlers arrived in the archipelago in the 15th century.

Early traces of human presence in this part of the Atlantic have been confirmed by analysis of soil samples, according to a study led by scientists at the Azores Center for Research and Genetic Resources in Portugal (CIBIO).

“The first settlers in the Azores were probably peoples from Northern Europe (…). They got there with favorable climatic conditions for sailing,” the study authors wrote.

They explained that sterols were found in the studied soil, which the scientists indicated came from large mammals such as humans. “The feces produced by the intestines of animals and humans are different, however, they can be distinguished” – identified the scientific team, which included, among other things, researchers from American universities.

The researchers note that both the compound stigmasterol typical of cattle feces and human cuprostanol, which results from the processing of cholesterol by human intestinal bacteria, were found in Azores soil.

During the research, members of the scientific team examined soil from the bottom of lakes on five islands of the Azores: São Miguel, Pico, Terceira, Flores and Corfu.

https://www.pnas.org/content/118/41/e2108236118

Marcin Zatika (PAP)

Article / ECR /

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