Christopher Columbus’ travels helped Europeans discover America, but the famous explorer’s origins have long been mysterious.
Now scientists hope to shed more light on the ancestry of the great man thanks to the latest advances in genetic engineering.
Tests on Columbus’ bones are done at the University of Granada to determine whether he was actually born in Genoa, as most historians believe, or whether, as some others believe, he was of Spanish, Portuguese, Croatian, or even Polish ancestry.
José Antonio Lorente, Professor of Law and Forensics at the University of Granada, is one of the scientists leading the project.
He told Euronews’ Good Morning Europe Show: “What we have now is next generation sequencing, a much more robust and sensitive technology, and also we have a lot more forensics to compare: there have been many articles published that give us information about people’s ethnic and geographic origins, which together means that we will hopefully get positive results. “
Professor Lorente says that while the theory of Genoese origin is the most favored by historians, other results cannot be ruled out.
“It is clear that there are some other theories, some of which are very consistent, with very logical reasoning and lots of data. We are trying to offer scientific data that can be interpreted by historians,” he added.
Genetic comparisons with identified individuals can determine whether they have a family connection. Even without direct individual games, it is possible to draw more preliminary conclusions based on regional comparisons.
“We’re just getting started,” says Professor Lorente. “There will be great progress in the next ten to fifteen years.”
Watch the full interview with Professor Lorente in the video player above.