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DNA analysis may have finally revealed what killed 15 million Aztecs

15 million Aztecs were probably killed by a form of salmonella the Spanish brought from Europe.

Aztec gladiators fight each other on a raised stone plinth. Image source: Rischgitz / Getty Images
  • When Europeans arrived in North America, they brought pathogens that natives were not immune to.
  • Smallpox wiped out 5-8 million Aztecs shortly after the Spanish arrived in Mexico in 1519.
  • But a different disease entirely is now suspected to have killed 15 million Aztecs, ending their society.
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