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15 million Aztecs were probably killed by a form of salmonella the Spanish brought from Europe.
17 January, 2018
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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aztec spanish salmonella enteric fever DNA detective work unknown pathogen killed the Aztecs archaeology history Mexico disease