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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.
aztec spanish salmonella enteric fever DNA detective work unknown pathogen killed the Aztecs archaeology history Mexico disease