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Magallania (Punta Arenas)

On-line version ISSN 0718-2244

Abstract

DOMINGUEZ MOLINOS, RAFAEL. The disaster of Sarmiento de Gamboa's expedition to the Magellan Strait: A medical Clue. Magallania [online]. 2011, vol.39, n.2, pp. 05-13. ISSN 0718-2244.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-22442011000200001.

The aim of this paper is to examine the possible causes of the rapid physical and moral collapse of Sarmiento de Gamboa´s Expedition to the Magellan Strait. For this, we will take into account a little-known epidemiological antecedent -in particular the Great Cold of 1580-, as an explanatory factor of extreme weakness that the settlers displayed since their landing. Finally, we suggest checking the physical impact of Great Cold through the analysis of the traces of the disease that were found in King Philip´s human bone remains.

Keywords : Captain Pedro Sarmiento; Spanish colonization; Strait of Magellan; Southern Patagonia; health and tragedy.

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