Mexican archaeologists have determined that four skeletons unearthed at the site of the Battle of Monterrey, which was a major battle in the Mexican-American War, are those of American, and are not Mexican, as they had originally figured.
Their conclusion came after discovering American coins near the skeletons. Prior to this, consensus was that the graves in which the corpses were buried held Mexican casualties.
Now there are plans to carry out DNA testing on the skeletons, and contact nearest of kin--and repatriate the bones to the United States.
An interesting point is that part of the determination that the skeletons were of Americans is that measurements of the corpses' bones and skulls played a part in the concluding that they belonged to Americans.
Why is this? If they tested the bones for chemicals linking the skeletons to parts of the United States (chemicals from the water they drank as a child, for instance), then the measurements would make sense. Otherwise, there were Mexicans who were primarily of European descent, and not all Americans are of European descent. Measuring the lengths and dimensions of bones and skulls should not be all that strong a determinant of whether or not a skeleton is American or Mexican.
Another thing to consider is that during the war, a lot of Irish Roman Catholics emigrated from the United States to fight alongside the Mexicans, their fellow Roman Catholics, against the Americans--who were primarily Protestant. Since the archaeologists originally believed that only Mexicans were buried at the site, could these skeletons belong to Irish Americans who fought on the side of Mexico? That would reconcile the measurements and the traditional history.
The Mexicans lost the war, and the Americans won. Mexico ceded roughly half of its territory to the United States, including the key state of California. Mexico has been clearly subordinate to its northern neighbor since. Although there is still some animosity over the Mexican-American War (or rather the war's outcome), most people on both side of the border accept what happened and that the ceded territory belongs to the United States. And today, Mexico and the United States (and Canada) are close allies and part of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Area.
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