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The transatlantic slave trade resulted in a vast and as yet still unknown loss of life for African captives both in and outside of America. Approximately 8 million Africans were killed during their "storage", shipment and initial landing in the New World. The amount of life lost in the actual procurement of slaves remains a mystery but may equal or exceed the amount actually enslaved. These figures would indicate the total number of deaths at around 16 million.
The savage nature of the trade, in which most of the enslaved people were prisoners from African wars, led to the destruction of individuals and cultures. The following figures do not include deaths of enslaved Africans as a result of their actual labor, slave revolts or diseases they caught while living among New World populations.
A database compiled in the late 1990s put the figure for the Transatlantic Slave Trade at more than 11 million people. For a long time an accepted figure was 15 million, although this has in recent years been revised down. Most historians now agree that at least 12 million slaves left the continent between the fifteenth and nineteenth century, but 10 to 20% died on board ships. Thus a figure of 11 million enslaved people transported to the Americas is the nearest demonstrable figure historians can produce.
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