24 September 2011

Ancient Basque DNA

PUBLISHED BY KENNETH S. DOIG


   (from the race/history/evolution notes blog)


Ancient DNA: reconstruction of the biological history of Aldaieta necropolis

A research team from the Department of Genetics, Physical Anthropology & Animal Physiology in the Faculty of Science and Technology at the Leioa campus of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), and led by Ms Concepción de la Rúa, has reconstructed the history of the evolution of human population and answered questions about history, using DNA extracted from skeleton remains.

[. . .]

Aldaieta brings together certain important features which make this site a prime archaeological and historical record and its conservation an important task of restoration and study. In this vein, the Department of Genetics, Physical Anthropology & Animal Physiology in the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), has undertaken a study of DNA in the necropolis at Aldaieta (Araba).

[. . .]

Despite the problems inherent working with ancient DNA, the methodology drawn up for the current work as well as the precautions and criteria of authentication undertaken have enabled reliable and verifiable results of the population buried at Aldaieta to be obtained.

Within the great homogeneity of the mitochondrial lines on the European continent, the genetic substrate of the population buried at Aldaieta falls within the variability of that expressed by current populations on the Cantabrian coast and Atlantic axis, thereby indicating the existence of genic flow between these human groups in ancient times.

Besides the characterisation of the mitochondrial genome, they have carried out the characterisation of the chromosome Y, using techniques focused on ancient DNA, an have shown the existence of family relationships within the necropolis, given that certain mitochondrial lines have a particular distribution, the grouping of individuals belonging to the same line having been discovered at nearby burial sites. Besides, there exists a significant differentiation gender wise, men having qualitatively and quantitatively more important funerary artefacts than women.


Some UPV/EHU pdfs are available here, though I don't recall seeing any ancient Y-DNA results published by this group as yet.

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