Category Archives: Ancient DNA

DNA Analysis Reveals History of Ancient Warriors

In 1962, an Alemannic burial site containing human skeletal remains was discovered in Niederstotzingen (Baden-Württemberg, Germany). Researchers at the Eurac Research Centre in Bozen-Bolzano, Italy, and at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, have now examined the DNA of these skeletal remains.

The world’s oldest piece of solid cheese was found in an Egyptian tomb — and it reveals how important cheese was in human history

This 3,200-year-old find is exciting because it shows that the Ancient Egyptian’s shared our love of cheese — to the extent it was given as a funerary offering. But not only that, it also fits into archaeology’s growing understanding of the importance of dairy to the development of the human diet in Europe.

DNA shows girl had one Neanderthal, one Denisovan parent

One can be forgiven for thinking that the first modern humans who ventured out of Africa stumbled into a vibrant bar scene. DNA from just a single cave in Siberia revealed that it had been occupied by two archaic human groups that had interbred with the newly arrived modern humans. This included both the Neanderthals, whom we knew about previously, and the Denisovans, who we didn’t even know existed and still know little about other than their DNA sequences. The DNA also revealed that one of the Denisovans had a Neanderthal ancestor a few hundred generations back in his past.

We’re Learning More About the Contents of that Mysterious Egyptian Sarcophagus

Back in July, Egyptian archaeologists dared to open a strange granite sarcophagus, finding three skeletons soaking in an unsightly reddish-brown liquid. Scientists have now completed a preliminary analysis of the coffin’s contents, offering new insights into the tomb’s 2,000-year-old occupants.

Cleanroom Work Uncovers Ancient Migrant Mysteries

A team of scientists has determined that settlers with blue eyes and fair skin inhabited the Levant — a historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean — about 6,500 years ago. The researchers used a dedicated cleanroom facility at Harvard Medical School to examine bone powder from skeletal remains to analyze ancient DNA.

Indonesia’s pygmies didn’t descend from hobbits, DNA analysis suggests

Rampasasa pygmies residing near a cave on Flores that previously yielded small-bodied hobbit fossils inherited DNA from Neandertals and Denisovans but not from any other now-extinct hominid, scientists say, an international team reports in the Aug. 3 Science. The finding provides genetic backup for a fossil-based argument portraying these controversial Stone Age hominids as a separate species, Homo floresiensis, not small-bodied Homo sapiens that could have represented ancestors of Rampasasa people.

Keeping you current Ancient DNA Offers Insight on Origins of Southeast Asia’s Present-Day Population

Smithsonian- Researchers sequenced 26 genomes using DNA samples dating as far back as 8,000 years.

5,300 Years Ago, Ötzi the Iceman Died. Now We Know His Last Meal

It took 20 years to find his stomach. Now researchers know what was inside—in excruciating detail.

What’s Inside This Massive Egyptian Sarcophagus?

This black granite sarcophagus was found in a tomb in Alexandria, Egypt. Dating back over 2,000 years, it is the largest sarcophagus ever found in Alexandria, archaeologists believe.

Volcanos and DNA

About 75,000 years ago, a massive volcanic eruption in Indonesia, one of the most powerful known volcanic eruptions in the last two million years, came close to wiping out the human species. How have scientists come to this conclusion? Lava and DNA.

Skeletons Of Executed Immigrants Found In Neolithic Mass Grave In Germany, Archaeologists Report

Forbes- Neolithic farming culture seven millennia ago may seem like a peaceful paleo society, but growing archaeological evidence, including a newly discovered mass grave of skeletons in Germany, has revealed the systematic execution of immigrants in this time period.

DNA study reveals fate of Irish women taken by Vikings as slaves to Iceland

The mapping of DNA from some of the settlers who colonised Iceland more than 1,000 years ago offers an insight into the fate of thousands of slaves – mostly women – who were taken by Norse Vikings from Ireland and Scotland before they put down roots on the North Atlantic island.

Peruvian scientists use DNA to trace origins of Inca emperors

Researchers in Peru believe they have traced the origins of the Incas —the largest pre-Hispanic civilization in the Americas—through the DNA of the modern-day descendants of their emperors.

Analysis of remains from 1717 Cape shipwreck shows pirate had treasure in his pocket

WEST YARMOUTH, Mass. — It may not have belonged to legendary pirate Samuel “Black Sam” Bellamy, but a recent analysis of a bone fragment recovered from a 1717 pirate shipwreck off Cape Cod revealed some interesting information about the sailor who died in the waters off Massachusetts hundreds of years ago — with what appeared to be treasure in his pocket.

Loch Ness Monster Hunters to Try DNA Search? Get the Facts

National Geographic-A group of scientists plans to find out once and for all if Scotland’s most famous “resident,” the Loch Ness Monster, is or ever was hiding in the deep by sequencing as many DNA fragments as they can find in the lake’s murky waters.