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Analysis of medieval mtDNA from Napole cemetery provides new insights into the early

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  • Analysis of medieval mtDNA from Napole cemetery provides new insights into the early

    Ann Hum Biol. 2016 Feb 8:1-15. [Epub ahead of print]
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26856190
    not open access
    Analysis of medieval mtDNA from Napole cemetery provides new insights into the early history of Polish state.
    Płoszaj T1, Jędrychowska-Dańska K1, Masłowska A1, Kozłowski T2, Chudziak W3, Bojarski J3, Robaszkiewicz A4, Witas HW1.
    Author information
    Abstract
    Contemporary historical anthropology and classical archaeology are concerned not only with such fundamental issues as the origins of ancient human populations and migration routes, but also with the formation and development of interpopulation relations and the mixing of gene pools as a result of interbreeding between individuals representing different cultural units. The contribution of immigrants to the analysed autochthonous population and their effect on the gene pool of that population has proven difficult to evaluate with classical morphological methods. The burial of one individual in the studied Napole cemetery located in central Poland had the form of a chamber grave, which is typical of Scandinavian culture from that period. However, this fact cannot be interpreted as absolute proof that the individual (in the biological sense) was allochtonous. This gives rise to the question as to who was actually buried in that cemetery. The ancient DNA results indicate that one of the individuals had an mtDNA haplotype typical of Iron Age northern Europe, which suggests that he could have arrived from that area at a later period. This seems to indirectly confirm the claims of many anthropologists that the development of the early medieval Polish state was significantly and directly influenced by the Scandinavians.
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