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Biomolecular study of the human remains from tomb 5859 in the Etruscan necropolis of Monterozzi, Tarquinia (Viterbo, Italy)
Etude biomoléculaire de restes humains de la tombe 5859 de la nécropole de Monterozzi, Tarquinia (Viterbo, Italie)
CAPPELLINI Enrico ; CHIARELLI Brunetto ; SINEO Luca ; ...
Archaeological excavation in an Etruscan room tomb, from the Monterozzi necropolis in Tarquinia led to the recovery of four individuals. It was hypothesized that they could be members of a single family group. As both archaeological data and classical anthropological analysis provided little information in this direction, ancient DNA (aDNA) was extracted from bone and tooth fragments of the individuals. For each subject HVR-I of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was cloned and sequenced. To identify the sex of the individuals, amelogenine and SRY genes were analysed. Short tandem repeat (STR) characterization was also performed. DNA studies were preceded by the evaluation of amino acids racemization extent and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), to evaluate, respectively, degradation and quantity of organic matter preserved in the samples. Results show that two subjects are males, whereas two are females. Furthermore, three of them share the same mtDNA sequence, and, as such, they could be related by maternal lineage. This evidence supports the hypothesis that the occupants of the tomb can be considered members of a family group composing two parents and their son and daughter. Molecular study supplies new data to better define the reconstruction previously proposed, based only on a morphological and archaeological approach. Multidisciplinary investigation also allows comparison of the different methods and integration of their contributions.
Elsevier Science
ISSN : 0305-4403 CODEN : JASCDU
Journal of archaeological science A. 2004, vol. 31, n° 5, pp. 603-612 [10 pages] [bibl. : 44 ref.]
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