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Am J Hum Genet. 2003 Aug;73(2):247-60. Epub 2003 Jul 10.

Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analysis of a 2,000-year-old necropolis in the Egyin Gol Valley of Mongolia.

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  • 1Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Moléculaire, Institut de Médecine Légale, Strasbourg, France.


DNA was extracted from the skeletal remains of 62 specimens excavated from the Egyin Gol necropolis, in northern Mongolia. This burial site is linked to the Xiongnu period and was used from the 3rd century b.c. to the 2nd century a.d. Three types of genetic markers were used to determine the genetic relationships between individuals buried in the Egyin Gol necropolis. Results from analyses of autosomal and Y chromosome short tandem repeats, as well as mitochondrial DNA, showed close relationships between several specimens and provided additional background information on the social organization within the necropolis as well as the funeral practices of the Xiongnu people. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study using biparental, paternal, and maternal genetic systems to reconstruct partial genealogies in a protohistoric necropolis.

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