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Am J Phys Anthropol. 2010 Mar;141(3):452-62. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.21165.

Paleogenetical study of pre-Columbian samples from Pampa Grande (Salta, Argentina).

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  • 1Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Instituto de Ciencias Antropológicas, Sección Antropología, Biológica, Buenos Aires 1406, Argentina.


Ancient DNA recovered from 21 individuals excavated from burial sites in the Pampa Grande (PG) region (Salta province) of North-Western Argentina (NWA) was analyzed using various genetic markers (mitochondrial DNA, autosomal STRs, and Y chromosomal STRs). The results were compared to ancient and modern DNA from various populations in the Andean and North Argentinean regions, with the aim of establishing their relationships with PG. The mitochondrial haplogroup frequencies described (11% A, 47% B, and 42% D) presented values comparable to those found for the ancient Andean populations from Peru and San Pedro de Atacama. On the other hand, mitochondrial and Y chromosomal haplotypes were specific to PG, as they did not match any other of the South American populations studied. The described genetic diversity indicates homogeneity in the genetic structure of the ancient Andean populations, which was probably facilitated by the intense exchange network in the Andean zone, in particular among Tiwanaku, San Pedro de Atacama, and NWA. The discovery of haplotypes unique to PG could be due to a loss of genetic diversity caused by recent events affecting the autochthonous populations (establishment of the Inca Empire in the region, colonization by the Europeans).

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