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Keywords:

  • ancient DNA;
  • STRs;
  • HV1 region;
  • haplogroup;
  • Scythian;
  • Central Asia

Abstract

We extracted DNA from two skeletons belonging to the Sytho-Siberian population, which were excavated from the Sebÿstei site (dating back 2,500 years) in the Altai Republic (Central Asia). Ancient DNA was analyzed by autosomal short tandem repeats (STRs) and by the sequencing of the hypervariable region 1 (HV1) of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region. The results showed that these two skeletons were not close relatives. Moreover, their haplogroups were characteristic of Asian populations. Comparison with the haplogroup of 3,523 Asian and American individuals linked one skeleton with a putative ancestral paleo-Asiatic population and the other with Chinese populations. It appears that the genetic study of ancient populations of Central Asia brings important elements to the understanding of human population movements in Asia. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.