Brief communication: Ancient nuclear DNA and kinship analysis: The case of a medieval burial in San Esteban Church in Cuellar (Segovia, Central Spain)

Authors

  • Cristina Gamba,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Forensic and Population Genetics, Toxicology and Health Legislation Department, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
    • Laboratory of Forensic and Population Genetics, Toxicology and Health Legislation Department, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain 28040
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  • Eva Fernández,

    1. Laboratory of Forensic and Population Genetics, Toxicology and Health Legislation Department, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
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  • Mirian Tirado,

    1. Laboratory of Forensic and Population Genetics, Toxicology and Health Legislation Department, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
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  • Francisco Pastor,

    1. Anatomy Department, Faculty of Medicine, University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain
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  • Eduardo Arroyo-Pardo

    1. Laboratory of Forensic and Population Genetics, Toxicology and Health Legislation Department, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
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Abstract

The aim of this work was to investigate a very common situation in the archaeological and anthropological context: the study of a burial site containing several individuals, probably related genetically, using ancient DNA techniques. We used available ancient DNA and forensic protocols to obtain reliable results on archaeological material. The results also enabled molecular sex determination to be compared with osteological data. Specifically, a modified ancient DNA extraction method combined with the amplification of nuclear markers with the AmpFlSTR®MiniFiler™ kit(Applied Biosystems) was used. Seven medieval individuals buried in four niches dated in the 15th Century at San Esteban Church in Cuellar (Segovia, Central Spain) were analyzed by the proposed method, and four of seven provided complete autosomal short tandem repeat (STRs) profiles. Kinship analyses comprising paternity and sibship relations were carried out with pedigree-specific software used in forensic casework. A 99.98% paternity probability was established between two individuals, although lower percentages (68%) were obtained in other cases, and some hypothetical kinship relations were excluded. The overall results could eventually provide evidence for reconstructing the historical record. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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