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Ancient DNA Studies in Tropical Environments: A Study into the Genetics of the Pre-Columbian Indigenous Population of Puerto Rico

Author(s): Ash Matchett

Year: 2017

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Summary

Studies into ancient DNA have advanced significantly in the last few years, but these have largely been absent in tropical environments. In the Caribbean, a number of questions still pertain as to the bioarchaeology of the indigenous pre-Columbian populations and the exact origin of these early inhabitants. Focusing on the skeletal remains of a late Saladoid population from Punta Candelero site (AD 640-1200), three correlated and simultaneous studies have been coordinated with the aim to investigate the archaeogenetics of the site, at the local burial and overall site context. This multidisciplinary investigation, combines the research into the human skeletal material at the endogenous trace human DNA and the microbial DNA. Complimenting this study is the genetic research into faunal remains of companion dog burials of earlier cultural inhabitants. Procedures were conducted in a dedicated laboratory facility and concentrated on maternal inheritance (mtDNA) and microbial 16S rRNA typing, although extended genetic studies have been conducted in particular well preserved samples. The results, impact and significance of these studies to our understanding of the early peopling of the Caribbean, their well-being, life and origin will be presented. In addition, discussion on preliminary whole genome research, aspects and implications.


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Ancient DNA Studies in Tropical Environments: A Study into the Genetics of the Pre-Columbian Indigenous Population of Puerto Rico. Ash Matchett. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432096)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Caribbean


Spatial Coverage

min long: -90.747; min lat: 3.25 ; max long: -48.999; max lat: 27.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17287

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America