Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2004-12 > 1102310830

Subject: Re: [DNA] Tocharian Mummies
Date: Mon, 06 Dec 2004 05:27:17 +0000


Y-DNA and mtDNA have been sequenced for skeletons preserved in a 2000 year old Mongolian necroplis. The Y microsatellites are fascinating in that just looking at one subset, they are clearly R1a and not only that but are modal to the samples I have in a private Mongolian database from a couple of years back. I suspect that this group my have born similarities to the Tarim Basin mummies - and there is active condideration to doing the work. Of course I am doing all the arm twisting I can. Here is a summary, but it focuses on the mtDNA findings. It is available via the AJHG site online:

Am. J. Hum. Genet., 73:000, 2003
Nuclear and Mitochondrial DNA Analysis of a 2,000-Year-Old Necropolis in the Egyin Gol Valley of Mongolia
Christine Keyser-Tracqui et al.
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.
"Although the mtDNA sequences obtained could not be assigned with certainty to mtDNA haplogroups (since they encompassed only the HVI of the control region), three (A, C, and D) of the four major haplogroups observed in Native American (Torroni et al. 1993) and Siberian (Starikovskaya et al. 1998; Schurr et al. 1999) populations were detected in the ancient samples tested (with haplogroup D being the most prevalent). A few sequences belonging to subclusters B4b, D5 or D5a, F1b, J1, G2a, U2 or U5a1aand some that probably belonged to cluster Mwere also observed (Richards et al. 2000; Yao et al. 2002). No member of the major European cluster H, which occurs in >40% of most European populations (Richards et al. 1996) was found. Interestingly, some of the haplotypes reported here are similar to those found in previous studies of the area (Kolman et al. 1996; Comas et al. 1998)."
"A majority (89%) of the Xiongnu sequences can be classified as belonging to an Asian haplogroup (A, B4b, C, D4, D5 or D5a, or F1b), and nearly 11% belong to European haplogroups (U2, U5a1a, and J1). This finding indicates that the contacts between European and Asian populations were anterior to the Xiongnu culture, and it confirms results reported for two samples from an early 3rd century B.C. Scytho-Siberian population (Clisson et al. 2002)."

-------------- Original message --------------

> I'm sure this has been discussed on this forum before, but I was not able to
> locate any correspondence. I remember this program airing on NOVA some years
> back, about "The Takla Makan Mummies", thought to be Tocharians living in
> China. They were Caucasians, with red and blond hair, and wore tartan
> clothing. Now if we could run a DNA test on those mummies...
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