Russian archaeologists, with the help of European colleagues, have for the first time succeeded in isolating DNA from jewelry made or worn by an ancient person. The discovery was made while examining a deer tooth pendant found in the famous Denisova Cave in Altai, according to the study. published in the journal Nature.
DNA from ancient peoples that scientists could previously study was isolated by two main methods – from bone remains or from the soil of historical layers – a relatively new method being tested at various archaeological sites. Russian scientists from the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences together with European colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig have for the first time succeeded in isolating human paleoDNA from the decoration of an ancient person.
To extract the DNA of a possible owner, a new non-destructive method was used. “Someone might say that in our lab we made a washing machine for ancient artifacts. By washing objects at temperatures up to 90 degrees Celsius, we were able to isolate the DNA in the washes, leaving the artifacts intact,” explained Elena Essel, co-author of the work.
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
To avoid contamination from modern animal and human DNA, newly discovered archaeological artifacts should be lifted using gloves and a mask, scientists say. Such precautionary methods were adopted by Novosibirsk archaeologists Maxim Kozlikin and Mikhail Shunkov in 2019, when they, who were not yet aware of the new method, found an ancient pendant in a cave.
German scientists have found in the tooth of a deer not only the DNA of the animal itself, but also the mitochondrial DNA of Homo Sapience, a woman who belonged to the so-called ancient Northern Eurasians who lived in Eastern Siberia. A DNA study gave an estimate of the find’s age at 19-25 thousand years. “Forensic pathologists would not be surprised to find DNA in an object that has been used extensively,” says co-author Mattias Maier. “However, it is incredible that this was possible after 20,000 years.”
Scientists hope the new method will help extract DNA from objects made from animal teeth and bones that the ancestors of people who lived in the Stone Age wore or used in everyone’s lives. days.
Read the Latest Ukraine War News on The Eastern Herald.