Mar 19, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

DNA Results Help To Find Out The Secrets Of The Ancient Pueblo

Feb 24, 2017 01:52 AM EST

This is America's great southwest, a vast landscape with a long history of people who inhabited its canyons and flatters. Using DNA from skeletons excavated in New Mexico, scientists have discovered that more than a century years ago a dozen people buried in a small, hidden chamber.

Chaco Research Archive described that in New Mexico's Chaco Canyon was one of the most influent cultures in the American Southwest. Pueblo Bonito was a beautiful town which is exactly located at the center of Chacoan society. Covering more than four acres, the elaborate pueblo was a honeycomb of nearly 650 rooms.

Archaeologists are still working for American Museum of Natural History excavated Pueblo Bonito in 1896. Inside the tiny most innermost chamber, they discovered the remains of 14 people buried under the room's sandy floor, with grave stacked on a grave in the tight space. The first man buried in the chamber, known as Burial 14, was found with more than 12,000 turquoise beads and dozens of turquoise sculptures and more of the precious stone than in all the other Chacoan sites combined.

They labeled the mysterious chamber is Room 33. The skeleton of those humans from Room 33 have been stored in American Museum of Natural History. One of biggest mystery is who were those 14 people, and why were they buried in a walled-off room in the middle of the mighty pueblo?

In a paper published in the journal Nature Communication, researchers show that the men and women buried in the chamber are all related through their mothers, a connection known as a matriline. The result are some of the first to use DNA tackle a fundamental question in human study history that where the status came from?

Now archaeologist David Thomas said that hereditary leadership power and status based on birth it is a hallmark of complex societies. It is difficult to prove without such a record that leadership and power in ancient societies without writing was hereditary.

Though the bones were excavated more than a century ago, curators at the American Museum of Natural History still weighed such concerns before authorizing the testing. David Thomas again said that they are very much sensitive about this and trying to deal with communities in a respectful way.

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