Archaeogenetics has been the staple of ancient discoveries, including buried cultures and artifacts in many parts of the globe. The field of archaeogenetics has been utilized for many studies and plays a great part in tracking the past of Europe as it thrives on the Neolithic and Bronze ages.
However, even though the continent seems to have completed tracing its ancestral roots, not all of the regions are actually able to. To cover the missing genetic clues around Europe, experts have attempted to sequence genomes of ancient remains that were unearthed from the various excavation sites located in modern-day Croatia.
The study was made possible with the collaborative effort of experts from the Institute for Anthropological Research, Max Planck Institutes for Evolutionary Anthropology, the Science of Human History (Jena), the University of Vienna, and the Croatian company Kaducej Ltd.
Europe's Missing Ancestry Found in Croatia's Ancient History
Croatia is a historical region that includes many clues from the ancient times. The region served as a crossroad between different cultures and diverse populations of early humans and civilizations alike. Croatia was utilized in the past as a migration link between the Danubian corridor and the Adriatic coast.
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the University of Vienna expert, as well as the author of the study, Suzanne Freilich, said in a report by PhysOrg that human remains are not sufficient in the area even though the region is a pillar for the ancient population and migration.
Freilich added that the lack of ancient human subjects in the area limits the possibility of uncovering the social status and genetic ancestry.
The archaeology team set out an investigation to find the missing pieces and complete the puzzle of Croatia's ancient history. The investigation included two different sites of easter Croatia. The sites differ in their contained historical clues.
The first site is structured as a Middle Bronze Age necropolis comprised of several burial artifacts, including cremations and inhumations. The other site is also an evident ancient burial ground that is abundant in Middle Neolithic individuals.
Middle Bronze Age and Middle Neolithic Age in Croatia's Necropolis
Croatia's two necropolises contained various genomes from a total of 28 ancient individuals. Each of the genomes was sequenced to find the historical past of each person, such as education, residency, and other social patterns, as well as to track their ancestry throughout history.
The Middle Bronze Age site is located at the Jagodnjak-Krčevine necropolis and dates back to 1,800 to 1,600 BCE. The era was the surge of the Transdanubian Encrusted Pottery Culture, which relates to the recovered human remains that originated from the Dalmatian coast.
The Middle Neolithic site is located in the region of Beli-Manastir Popova zemlja, where the Sopot culture is abundant in between 4,700 and 4,300 BCE. Most of the remains buried in the necropolis were children, with many women identified. Almost all of the buildings contained bodies that were found to be related to each other.
The archaeogenetic investigation will conduct further studies and will go bigger than the community-wide examination. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports, titled "Reconstructing Genetic Histories and Social Organisation In Neolithic And Bronze Age Croatia."
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