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Scientists Attempt to Recover DNA in Turkey’s Neolithic City Site

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Genetic study ÇatalhöyükPOZNAŃ, POLAND—Science in Poland reports that an international team of researchers led by Maciej Chyleński of Adam Mickiewicz University attempted to recover and analyze genetic material from the remains of nearly 40 people who were buried some 8,500 years ago under the floors of four houses in Çatalhöyük, a Neolithic settlement in central Turkey. The analysis of mitochondrial DNA, which is passed from mother to child, suggests that the women buried next to children were not their mothers. “For now, we know that the dead buried under the same house were not related in the maternal line,” Chyleński said. The team members are still attempting to sequence nuclear genomes, which contain genetic material inherited from both parents, from the bones in order to look for other kinship relationships among the dead. Chyleński thinks that the social structure at Çatalhöyük may have been more complex than previously thought, and that more than one family may have lived in each of the site’s mudbrick houses. To read more about DNA research of Neolithic societies, go to “Seeds of Europe's Family Tree.”

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