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The Bronze Age of Eurasia (around 3000-1000 BC) was a period of major cultural changes. However, there is debate about whether these changes resulted from the circulation of ideas or from human migrations, potentially also facilitating the spread of languages and certain phenotypic traits. We investigated this by using new, improved methods to sequence(More)
In the course of a molecular genetic investigation of a double inhumation, presumably a mother/child burial from Aschheim (Upper Bavaria, 6th century A.D.), which included analysis of mitochondrial DNA, molecular sexing, and polymorphic nuclear DNA, Yersinia pestis-specific DNA was detected. Molecular analyses were performed on DNA extracts obtained from(More)
Human and animal bones from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B site of Nevali Cori (southeast Anatolia) were analyzed with regard to stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in bone collagen, and stable carbon and oxygen isotopes in bone carbonate. The reconstruction of the vertebrate food web at this site revealed that humans may have faced difficulties with meat(More)
BACKGROUND Yersinia pestis has caused at least three human plague pandemics. The second (Black Death, 14-17th centuries) and third (19-20th centuries) have been genetically characterised, but there is only a limited understanding of the first pandemic, the Plague of Justinian (6-8th centuries). To address this gap, we sequenced and analysed draft genomes of(More)
Assessing the UV-fluorescence of a freshly cut cross section of the compact parts of a bone is often recommended as a first step to estimate the postmortem interval (PMI) of skeletal remains. Opinions differ concerning the cause of fluorescence and on how to categorize fluorescent properties as well as the significance of fluorescent characteristics in(More)
To the Editor: Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is held responsible for 3 human pandemics: the Justinian plague (5th–7th century), the Black Death (13th–15th century), and modern plague (1870s to present). In 1894, Alexandre Yersin identifi ed Y. pestis during an epidemic of plague in Hong Kong (1). However, whether Y. pestis was indeed(More)
Yersinia pestis has been identified as the causative agent of the Black Death pandemic in the 14(th) century. However, retrospective diagnostics in human skeletons after more than 600 years are critical. We describe a strategy following a modern diagnostic algorithm and working under strict ancient DNA regime for the identification of medieval human plague(More)
Recent advances in the methods of skeletal age estimation have rekindled interest in their applicability to paleodemography. The current study contributes to the discussion by applying several long established as well as recently developed or refined aging methods to a subsample of 121 adult skeletons from the early medieval cemetery of Lauchheim. The(More)
Incremental lines in acellular extrinsic fiber cementum of 91 roots from 80 freshly extracted teeth have been investigated for a verification of the suitability of pathological teeth for a valid age-at-death diagnosis. Independent from tooth type, the accuracy of histological age-at-death diagnosis is clearly a function of a tooth's pathological state.(More)
Human cremation is a common funeral practice all over the world and will presumably become an even more popular choice for interment in the future. Mainly for purposes of identification, there is presently a growing need to perform trace analyses such as DNA or stable isotope analyses on human remains after cremation in order to clarify pending questions in(More)