Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 1‐14
ANCIENT mtDNA SEQUENCES AND RADIOCARBON DATING OF HUMAN BONES FROM THE CHALCOLITHIC CAVES OF WADI EL‐MAKKUKH
Salamon, M et al.
DNA from fossil human bones can provide valuable information for understanding intra‐ and
inter‐population relationships. Using the DNA preserved inside crystal aggregates from human fos‐
sil bones containing relatively large amounts of collagen, we demonstrate the presence of repro‐
ducible mtDNA control region sequences. Radiocarbon dates from each bone show that the burial
caves were used for up to 600 years during the Chalcolithic period (5th‐4th millennium BP). A com‐
parison of the ancient DNA sequences with modern mtDNA databases indicates that all samples
can most likely be assigned to the R haplogroup sub‐clades, which are common in West‐Eurasia. In
four cases more precise and confident haplogroup identifications could be achieved (H, U3a and
H6). The H haplogroup is present in three out of the four assigned ancient samples. This hap‐
logroup is prevalent today in West – Eurasia. The results reported here tend to genetically link this
Chalcolithic group of individuals to the current West Eurasian populations.