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Gender distribution of excavation findings from the time of the Holy Roman Empire and the population migration period

Geschlechterverteilung eines Grabungsfunds aus der römischen Kaiser- und Völkerwanderungszeit

M. Harthun , A.-M. Pflugbeil, N. Friedewald, D. Labudde, J. Edelmann, H. Bruchhaus, J. Bruchhaus, K. Thiele

First online: 15 July 2015

Abstract

Background
A skeleton collective from the fourth-fifth centuries was analyzed by molecular genetic strategies. Initial statements on gender distribution within the excavation find were made in advance by morphognostic analyses of the skeletal material; however, the gender could not be clearly determined by the morphognostic analysis in every individual case partly due to the condition of the material.
Objectives
For verification of the morphognostic data obtained, DNA analyses were carried out for determination of gender and additionally Y chromosome haplotypes of skeletons from male individuals. This enabled a comparison of the results from the morphognostic gender determination on skulls with the genotyping results. Furthermore, the genotyping data were used to answer various questions on population genetics.
Material and methods
Isolation and purification of DNA (phenol chloroform/isoamyl alcohol) were carried out from tooth samples of the skeleton collective and STR analyses were performed using the PowerPlex® S5 and PowerPlex® Y23 systems. Population genetic analyses were carried out based on the information obtained from 23 chromosomal STR markers. Furthermore, the samples were classified into relevant Y-chromosomal haplogroups by database-driven lineage information.
Results
A total of 18 individuals could be classified with certainty as male and on the basis of the data it could be shown that the individuals must have been a resident population of the Central European region.
Discussion
Despite limitations in criteria regarding the number of STR systems used, the methodology described is suitable for the analysis of ancient DNA (aDNA). Taking into account that the results achieved originated from a pilot study, further molecular genetic and population analyses should be carried out to obtain more insights into the population.

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00194-015-0043-4

http://link.springer.com.sci-hub.bz/article/10.1007/s00194-015-0043-4


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