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  • 1.
    Asplund, Linnea
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution.
    Hagenblad, Jenny
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
    Leino, Matti W.
    Re-evaluating the history of the wheat domestication gene NAM-B1 using historical plant material2010In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 37, no 9, p. 2303-2307Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The development of agriculture is closely associated with the domestication of wheat, one of the earliest crop species. During domestication key genes underlying traits important to Neolithic agriculture were targeted by selection. One gene believed to be such a domestication gene is NAM-B1, affecting both nutritional quality and yield but with opposite effects. A null mutation, first arisen in emmer wheat, decreases the nutritional quality but delays maturity and increases grain size; previously the ancestral allele was believed lost during the domestication of durum and bread wheat by indirect selection for larger grain. By genotyping 63 historical seed samples originating from the 1862 International Exhibition in London, we found that the ancestral allele was present in two spelt wheat and two bread wheat cultivars widely cultivated at the time. This suggests that fixation of the mutated allele of NAM-B1 in bread wheat, if at all, occurred during modern crop improvement rather than during domestication. We also discuss the value of using archaeological and historical plant material to further the understanding of the development of agriculture.

  • 2. Buckley, Michael
    et al.
    Anderung, Cecilia
    Penkman, Kirsty
    Raney, Brian J.
    Götherström, Anders
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolution, Genomics and Systematics, Evolutionary Biology.
    Thomas-Oates, Jane
    Collins, Matthew J.
    Comparing the survival of osteocalcin and mtDNA in archaeological bone from four European sites 2008In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 35, no 6, p. 1756-1764Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The small mineral-binding bone protein, osteocalcin, has been applied in a number of studies on ancient bone due to predictions of its long-term stability. However, the intact protein has not been shown to survive in ancient bone devoid of DNA, which is a much more phylogenetically informative biomolecule. In this investigation, the survival of osteocalcin is directly compared to the amplification of mtDNA in a set of 34 archaeological samples from four sites throughout Europe. We also present unpublished osteocalcin sequences of seven mammalian species in addition to the 19 published sequences to highlight phylogenetic limitations of this protein. The results indicate that the intact osteocalcin molecule survives less in archaeological samples than mtDNA and is more subject to the temperature of the archaeological site. Amino acid analyses show the persistence of the dominant protein collagen in samples that failed both osteocalcin and mtDNA analyses. The implications these findings present for biomolecular species identification in archaeological and palaeontological material are that, although proteins do survive beyond ancient DNA, osteocalcin does not appear to be the most ideal target

  • 3.
    Daskalaki, Evangelia
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology.
    Anderung, Cecilia
    Humphrey, Louise
    Götherström, Anders
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology.
    Further developments in molecular sex assignment: a blind test of 18th and 19th century human skeletons2011In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 38, no 6, p. 1326-1330Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The identification of sex in human remains recovered from archaeological locations is important in order to understand the social and biological structure of past societies, and to reconstruct past population demographic events. Sex determination is usually based on morphological traits of the skeletons, with the drawback that most methods do not apply to juveniles and require well preserved remains. In cases where morphological methods cannot be used, or are ambiguous, methods of molecular sexing systems are an alternative. In this methodological study we tested and validated the accuracy and usefulness of a molecular sexing method based on the amelogenin gene using pyrosequencing. We did this in a double blind study of documented 18th and 19th century human remains.

  • 4. Davis, Simon J. M.
    et al.
    Svensson, Emma M.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology.
    Albarella, Umberto
    Detry, Cleia
    Götherström, Anders
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology.
    Pires, Ana Elisabete
    Ginja, Catarina
    Molecular and osteometric sexing of cattle metacarpals: a case study from 15th century AD Beja, Portugal2012In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 39, no 5, p. 1445-1454Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the course of a zooarchaeological survey of Holocene sites in southern Portugal, a substantial size increase of cattle bones was noted following the Christian reconquista of the 11th-13th centuries AD. A size increase in the course of time within a lineage of domestic livestock is usually considered to represent animal improvement. However several other factors including sex may influence the average size of a sample of mammal bones - cattle exhibit considerable sexual size dimorphism, with bulls being larger than cows. A histogram of the distal widths of a large (n = 44) sample of cattle metacarpals from 15th century Beja (Alentejo, Portugal), revealed a bimodal distribution. It was assumed that the large measurements belonged to males and the small to females. In order to rule out the possibility of a post-Moslem change in the sex ratio of cattle, a sub-sample of 21 cattle metacarpals from Beja was selected and we used genetic markers to identify the sex of the animals to which these metacarpals belonged. The ancient DNA sex of all specimens agreed with the previously assumed sex as determined osteometrically. We conclude that the two nearly separated peaks for the metacarpal distal width measurements do indeed indicate sex. A similar bimodal distribution was obtained from another large but earlier sample of cattle metacarpals from Moslem Alcacova de Santarem (9th-12th century AD). Although these have not been molecularly sexed and since osteometric sexing has now been validated, we conclude that both small (female) and large (male) peaks are smaller than the 15th century ones and that there was an overall size increase or improvement of cattle in this region. Why the Christians improved cattle is unclear, but a selection for larger beeves for meat is one possibility as is the selection of more robust cattle for power. The spread of the quadrangular or chariot plough in Iberia is known to have occurred at this time. We then use the genetically sexed metacarpals to determine which measurements provide reasonable distinction between the sexes. Both the distal width (BFd; as already noted by Svensson et al., 2008; in Swedish medieval cattle) and the width of the lateral condyle (WCL) offer the best distinction. We also used them as a reference 'collection' to sex the medieval and post-medieval cattle metacarpals from Launceston Castle in England. This re-visit of the Launceston data corroborates other evidence indicating increased specialisation (milk and veal) in post-medieval cattle husbandry in England.

  • 5. Eklund, Julie A.
    et al.
    Thomas, Mark G.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolution, Genomics and Systematics, Evolutionary Biology.
    Assessing the effects of conservation treatments on short sequences of DNA in vitro2010In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 37, no 11, p. 2831-2841Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Little is known about what effects conservation treatments used to preserve human and animal hard and soft tissues have on DNA preservation. We have developed a method to assess quantitatively the extent of lesions or strand breakage caused by conservation treatments on short sequences of DNA in vitro. The method developed enables the determination of the percentage of DNA preserved following exposure to a conservation treatment solution relative to control samples, thereby allowing the direct comparison of treatments based upon their preserving/damaging effects on a DNA sequence. Forty-three chemicals commonly used in the preparation and/or conservation of human and/or animal remains were examined. We found that the majority were damaging, in particular and as expected, acidic treatments and treatments carried out at elevated temperatures. A few, primarily organic solvents, were not damaging. The approach we have adopted can be applied to screen other treatments either used in the past or for future conservation applications as they are developed to assess their effects on DNA. How these results should be interpreted in terms of conservation and sampling is also discussed.

  • 6.
    Finné, Martin
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för naturgeografi och kvartärgeologi (INK).
    Holmgren, Karin
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för naturgeografi och kvartärgeologi (INK).
    Sundqvist, Hanna S.
    Stockholms universitet, Naturvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för naturgeografi och kvartärgeologi (INK).
    Weiberg, Erika
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Classical archaeology and ancient history.
    Lindblom, Michael
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Classical archaeology and ancient history.
    Climate in the eastern Mediterranean, and adjacent regions, during the past 6000 years: A review2011In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 38, no 12, p. 3153-3173Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The eastern Mediterranean, with its long archaeological and historical records, provides a unique opportunity to study human responses to climate variability. We review paleoclimate data and reconstructions from the region with a focus on the last 6000 years. We aim to provide an up-to-date source of information on climate variability and to outline present limitations and future opportunities. The review work is threefold: (1) literature review, (2) spatial and temporal analysis of proxy records, and (3) statistical estimation of uncertainties in present paleoclimate reconstructions (temperature, °C). On a regional scale the review reveals a wetter situation from 6000 to 5400 yrs BP (note: all ages in this paper are in calibrated years before present (i.e. before 1950), abbreviated yrs BP, unless otherwise stated). This is followed by a less wet period leading up to one of fully-developed aridity from c. 4600 yrs BP. There is a need for more high-resolution paleoclimate records, in order to (i) better understand regional patterns and trends versus local climate variability and to (ii) fill the gap of data from some regions, such as the Near East, Greece and Egypt. Further, we evaluate the regional occurrence of a proposed widespread climate event at 4200 yrs BP. This proposed climate anomaly has been used to explain profound changes in human societies at different locations in the region around this time. We suggest that although aridity was widespread around 4200 yrs BP in the eastern Mediterranean region, there is not enough evidence to support the notion of a climate event with rapidly drying conditions in this region.

  • 7. Fraser, Magdalena
    et al.
    Sten, Sabine
    Götherström, Anders
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology.
    Neolithic Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) from the Island of Gotland show early contacts with the Swedish mainland2012In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 39, no 2, p. 229-233Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research probing early migrations and contacts in the Baltic Sea area is characterized by the analysis of different chronologies and subsistent strategies on all sides of the Sea. Several studies performed on artifact typology, ceramics, grave rituals and physical anthropology ended with varying results. Although the question of human origins remains inconclusive, in this study, we rely on the phylogeography of an animal associated with humans to elucidate findings regarding prehistoric human migration and contacts. Hedgehogs, along with other fauna on Gotland, were brought over to the island by humans. We examined hedgehog mitochondrial DNA from the Pitted Ware Culture (Middle Neolithic). The genetic signatures of the animals on the island were investigated to determine the animal's origin. From the 23 bones originally examined, twelve bones from all five locations studied yielded reliable results and resembled published extant Erinaceus europaeus sequences from Sweden, Norway and Denmark. We postulate that a western heritage for the Neolithic hedgehogs on Gotland indicates early human contact with the Swedish mainland.

  • 8.
    Fraser, Magdalena
    et al.
    Gotland University, School of Culture, Energy and Environment.
    Sten, Sabine
    Gotland University, School of Culture, Energy and Environment.
    Götherström, Anders
    Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18D, 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden.
    Neolithic Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) from the Island of Gotland show early contacts with the Swedish mainland2012In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 39, no 2, p. 229-233Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research probing early migrations and contacts in the Baltic Sea area is characterized by the analysis of different chronologies and subsistent strategies on all sides of the Sea. Several studies performed on artifact typology, ceramics, grave rituals and physical anthropology ended with varying results. Although the question of human origins remains inconclusive, in this study, we rely on the phylogeography of an animal associated with humans to elucidate findings regarding prehistoric human migration and contacts.

    Hedgehogs, along with other fauna on Gotland, were brought over to the island by humans. We examined hedgehog mitochondrial DNA from the Pitted Ware Culture (Middle Neolithic). The genetic signatures of the animals on the island were investigated to determine the animals origin.

    From the 23 bones originally examined, twelve bones from all five locations studied yielded reliable results and resembled published extant Erinaceus europaeus sequences from Sweden, Norway and Denmark. We postulate that a western heritage for the Neolithic hedgehogs on Gotland indicates early human contact with the Swedish mainland.

  • 9.
    Hellqvist, Magnus
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
    Lemdahl, Geoffrey
    Department of Quaternary Geology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Insect assemblages and local environment of the medieval town Uppsala, south-eastern Sweden1996In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 23, p. 873-881Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Insect remains from a mediaeval settlement in the town of Uppsala, S. Sweden, were analysed. Eighty-one insect taxa were identified from samples dating from the 12th to the 15th century. The insect assemblages are totally dominated by beetles. Only a few remains of butterflies, true flies and a bumble bee were found. The insects imply that the settlement was situated in open landscape. The settlement most likely consisted mainly of farm buildings throughout the studied period. Crops such as wheat, barley and cabbage were probably cultivated, particularly during the early settlement phases. Later, at the beginning of the 15th century, stock rearing seems to have dominated. The results suggest that the climate, during Mediaeval time in southern Sweden, was similar to the present or characterized by slightly higher summer temperatures. A number of currently very rare species were also recorded. SciVerse ScienceDirect Journals

  • 10. Kjellström, A.
    et al.
    Storå, J.
    Possnert, Göran
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Ion Physics.
    Linderholm, Anna
    Dietary patterns and social structures in medieval Sigtuna, Sweden, as reflected in stable isotope values in human skeletal remains2009In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 36, no 12, p. 2689-2699Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Stable isotopes (delta C-13, delta N-15) have been studied in human   burials from the medieval town Sigtuna in Sweden. Dietary patterns of   80 adult individuals were analyzed on three cemeteries representing the   phases of establishment, prosperity and decline of the town. All   analyzed individuals were radiocarbon dated. One of the cemeteries,   Church 1, represents a population of higher social status than those at   the other two cemeteries.   The delta C-13 values are homogenous and showed that the protein intake   was mainly of terrestrial origin in the whole population. delta N-15   values varies more and they may indicate a higher input of vegetables   in the diet at one of the cemeteries, the Nunnan block.   Already in the initial phases of Sigtuna a social hierarchy had been   established which is reflected in dietary patterns. Apparently more   animal protein was consumed among the high status population of the   town. Furthermore, differences in dietary patterns between the sexes   were noted. In all phases the females show more clustered values   indicating a more homogeneous diet than that of the males.

  • 11.
    Knutsson, Helena
    et al.
    Stoneslab.
    Knutsson, Kjel
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.
    Taipale, Noora
    Archéologie préhistorique / Traceolab, Quai Roosevelt, 1B (Bât. A4).
    Tallavaara, Miika
    University of Helsinki. Department of Philosophy, Culture and Art Studies .
    Darmark, Kim
    Museibyrån. Utbildnings- och kulturavdelningen Ålands landskapsstyrelse.
    How shattered flakes were used: Micro-wear analysis of quartz flake fragments2015In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, no 2, p. 517-531Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Prehistoric quartz assemblages have always posed a special problem for archaeologists. Due to its brittle nature, quartz is hard to understand within lithic classification systems that are based on formally varied flint assemblages. In this paper we explore ways to deal with this problem by applying two analytical methods, fracture analysis and use-wear analysis. A sample of 544 unmodified quartz flakes and flake fragments from Mesolithic and Neolithic sites in Sweden and Finland was analysed. It can be concluded that both whole and fragmented flakes were used as tools. Larger flakes and flake fragments were preferred as tool blanks and the type of use was correlated to variation in edge qualities rather than the formal characteristics of flakes.

    The results of this investigation suggest that making behavioural inferences from quartz assemblages with low formal variability requires the assemblages to be approached with a focus on functional types.

  • 12.
    Lane, Paul
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, African and Comparative Archaeology.
    Marchant, Robert A.
    University of York.
    Past perspectives for the future: foundations for sustainable development in East Africa2014In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 51, p. 12-21Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    East African ecosystems are shaped by long-term interactions with a dynamic climate and increasing human interventions. Whereas in the past the latter have often been regarded solely in a negative light, more recent research from the perspective of historical ecology has shown that there has often been a strong beneficial connection between people and ecosystems in East Africa. These relationships are now being strained by the rapidly developing and growing population, and their associated resource needs. Predicted future climatic and atmospheric change will further impact on human-ecosystem relationships culminating in a host of challenges for their management and sustainable development, compounded by a backdrop of governance, land tenure and economic constraints. Understanding how ecosystem-human interactions have changed over time and space can only be derived from combining archaeological, historical and palaeoecological data. Although crucial gaps remain, the number and resolution of these important archives from East Africa is growing rapidly, and the application of new techniques and proxies is allowing a more comprehensive understanding of past ecosystem response to climate change to be developed. When used in conjunction it is possible to disentangle human from climate change impacts, and assess how the former interacts with major environmental changes such as increased use offire, changing herbivore densities and increased atmospheric CO2 concentration. With forecasted environmental change it is imperative that our understanding of past human-ecosystem interactions is queried to impart effective long term conservation and land use management strategies. Such an approach, that has its foundation in the long term, will enhance possibilities for a sustainable future for East African ecosystems and maximise the livelihoods of the populations that rely on them.

  • 13.
    Leonard, Jennifer
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolution, Genomics and Systematics, Evolutionary Biology.
    Shanks, Orin
    Hofreiter, E.
    Kreuz, Eva
    Hodges, Larry
    Ream, Walt
    Wayne, Robert K.
    Fleischer, Robert C.
    Animal DNA in PCR reagents plagues ancient DNA research2007In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 34, no 9, p. 1361-1366Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Molecular archaeology brings the tools of molecular biology to bear on fundamental questions in archaeology, anthropology, evolution, and ecology. Ancient DNA research is becoming widespread as evolutionary biologists and archaeologists discover the power of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to amplify DNA from ancient plant and animal remains. However, the extraordinary susceptibility of PCR to contamination by extraneous DNA is not widely appreciated. We report the independent observation of DNA from domestic animals in PCR reagents and ancient samples in four separate laboratories. Since PCR conditions used in ancient DNA analyses are extremely sensitive, very low concentrations of contaminating DNA can cause false positives. Previously unidentified animal DNA in reagents can confound ancient DNA research on certain domestic animals, especially cows, pigs, and chickens.

  • 14. Mannering, U
    et al.
    Possnert, Göran
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Ion Physics. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, För teknisk-naturvetenskapliga fakulteten gemensamma enheter, Tandem Laboratory.
    Heinemeier, J
    Gleba, M
    Dating Danish textiles and skins from bog finds by means of 14-C AMS2010In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 37, no 2, p. 261-268Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study presents the results of 44 new C-14 analyses of Danish Early Iron Age textiles and skins. Of 52 Danish bog finds containing skin and textile items, 30 are associated with bog bodies. Until now, only 18 of these have been dated. In this paper we add dates to the remaining finds. The results demonstrate that the Danish custom of depositing clothed bodies in a bog is centred to the centuries immediately before and at the beginning of the Common Era. Most of these bodies are carefully placed in the bog - wrapped or dressed in various textile and/or skin garments. The care with which these people were placed in the bog indicates that they represent a hitherto unrecognised burial custom supplementing the more common burial pratice for this period.

  • 15.
    Mtetwa, Ezekia
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, African and Comparative Archaeology. Uppsala University.
    The bloomery iron technologies of Great Zimbabwe from AD 1000:: An archaeometallurgy of social practicesIn: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We still know very little about the nature of bloomery iron production technologies of Great Zimbabwe, one of the largest and earliest societies linked to the origins of social complexity, urbanism and statehood around the end of the first millennium AD in southern Africa. This paper deals for the first time, with the detailed microstructural and chemical analyses of selected iron slags from eight sites around the Great Zimbabwe urban centre using metallographic and ICP-AES and ICP-MS techniques. Half of the studied sites have a slag chemistry that is particularly noteworthy, revealing low iron oxide content and remarkably high amounts of manganese relative to the typical range for bloomery slags. Slag samples from yet another site have very high silica and low iron oxide content, indicating the possible addition of silicate flux to smelt a presumably high-grade magnetite ore, producing highly fluid slags. The microstructure of these samples show well-crystallized and very fine-skeletal fayalite grains in a glassy matrix, as well as a white magnetite skin, underpinning the use of slag-tapping techniques at the site. These clear cases of variation and change in technological innovation and skill illuminate the complexity of the iron technologies of Great Zimbabwe, which were integral in the generation of monumental architecture and everyday social life.

  • 16.
    Skoglund, Pontus
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology.
    Stora, Jan
    Gotherstrom, Anders
    Jakobsson, Mattias
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Accurate sex identification of ancient human remains using DNA shotgun sequencing2013In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 40, no 12, p. 4477-4482Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Accurate identification of the biological sex of ancient remains is vital for critically testing hypotheses about social structure in prehistoric societies. However, morphological methods are imprecise for juvenile individuals and fragmentary remains, and molecular methods that rely on particular sex-specific marker loci such as the amelogenin gene suffer from allelic dropout and sensitivity to modern contamination. Analyzing shotgun sequencing data from 14 present-day humans of known biological sex and 16 ancient individuals from a time span of 100 to similar to 70,000 years ago, we show that even relatively sparse shotgun sequencing (about 100,000 human sequences) can be used to reliably identify chromosomal sex simply by considering the ratio of sequences aligning to the X and Y chromosomes, and highlight two examples where the genetic assignments indicate morphological misassignment Furthermore, we show that accurate sex identification of highly degraded remains can be performed in the presence of substantial amounts of present-day contamination by utilizing the signature of cytosine deamination, a characteristic feature of ancient DNA.

  • 17.
    Sulas, Federica
    et al.
    CNR, Ist Storia Europa Mediterranea, Via GB Tuveri 128, Cagliari, Italy.;Univ Pretoria, Dept Anthropol & Archaeol, ZA-0002 Pretoria, South Africa..
    Fleisher, Jeffrey
    Rice Univ, Dept Anthropol, Houston, TX USA..
    Wynne-Jones, Stephanie
    Uppsala University, The Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences (SCASSS). Univ York, Dept Archaeol, York, N Yorkshire, England..
    Geoarchaeology of urban space in tropical island environments: Songo Mnara, Tanzania2017In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 77, p. 52-63Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Past urban settlements in tropical island environments offer particularly challenging sites for mainstream archaeology. Often associated with shallow stratigraphic sequences, archaeological sediments and soils in these sites are strongly influenced by local geology and seawater. This study discusses the advantages and challenges of developing an integrated geoarchaeological programme to examine the use of space at the Swahili stonetown of Songo Mnara Island, Tanzania. This exceptionally well preserved site, occupied for less than two centuries (C14th-16th AD), comprises a complex urban layout with stone built houses, wattle-and-daub structures, funerary complexes, activity areas such as wells, and open areas. The programme has combined geoarchaeological (soil macro-and micromorphology, ICP-AES, pH, EC), geophysical (magnetic susceptibility) and archaeological (large excavations, test trenches, artefact distribution mapping) techniques to investigate the use of space across different contexts. Initial geoarchaeological prospection and opportunistic soil sampling have allowed framing of the island's environmental settings and archaeological deposits as well as outlining open spaces in between buildings. Subsequent research applied a systematic sampling strategy to map geochemical and artefact distributions in conjunction with context-specific soil micromorphology. The results provide a means to map out the impact of occupation across the site as well as to differentiate between open, roofed and unroofed spaces. ICP-AES results, for example, demonstrate that measurements of Ca, Mg, P, S and Sr levels can help discriminate occupation/activity areas in tropical island environments. They also indicate that the depletion of certain elements (e.g. Na, K, and Ni) should be considered as a means of differentiating between roofed and unroofed spaces. The combination of different methodologies demonstrates the importance of addressing discrepancies as well as correlations between multiple datasets for deciphering features within urban spaces in tropical environments and interpreting ancient activities that occurred within them.

  • 18.
    Svensson, Emma M.
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolution, Genomics and Systematics, Evolutionary Biology.
    Götherström, Anders
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolution, Genomics and Systematics, Evolutionary Biology.
    Vretemark, Maria
    A DNA test for sex identification in cattle confirms osteometric results2008In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 35, no 4, p. 942-946Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is of vital importance to be able to sex identify cattle remains to understand the strategies and importance of cattle husbandry in an ancient society. This is usually done from osteoarchaeological assemblages and often relies on measurements of metapodials. The breadth measurement of the distal trochlea is considered an easy way to identify the sex. Bones from males appears to be easily distinguishable from female counterparts, although it has been complicated to find an external control for the morphological results. Here we investigate the reliability of these particular morphometrics for sex identifying cattle bones with molecular genetics. We use a sex discriminating single nucleotide polymorphism in the ZFXY gene and we apply it to DNA from the bones. To keep the fragment size short and suitable for ancient DNA we base the test on a SNP. The test confirms the osteological sex identification in all cases were DNA could be retrieved. This molecular method can also be used when no fragments suitable for osteological sex identification can be found or when the measurements are non-conclusive.

  • 19. Telldahl, Y.
    et al.
    Svensson, Emma M.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology. Victorian AgriBiosciences Centre, Australia.
    Götherström, Anders
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology.
    Storå, J.
    Osteometric and molecular sexing of cattle metapodia2012In: Journal of Archaeological Science, ISSN 0305-4403, E-ISSN 1095-9238, Vol. 39, no 1, p. 121-127Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sex identification of skeletal remains based on morphology is a common practice in Zooarchaeology. Knowledge of the sex distribution of slaughtered or hunted animals may help in the interpretation of e.g. hunting or breeding strategies. Here we investigate and evaluate several osteometric criteria used to assess sex of cattle (Bos taurus) metapodia using molecular sex identification as a control of the metric data. The bone assemblage used to assess these new criteria derives from the Eketorp ringfort in the southern parts of Oland Island in Sweden. One hundred metapodia were selected for molecular analysis of sex and we were able to genetically identify the sex of 76 of these elements. The combined results of the molecular and osteometric analyses confirm a significant size difference between females and males for several measurements for both metacarpals (Mc) and metatarsals (Mt). Our results show that some measurements are applicable for metapodials. These measurements include the slenderness indices such as the Mennerich's index 1 and 3, as well as the distal breadth (Bd), the breadth between the articular crests (Bcr), and the maximum breadth of the lateral trochlea (BFdl). We show that they can be used for sexing of both metacarpals and metatarsals. The latter measurements offer an opportunity to study fragmented elements and thus a higher number of elements may be utilized for morphological sexing of archaeological bones. Size comparisons of Mc and Mt may also aid in The separation of bulls and oxen.

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