The pendant is 20,000 years old. Ancient DNA shows who wore it

Last Update: May 04, 2023, 09:08 AM IST

The researchers who found the pendant, which was 19,000–25,000 years old, used gloves and face masks while digging and handling it. (Credits: Reuters)

This method can isolate DNA that was present in skin cells, sweat or other bodily fluids and was absorbed by certain types of porous materials, including bones, teeth and teeth, when handled by someone thousands of years ago.

Inside a Siberian cave that is an archaeological treasure trove, an elk’s canine tooth – pierced to become a pendant – was discovered by scientists trying to protect this intriguing artifact created some 20,000 years ago from contamination. The ancient collection of pendants from Denisova Cave paid dividends. A new method for extracting ancient DNA has identified the object’s much older owner – a Stone Age woman belonging to a population of hunter-gatherers who lived east of the cave site in the foothills of Siberia, scientists said Wednesday. Was. Altai Mountains in Russia.

This method can isolate DNA that was present in skin cells, sweat or other bodily fluids and was absorbed by certain types of porous materials, including bones, teeth and teeth, when handled by someone thousands of years ago.

Objects used as tools or for personal adornment – ​​pendants, necklaces, bracelets, rings and so on – can provide insight into past behavior and culture, although our understanding of tying a particular object to a particular person is limited. limited by incapacity.

Molecular biologist Elena Essel from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany said, “I find these objects made in the deep past fascinating because they give us a little window to travel back in time and take a look into the lives of these people.” allowed to open. Lead author of the study published in the journal Nature.

The researchers who found the pendant, which was 19,000–25,000 years old, used gloves and face masks while digging and handling it to avoid contamination with modern DNA. It became the first prehistoric artifact to be linked by genetic testing to a specific individual. It is unknown whether the woman made it or merely wore it.

Essel said that holding such an artifact in his gloved hands, he felt “transported back in time, imagining the human hands that created and used it thousands of years ago.”

“As soon as I looked at the object, a flood of questions came to mind. Who had made it? Was this instrument passed down from one generation to the next, from a mother to a daughter or a father to a son? Essel Having said that we can begin to address these questions using genetic tools, it is still absolutely unbelievable to me.

The maker of the pendant drilled a hole in the tooth to allow some sort of now-lost wiring harness. The tooth could alternatively have been part of a head band or bracelet.

Our species Homo sapiens first originated in Africa about 300,000 years ago, which later spread throughout the world. According to the study’s senior archaeologist, Marie Sorcey of the University of Leiden, the oldest objects used as personal adornments date from Africa about 100,000 years ago.

Denisova Cave was long ago inhabited at different times by extinct human species called Denisovans, Neanderthals and our species. Remarkable finds have been made in this cave over the years, including the first known remains of Denisovans and various tools and other artifacts.

The new non-destructive research technique, used in a “clean room” laboratory in Leipzig, works like a washing machine. In this case, an artifact is immersed in a liquid that acts to release the DNA from it.

Washing machine

Picks up dirt from blouse.

By associating objects with particular people, the technique can shed light on prehistoric social roles and the division of labor between the sexes, or clarify whether an object was created by our species. Some artifacts have been found in places known to have lived, for example, Homo sapiens and Neanderthals together.

“This study opens up huge opportunities to better reconstruct the roles of individuals in the past according to their gender and ancestry,” Soraci said.

read all Latest Buzz News Here

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – reuters,