The site of Theopetra Cave is exceptional, having yielded human remains from the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. It offers a unique opportunity to apply ancient DNA analysis to skeletal material from well controlled archaeological contexts. Following promising preliminary results from the Palaeolithic skeleton a detailed analysis of the highly variable HLA DR, DQ region was pursued, yielding the same DNA type in duplicate analyses derived from independent bone extracts. Limited contamination with intrusive DNA was experienced in the study, suggesting that the results from the Palaeolithic skeleton are genuine. The DNA types detected are typical of both the postulated “Mesolithic hunter-gatherers” and “Near Eastern farmers” in the wave of advance model of Ammerman and Cavalli-Sforza. The implications of these findings from the Palaeolithic skeleton from Theopetra Cave are discussed.
|Title of host publication
|Theopetra Cave: Twelve Years of Excavation and Research 1987-1998
|Place of Publication
|Ephorate of Palaeoanthropology and Speleology
|Published - 2000