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    Ancient DNA from Romania

    Dem bones—Romanian version: a wish list of samples for ancient DNA research.

    We now have autosomal analyses for some ancient DNA samples from Romania, twelve in Mathieson 2018, and four more in Gonzales-Fortes 2017.
    That ‘s not much, but it’s a start.

    It would be nice to see research projects that systematically sample available remains from Romania up to the Medieval period. This would allow one to make inferences about population structure.

    What information is currently available that would help map out available remains?

    The following source is a handy reference work listing sites that have yielded remains from the Early Neolithic to the Middle Eneolithic:
    Cătălin Lazăr (ed.) 2012. The Catalogue of the Neolithic and Eneolithic Funerary Findings from Romania. (ISBN 978-606-537-135-4).
    https://www.researchgate.net/profile...om-Romania.pdf

    It covers funerary finds up to the middle eneolithic, but does not include the transition period to the Bronze Age (Horodiştea-Folteşti-Cernavoda II, Coţofeni, Cernavoda III, Baden cultures.)

    There is no comparable catalog for the transition and later periods. And even for the earlier periods Lazăr’s compilation covers, there have been, in the meantime, more recent finds.

    To get more information, one will have to slog through thousands of records in the “Repertoriul Arheologic National,” http://ran.cimec.ro.

    When I have time, I hope to occasionally post what I find in this online collection. Anyone else is invited to pitch in. Lots of good stuff in there. Some reading knowledge of Romanian needed. Not hard for anyone familiar with Romance languages.

    One can always wish that someone will develop a long-range research program that will help shed some light on population patterns in this part of Southeastern Europe.

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    I don't know if you are aware about this study about mtDNA analysis from the fortress Capidava, on the Dannube in Dobruja, 10th century.
    http://www.ibiol.ro/proiecte/PNII/GE.../IoanaRusu.pdf

    Somebody posted preliminary findings about 4 predicted haplogroups, however now 9 ( 5 partial and 4 full genomes) are downloaded in Genbank. Not sure if a study "Maternal DNA lineages at the gate of Europe in the 10th century" will be published soon.

    1. Homo sapiens isolate CAP-M6 D-loop, partial sequence; mitochondrial /haplogroup="H"
    301 bp linear DNA
    MF597782.1 GI:1273481831

    2. Homo sapiens isolate CAP-M6 D-loop, partial sequence; mitochondrial /haplogroup="H"
    382 bp linear DNA
    MF597781.1 GI:1273481830

    3. Homo sapiens isolate CAP-M3 D-loop, partial sequence; mitochondrial /haplogroup="R0a"
    302 bp linear DNA
    MF597780.1 GI:1273481829

    4. Homo sapiens isolate CAP-M3 D-loop, partial sequence; mitochondrial /haplogroup="R0a"
    382 bp linear DNA
    MF597779.1 GI:1273481828

    5. Homo sapiens isolate CAP-M17 mitochondrion, partial genome /haplogroup="H5e1a1"
    16,569 bp linear DNA
    MF597778.1 GI:1273481814

    6. Homo sapiens isolate CAP-M15 mitochondrion, partial genome /haplogroup="H13a1a3"
    16,568 bp linear DNA
    MF597777.1 GI:1273481800

    7. Homo sapiens isolate CAP-M11 mitochondrion, partial genome /haplogroup="N9a9"
    16,568 bp linear DNA
    MF597776.1 GI:1273481786

    8. Homo sapiens isolate CAP-M9 mitochondrion, partial genome /haplogroup="N9a9"
    16,552 bp linear DNA
    MF597775.1 GI:1273481772

    9. Homo sapiens isolate CAP-M2 mitochondrion, complete genome /haplogroup="V1a"
    16,569 bp circular DNA
    MF597774.1 GI:1273481758

    It is evident that the preliminary predictions, based on HVR1 only, do not match the full mtDNA genome analysis. It is very hard to make any ethnic or migratory conclusions, something similar was the Bulgarian study about the old Bulgars.
    From those with full mtDNA, there are 2 N9a9, which is a typical East Asian haplogroup. H13a1a3 is found in Caucasus and Iran, but also in Poland. H5e1a1 is found in Poland and Russia, one ancient Magyar was H5e1.
    Regarding the Capidava remains, the fortress was a few centuries a part of the Bulgar empire, however from 915 the plain from Danube to the Carpathian mountains was lost to the Pechenegs. A little later Dobrudja was mainly Cuman domain. Capidava was rebuilt by the Byzantines in 10th c. when the Bulgarian empire fell under their rule, but finally destroyed by the Pechenegs again in 1026 and abandoned after that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eastara View Post
    I don't know if you are aware about this study about mtDNA analysis from the fortress Capidava, on the Dannube in Dobruja, 10th century.
    http://www.ibiol.ro/proiecte/PNII/GE.../IoanaRusu.pdf
    .
    Yes, I was aware of this poster. Thanks for pointing it out and for the additional commentary.
    I was not quite sure what to make of it (the poster, not your commentary.) And why Capidava, or fortresses, after all? I think the real advantage of aDNA, especially autosomal, is in what it will be able to tell us about ordinary people. But for that, there needs to be patient collection of data. There is still much work to be done. Nevertheless, of course, we don't want to forget about the information already obtained.
    Last edited by Fungene; 03-10-2018 at 07:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eastara View Post
    something similar was the Bulgarian study
    It would be really interesting if you could point us to Bulgarian reports of possible samples to test for ancient DNA, and perhaps summarize some of the information for us. Very few of us, yours truly included, have access to this information because of the language barrier. I would be looking forward to that.

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    You can find most of the ancient samples on the site Ancestral Journeys, it shows also the study they are taken from. Here are the Medieval samples.
    http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/medievaldna.shtml
    The Bulgarian study was contested even with the choice of samples. Only Nojarevo could be attributed to the old Bulgar, Tuhovishte is from a much later period and Southern Bulgaria, the Bulgars probably never settled there except for military garrisons in the fortresses. Monastery of Mostich were buried with Christian rituals, so there is no archaeological proof if they were Bulgars or locals.
    No East Asian haplogroups were found, but as they were predicted on the basis of HVR1 only, this is not very precise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eastara View Post
    You can find most of the ancient samples on the site Ancestral Journeys.
    Yes, thank you. That certainly needs to be added to one's database.
    It would be nice to hear about human remains archeological research has uncovered in Bulgaria, from the Early Neolithic to the Middle Ages, for which we do not yet have aDNA. That would help in making inferences (one day, when we have enough data) about population structure across time.
    Is there a Bulgarian online database, similar to the Romanian “Repertoriul Arheologic National”?

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    Here and the next few posts are visualizations of the locations of funerary finds (most containing human remains), prior to the period of transition in Romania, by modern counties. The information on which the maps are based is culled from Cătălin Lazăr (ed.) 2012. The Catalogue of the Neolithic and Eneolithic Funerary Findings from Romania, referenced in the first post in this thread.

    First, a map of findings from all periods, from Early Neolithic to Middle Eneolithic (ca. 6600-3700 BCE)
    EarlyNeolToMidEneolFuneraryFind-RO.png

    Following the divisions in the Catalogue, and the dates provided:

    Early Neolithic (6600-5500 BCE): Map of Funerary Findings from the Early Neolithic in Romania
    EarlyNeolFuneraryFindings-RO.png

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    Still based on
    Cătălin Lazăr (ed.) 2012. The Catalogue of the Neolithic and Eneolithic Funerary Findings from Romania

    Middle Neolithic (5500-5000 BCE): Map of Funerary Findings from the Middle Neolithic in Romania
    MiddleNeolFuneraryFindings-RO.png

    Early Eneolithic (5000-45000 BCE): Map of Funerary Findings from the Early Eneolithic in Romania
    EarlyEneolithicFunerary Findings-RO.png

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    Finally,

    Middle Eneolithic (4500/4600-3800-3700 BCE): Map of Funerary Findings from the Middle Eneolithic in Romania
    MiddleEneolFuneraryFind-RO.png

    Also, because people tend to like Cucuteni culture (although I like ‘em all), I have also made a map of the funerary findings of the Cucuteni culture in Romania. They are from the following counties:
    Bacău, Botoșani, Covasna, Iași, Neamț, Suceava, and Vaslui

    CucuteniFuneraryFindings-RO.png

    (and yes, there are bones to be sampled from Cucuteni culture)

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    Just a small comment that can be made from perusing Cătălin Lazăr (ed.) 2012. The Catalogue of the Neolithic and Eneolithic Funerary Findings from Romania.
    It appears that archaeological finds have typically been dug up fortuitously, usually as a result of roadwork or other building projects.
    Often artifacts and remains have been destroyed in the process. The advent of new, non-destructive imaging techniques are sure to be of great help.

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