Complex Analysis of 700-Year-Old Skeletal Remains found in an Unusual Grave–Case Report

  • Hana Brzobohata D
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Aim: The present study was designed to analyze the 700-year-old human remains from an unusual grave using a combined approach that consisted of anthropological, archaeogenetic, genealogical, mass spectrometry, 3-dimensional (3D) modeling and facial reconstruction methods to confirm or reject several hypotheses about the skeletal remains. Methods: DNA was extracted from the skeleton and amplified using autosomal and Y-chromosome human identification short tandem repeat (STR) kits that were designed for forensic use, and sequence data were obtained from hyper variable region I (HVRI) mtDNA sequencing. Elemental mapping and quantification of investigated elements were performed using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). The Computed Tomography (CT) images of the skull were created in a transversal plane, and the scans were used to create 3D geometric models of the skull. A plastic physical model (a cast) of the skull was produced by rapid prototyping technology, and the model was used for sculptural facial approximation of the studied individual. Results: The Y-chromosome haplogroup of the sample was determined to be E1b1b, and the assigned mtDNA haplogroup was H. LA-ICP-MS and geochemical analysis revealed that the individual consumed plants and meats, except pork. Anthropological examination estimated the age of the individual to be between 45-55 years, and we did not find any traces of disablement or physical anomalies. Interestingly, we were able to produce a facial reconstruction according to the skull. Conclusion: Applying a multidisciplinary approach to the examination of the 14th century material enabled us to retrieve new types of information that helped us to interpret the excavated skeletal remains.




Hana Brzobohata, D. V. (2015). Complex Analysis of 700-Year-Old Skeletal Remains found in an Unusual Grave–Case Report. Anthropology, 02(05).

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