International Scientific Conference "Archeology of the Arctic"
November 19-23, 2017

Paleoanthropology and paleogenetics: MAE RAS collections research finding and further study potential.

Khartanovich V.I.1, Moiseev V.G.2
MAE (Kunstkamera) RAS, Saint-Petersburg
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Over the past decades we've been witnessing an active development of new methods of paleo-anthropological materials study: - geometric morphometry, 3D scanning, creation of the multidimensional digital replicas, the microfocus x-ray study, and computer tomography. One of the most dynamically growing areas is the paleo-genetics - the recovery and the study of the ancient people genomes from the material obtained directly from their bone remains.
The difficulty of such methods application is related to the irretrievable (destructive) loss of bone tissue: the absolute C14 dating requires from 3 to 400 gr of bone material; such studies as the trace element analysis (food systems reconstruction), isotope (food systems reconstruction and/or establishing the region of the skeletal tissue formation in childhood) require each from 3 to 10 gr per each test; paleo-genetics - from 3 to 500 gr.
Paleo-genetics is an area of research at the junction of archeology, anthropology and molecular genetics. Its focus is the genetic study of ancient DNA from the biological remains and fossil organisms. The subjects of paleo-genetics of humans are the remains of humans and other Hominidae. A paleo-genetic study of an ancient individual includes the following: the phylogenetic (establishing kinship/evolutionary links between the organisms and the populations), and the phylogeographic analysis (establishing the routes of the geographic distribution of the populations). The same approach is taken for the gender markers analysis and the search for the family history of a particular disease markers.
The paleo-genetic methods allow addressing problems of the groups of population genetic history, the nature of their relationships with each other and with the modern populations, perform reconstructions of the gender, family and social structure of ancient human communities. Comprehensive studies in the area of molecular genetics, archeology, physical anthropology and linguistics objectify the anthropogenetic and the ethnogenetic processes reconstructions - the origins of the modern anatomical type humans, the study of the history of a particular region population formation, processes of migration and mixing of the ancient populations, and their ethno-cultural contacts.
First joint project (2008-2013). MAE RAS, Ancient DNA Center (2008-2013) Australia and the Medico-Genetic Research Center RAMS "Mitochondrial DNA materials study from the burial sites of the South Oleny island, Onega Lake (Karelia) and the Kola Oleny island in the Barents Sea".
Main findings:
1. The Kola Oleneostrovskiy Early Metal Age burial site (KOB) and the modern Sami. A cardinal difference in their gene pools demonstrated that the Early Metal Age population did not leave any traces in the modern population of the region.
2. The resulting picture was an evidence of the practically 100% replacement of the gene pool (complete change of the population) in that territory.
3. It may be assumed that the Early Metal Age population in the Kola peninsula (the ancient "Lapp" from the KOB) was formed as a result of migration from Siberia (presumably along the Arctic coast across the tundra zone). In later periods this migration from Siberia probably stopped without leaving any significant traces in the modern gene pool. The genetic analysis findings agreed well with the paleo-anthropology data.
Second project (2014-2015). MAE RAS and the Center of GeoGenetics of the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) "Upper Paleolithic Man from Markina Gora (Kostenki XIV)".
Main findings:
1. The skeleton of a male (Y-chromosome gaplogroup C-M130).
2. Both mtDNA and nuclear DNA indicated that the Markina Gora man was an "ancestor type with regard to all modern Europeans";
3. We have not identified any African or Australoid markers in the genome.
Third interdisciplinary project (2012-2015). MAE RAS, the Center of GeoGenetics of the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), Harvard University (USA), and Max Planck Institute (Germany)
"Study of the Bronze Age Populations". Two large international research teams published the results of the study of genomes of 170 people from various regions of Eurasia who lived there in the interval from 8,000 to 2,000 years ago.
Main findings:
1. Both studies demonstrated that the most important role in the formation of the gene pool of the modern Europeans was played by a large scale migration about 4,500 years ago of nomadic pastoralists from the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea steppe ("pit grave culture") to Western Europe, where the migrants' successors formed the "cord ceramics culture" ("Battle Axe culture").
2. It may be assumed with high probability that the steppe people invasion was directly related with the spread of the Indo-European languages in Western Europe. Further migrations of those populations in the eastern direction may apparently explain the origins of the Sintashta and the Afanasjev cultures, as well as the Tokhar languages.
3. The study demonstrated that the gene pool of the modern Europeans (both the Western and the Eastern) was formed by the three, mixed in various proportions in different ethnic groups, parts. a) first part - from the Paleolithic European hunters-gatherers; b) second - from the Neolithic migrants from the Middle East who also brought agriculture to Europe; c) third - from the Bronze Age Black Sea steppe pastoralists.
On the whole the organization of joint research of the craniology and the paleo-genetics data demonstrated very good agreement of both systems' findings - about 0.95 - 0.68 correlation rate.
So far the MAE RAS has completed the following Joint Projects.
1. 2013. Genetic traits of the Russian North-West population in the Mesolithic and the Paleo-Metal periods (burial sites of the South Oleny island, Onega Lake and the Kola Oleny island in the Barents Sea). Research partner - Adelaide University (Australia). Published in two articles (PLоS).
2. 2015. Man from Markina Gora (Kostenki XIV). Research partner - Center of GeoGenetics of the University of Copenhagen (Denmark). Article publication (Scienc).
3. 2015. Origin of the Indo-Europeans (the pit grave, the Afanasjev, the Andronov, the Karasuk, the Okunev, the Tagar and other cultures). Research partners: a) Center of GeoGenetics of the University of Copenhagen, and b) Harvard University. Published in three articles (Nature, Cell).
4. DNA preservation in various types of bone tissue. Partner - Dublin University Article publication (PLоS).
5. Early Divergent Strains of Yersinia pestis in Eurasia 5,000 Years Ago. Published (Cell).
The general situation in the international "market" of paleoDNA research is characterized by strengthening of competition between the laboratories for paleo-anthropological materials ("samples"); gradual shift from the "sensational" and general studies based on individual finds (the Paleolithic, the Mesolithic) to the population studies on the later periods materials.
Main problems associated with the submission of materials to the partners' laboratories and preparation of the findings for publication may be summed up as follows: a) the findings are not always reported; b) lack (or inaccuracy) of references to the materials' origins; c) incorrect archaeological attribution of the materials; d) lack of references to previous works by the Russian authors (the archaeologists, the anthropologists, and the linguists).

Moiseev V.G., Khartanovich V.I., Shirobokov I.G., Selezneva V.I. On the role of populations originating from Fennoscandia in the formation of anthropological composition of the Russian north-west population // Ural Historical Vestnik. 2015. – № 48. – PP. 87-95.
Khartanovich V.I., Borutskaya S.V., Vasiljev S.V., Shumkin V.Ya., Findings of the archeologo-anthropological study of the Late neolithic burial site of the Bolshoy Oleny island in the Kola Bay // Past and Present Ecology and Demography of Man. – M., 2009. – PP. 29-30.
Khartanovich V.I., Moiseev V.G. Anthropological composition of the of the ancient population of the Kola peninsula (on craniological materials from the Early Metal Age burial site on the Bolshoy Oleny Ostrov in the Barents Sea) // The Mesolithic and the Neolithic in eastern Europe: chronology and cultural contacts. – St. Petersburg, 2012. – PP. 153-159.
Khartanovich V.I., Moiseev V.G. Anthropological composition of the of the ancient population of the Kola peninsula (on craniological materials from the Early Metal Age burial site on the Bolshoy Oleny Ostrov in the Barents Sea)// The Mesolithic and the Neolithic in eastern Europe: chronology and cultural contacts. – St. Petersburg, 2016. – PP. 128-145.
Shmidt A.V. Ancient burial site in the Kola bay. // Kola papers. Papers of the anthropologo-ethnographic team of the Kola expedition. Expedition Commission Papers. 1930. – Issue 23 L. – PP. 119-169.
Shumkin V.Ya., Kolpakov E.M., Murashkin A.I. Preliminary findings of the new excavation of the burial site on the Bolshoy Oleny Ostrov // IHMC papers. 2006. – № 1. – PP. 42-52.
V. Ya. Shumkin. Kola Oleneostrovskiy Early metal burial site in the Murmansk region. // Problems of the East Europe forest zone pre-history and the Middle Ages study. – Ivanovo. 2015. – PP. 177-188.
Der Sarkissian C, Balanovsky O, Brandt G, Khartanovich V, Buzhilova A, Koshel S, Zaporozhchenko V, Gronenborn G, Moiseyev V, Kolpakov E, Shumkin V, Alt K.W, Balanovska E, Cooper A, Haak W. Ancient DNA Reveals Prehistoric Gene-Flow from Siberia in the Complex Human Population History of North East Europe // PLoS Genet, 2013. – Volume 9. – Issue 2.
– DOI:org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1003296.
Der Sarkissian C., Brotherton P., Templeton J.E.L., Llamas B., Soubrier J., Cooper A., Haak W., Balanovsky O., Moiseyev V., Khartanovich V., Adhikarla S., Prasad A.K.G., Pitchappan R., Santhakumari A.V., Adler C.J., Bertranpetit J., Comas D., Haber M., Martнnez-Cruz B., Clarke A.C. et al. MITOCHONDRIAL GENOME SEQUENCING IN MESOLITHIC NORTH EAST EUROPE UNEARTHS A NEW SUB-CLADE WITHIN THE BROADLY DISTRIBUTED HUMAN HAPLOGROUP C1. PLoS ONE. 2014. – Vol. 9. – № 2. – PP. e876.
Murashkin, A.I., Kolpakov, E.M., Shumkin, V.Ya., Khartanovich, V.I. & Moiseyev, V.G. Kola Oleneostrovskiy Grave Field: Kola Oleneostrovskiy grave field – a unique burial site in the European Arctic // «New Sites, New Methods». The Finnish Antiquarian Society. Iskos 21. – Helsinki: 2016. – PP. 187-199.

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