Root of the Tooth. A Reconstruction of Biological Relationships within the Medieval and Post-Medieval Graveyard of the St. Plechelmus Basilica in Oldenzaal

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Root of the Tooth. A Reconstruction of Biological Relationships within the Medieval and Post-Medieval Graveyard of the St. Plechelmus Basilica in Oldenzaal

Type: Master thesis
Title: Root of the Tooth. A Reconstruction of Biological Relationships within the Medieval and Post-Medieval Graveyard of the St. Plechelmus Basilica in Oldenzaal
Author: Vaske, Eileen
Issue Date: 2017-07-31
Keywords: Ancient DNA
Kinship relationships
Oldenzaal
Archaeology
Osteology
Genetics
Mass grave
Abstract: The research in this thesis is part of an archaeological study about the excavation of the old graveyard around the St. Plechelmus Basilica in Oldenzaal, The Netherlands. Between 2011 and 2013, 2750 individuals were exhumed from this graveyard, and two atypical mass graves were encountered. A selection of 200 skeletons divided over five matrices , including the individuals from the mass graves, has been studied with advanced scientific methods, including ancient DNA by Forensic Laboratory for DNA Research, Leiden University Medical Center. The meticulously conducted DNA research has resulted in generally very good quality DNA with no indications of contamination and with genetic profiles suitable for genetic kinship testing. Statistical analyses were carried out on the autosomal, Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA data to test for kinship relationships, which resulted in indications of various genetic relationships. This thesis focuses on skeletons from matrix D, including one of the mass graves, consisting of 48 individuals. The DNA research demonstrates no genetic kinship for the six individuals in the mass grave. There were clear indications for kinship for five pairs of individuals from the non-mass grave area of matrix D. This thesis demonstrates the successful use of ancient DNA analyses for reconstructing kinship relationships in an archaeological context.
Description: Thesis research was conducted at the Forensic Laboratory for DNA Research, Leiden University Medical Center
Supervisor: Waters-Rist, Dr. A.L.Altena, Drs. E.
Faculty: Faculty of Archaeology
Department: Archaeology (Master)
Specialisation: Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology
ECTS Credits: 20
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/53294
 

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