Ancient DNA recovered from pendant shows who owned it 20,000 years ago.

Some 20,000 years ago, a woman living in Siberia put on a pendant fashioned from a deer tooth. She wore it for a long time, perhaps until she died or lost the artifact. Now, thousands of years later, that pendant has been found and scientists have extracted the DNA of the woman who wore it, using an innovative method that promises to answer many questions about ancient peoples and their way of life.

In recent years, researchers have been perfecting the art of extracting ancient DNA of animals and humans, first from teeth and bones directly, and, more recently, obtaining it from the soil of caves once inhabited by prehistoric hominins. These efforts have led to major discoveries on human evolution, on the migrations of ancient populations and the origins of modern groups.

The new method offers direct insight into the identity of people who made or handled artifacts thousands of years ago, says the international team led by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, in Leipzig, Germany.

Source: www.haaretz.com


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