Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

The Molecular Anthropology lab at UMT will conduct DNA analysis on ancient hairs to determine what species they came from. Dr. Kristen Barnett, an anthropology postdoctoral scholar, obtained these samples from the Old Togiak archaeological site, the location of the half mile long remains of an ancient village on the southwest coast of Bristol Bay, Alaska. The site contains 62 house mounds and has been studied using surface/subsurface mapping technology and thirty-six core samples. In ten of those core samples, eleven unidentified hairs were found. I will be assisting in mitochondrial DNA analysis of the hairs, focusing at first on the Cytochrome B region to determine the species the hairs belong to. Non-humans samples will be analyzed further with additional molecular markers. We hypothesize that the hairs in their context must have come from a) the people who lived at the site, b) animals, such as dogs, who lived with them, or c) what the people there were eating and/or using. Any information we discover will be incorporated into the oral and ethnohistory Dr. Barnett is creating with the Yup’ik people, the current residents of New Togiak and the descendants of those who lived at the archaeological site. The Togiak community is readily involved with the project. Information from these samples, in addition to the other aspects of the larger project, will add to their already rich culture and heritage.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 15th, 3:00 PM Apr 15th, 4:00 PM

Togiak Archaeological Site Hair Samples- What Species?

The Molecular Anthropology lab at UMT will conduct DNA analysis on ancient hairs to determine what species they came from. Dr. Kristen Barnett, an anthropology postdoctoral scholar, obtained these samples from the Old Togiak archaeological site, the location of the half mile long remains of an ancient village on the southwest coast of Bristol Bay, Alaska. The site contains 62 house mounds and has been studied using surface/subsurface mapping technology and thirty-six core samples. In ten of those core samples, eleven unidentified hairs were found. I will be assisting in mitochondrial DNA analysis of the hairs, focusing at first on the Cytochrome B region to determine the species the hairs belong to. Non-humans samples will be analyzed further with additional molecular markers. We hypothesize that the hairs in their context must have come from a) the people who lived at the site, b) animals, such as dogs, who lived with them, or c) what the people there were eating and/or using. Any information we discover will be incorporated into the oral and ethnohistory Dr. Barnett is creating with the Yup’ik people, the current residents of New Togiak and the descendants of those who lived at the archaeological site. The Togiak community is readily involved with the project. Information from these samples, in addition to the other aspects of the larger project, will add to their already rich culture and heritage.