An insight into the burial practices of the late pre-Hispanic Los Amarillos community (northwestern Argentina) through the study of ancient DNA

Publication date: March 2018Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 91
Author(s): Fanny Mendisco, Christine Keyser, Veronica Seldes, Axel E. Nielsen, María Gabriela Russo, Eric Crubézy, Bertrand Ludes
A palaeogenetic analysis has been undertaken on the pre-Hispanic settlement of Los Amarillos (Regional Development Period, Jujuy Province, Argentina) to reconstruct kin relationship between individuals buried in two domestic areas. The aim of this study was first to genetically characterize the relationships between the individuals buried within the same funerary structure and, secondly, to correlate these genetic data with archaeo-anthropological data to discuss the burial practices and social organization of the Los Amarillos community. An analysis of both uniparental (mtDNA and Y-chromosome) and biparental (autosomal STRs) genetic markers was conducted on eighteen individuals recovered from three different burial structures. The very good DNA preservation contributed to characterize 13 mitochondrial haplotypes, 5 Y-chromosomal haplotypes and 11 complete autosomal STR profiles. The kinship analysis revealed that the domestic areas were used as family graves. Furthermore, they reveal that a maternal lineage is shared by a majority of the studied individuals from different sectors, suggesting matrilocal practices.