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Uncovered DNA sample fills gap in research mapping 6,000- year-old cultures

By Wang Songsong | | Updated: 2023-09-26 18:18
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Chinese researchers obtained genetic data from ancient humans dating back 6,000 years, marking an important breakthrough in filling the gap in research on ancient DNA in southern China.

The discovery was announced by the Wuxi institute of cultural relics and archaeology and Fudan University in Wuxi, Jiangsu province on Sep 17, Jiangsu broadcast and television, a local news outlet, reported.

"It is for the first time that we have successfully obtained genetic data from ancient humans dating back 6,000 years to the Majiabang Culture period," said Wen Shaoqing, associate professor at Fudan University's institute of science, technology and archaeology.

The Majiabang Culture represents the earliest discovery of the Neolithic era in the Wuxi region and can be considered the cradle of civilization in this area.

The process of this discovery dates back to June 2023 when Wuxi conducted a live archaeological excavation at the Wuxi Ma'an Site, uncovering two tombs from the Majiabang Culture. Within these tombs, researchers discovered two ancient human skeletons, and they successfully extracted ancient DNA from one of them.

Wen added that this achievement fills the gap in research on ancient DNA in southern China caused by environmental factors and poor preservation. It also provides a crucial reference for understanding the origins and migration of prehistoric archaeological populations in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.

Yang Zishuo contributed to this story.

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