Dental Calculus as an Alternate Source of Mitochondrial DNA for Analysis of Skeletal Remains

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Department or Administrative Unit

Anthropology and Museum Studies

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Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is widely used in st udies of affinities among living peoples and prehistoric populations represented by skeletal remains excavated at archaeological sites. Although many Indian groups see the utility of using mtDNA analysis as a means of connecting past and present, cultural norms regarding treatment of human remains prevent the use of destructive techniques in obtaining DNA. In this paper we discuss the utility of using dental calculus collected from a number of individuals comprising a pre-contact burial site (CA-SOL-357; A.D. 600-1000) as a possible source of mtDNA.


This article was originally published in Proceedings of the Society for California Archaeology. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Proceedings of the Society for California Archaeology