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hope
17-09-14, 16:38
Here is the latest bog body to be found in Ireland It was discovered last week in Meath.
I doubt if DNA testing can or will be done. Which leads to my usual question, when oh when will we get some results from Ireland?
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ancient-bog-body-found-in-meath-to-be-carbon-dated-1.1930625

LeBrok
17-09-14, 17:34
DNA tasting is not a rocket science anymore, not expensive, and perhaps should be mandatory anytime a body is found, either at crime scene or archeology. Otherwise most people, scientists included, don't have much initiative to do anything extra which is not required by standard process. I would guess that most of digs are run by veteran (older) archeologists, which don't consider genetic investigation part of archeology.

Aberdeen
17-09-14, 19:00
DNA tasting is not a rocket science anymore, not expensive, and perhaps should be mandatory anytime a body is found, either at crime scene or archeology. Otherwise most people, scientists included, don't have much initiative to do anything extra which is not required by standard process. I would guess that most of digs are run by veteran (older) archeologists, which don't consider genetic investigation part of archeology.

Yes, I am beginning to think that's a major problem - archeologists not understanding the importance of genetic evidence and not realizing the advances that have been made in the area. Unfortunately, it may not just be the older archeologists if the younger ones are still being taught at university by older professors that DNA analysis is expensive, dubious and not reliable (which would have been true 20 years ago). I have no idea whether that's the case, but the tendency of many modern archeologists to apparently not think about DNA does make me wonder.

Ike
17-09-14, 21:20
Exactly. They are slow to adopt the new tool they've been given. I agree with LeBrok, that it should be made mandatory.

hope
17-09-14, 22:05
I pretty much agree with you all, DNA testing here, in these instances, is still a baby.
There are brilliant projects being run that are trying to connect the dots to DNA groups and surnames or provinces. But to the very best of my knowledge no testing has been done on any ancient remains [ set aside that by Bryan Sykes]. I asked on this forum about two years ago if anyone knew if testing had been done or was under consideration regards the remains from Poulnabrone Dolmen. I have yet to find any evidence suggesting, these skeletons have been been looked at for DNA. In fact, I honestly don`t know if it is me who has missed it, because it beggars belief this has not been done. Of course after so long they are probably too contaminated because of handling etc.
Perhaps in the past the opinion was not so favourable towards this, but surely with so much to be learned, why should it not be considered? Surely it can`t be solely down to cost?
Think where we are placed here in Ireland..this was geographically the last stop,so to speak. I for one would like to know as much as possible regarding those who did. Testing to-days population can tell us a lot, but not the whole..what we have now was not what we had then. [ although the mtDNA is interesting]
Anyway here is an interesting piece I saved from last year [ actually didn`t know I had in fact saved it] It`s about the Geno 2 swab test that ran in Mayo....I thought it was interesting. And also a bit regarding the remains from Poulnabroune, which were all inhumations no cremations, including from outside the tomb a full skeleton of a baby, dated to Bronze Age.

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/11/21/the-genographic-project-returns-to-ireland-to-reveal-dna-results/

http://www.ancientireland.org/poulnabrone/

Angela
18-09-14, 00:48
http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/11/21/the-genographic-project-returns-to-ireland-to-reveal-dna-results/

http://www.ancientireland.org/poulnabrone/

Interesting articles, Hope. It's nice to see people excited about genetic testing. Now they have to get excited about testing ancient remains...so different from the attitude I'm familiar with in Italy. I can't get anyone to test for love nor money. On the other hand, the academics are doing a lot of testing of ancient remains...I don't know why the analyses are taking so long, though.

As for the bog bodies, I thought the bog environment destroyed a lot of the DNA? No?

Aberdeen
18-09-14, 01:39
If there is a good reason why the bog body can't be tested for DNA, it would be helpful if one of the archeologists could say so, instead of leaving us wondering.

Angela
18-09-14, 02:31
If there is a good reason why the bog body can't be tested for DNA, it would be helpful if one of the archeologists could say so, instead of leaving us wondering.

I have no idea if the technology has improved. I was going by things I have read about Lindow Man among others...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindow_Man

"While some preserved human remains may contain DNA, peat bogs such as Lindow Moss are generally poor for such a purpose, and it is unlikely that DNA could be recovered from Lindow Man.[27] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindow_Man#cite_note-28)"

That's another interesting archaeological puzzle.

They've even done a reconstruction from the skull, although as we know reconstructions can be problematic.

6627

hope
18-09-14, 12:10
Interesting articles, Hope. It's nice to see people excited about genetic testing. Now they have to get excited about testing ancient remains...so different from the attitude I'm familiar with in Italy. I can't get anyone to test for love nor money. On the other hand, the academics are doing a lot of testing of ancient remains...I don't know why the analyses are taking so long, though.

As for the bog bodies, I thought the bog environment destroyed a lot of the DNA? No?
I agree it would be fantastic to have results from ancient bones here, Angela. I keep my fingers crossed.
Yes, regarding the peat, you are correct. It is rather acidic and makes it very unlikely that any DNA will remain. The teeth, as we know, are a good source but even they are usually too demineralized by the bog conditions to allow this.
Probably, as in the past, all we can hope for is radiocarbon dating.

List of some bog bodies retrieved.
Ireland is near bottom of page....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bog_bodies#Ireland

hope
18-09-14, 13:23
If there is a good reason why the bog body can't be tested for DNA, it would be helpful if one of the archeologists could say so, instead of leaving us wondering.
I wouldn`t hold my breath, Aberdeen. As I was saying to Angela, the bog conditions simply don`t leave a chance of retrieving DNA.
We can sometimes, where it remains, put to-gether something of a picture regarding what may have been cause of death, or look at any personal belongings found on the body [ that has escaped ravishes of peat] but that and radiocarbon dating is probably the best it gets....for now at least. In this case, there was only a leg and a few foot bones recovered, no personal items. Not sure what we could learn from that apart from dating..maybe.