image/svg+xml143 X/2/2019 INTERDISCIPLINARIA ARCHAEOLOGICA NATURAL SCIENCES IN ARCHAEOLOGY homepage: http://www.iansa.eu Genetic Kinship and Sex Determination of Early Modern Period Human Remains from a Defunct Graveyard in the Former Village of Obora (Located on Šporkova Street in Prague’s Lesser Town District) Jana Nováčková a* , Otakara Řebounová b , Dana Kvítková c , Martin Omelka b , Vlastimil Stenzl c a Institute of Archaeology CAS, Letenská 4, Prague, Czech Republic b Prague City Archives, Archivní 6, Prague, Czech Republic c Institute of Criminalistics, Bartolomějská 310/12, Prague, Czech Republic 1. Introduction The implementation of genetic analyses into studies of archaeological skeletal remains can provide information about genetic kinship (Ciu et al. , 2015; Deguilloux et al. , 2014) and the genetic sex of children, when incomplete and poorly-preserved skeletons (Álvarez-Sandova et al. , 2014; Lassen et al. , 2000; Tierney, Bird, 2014) cannot be reliably determined with diferent methods. Analyses of ancient DNA (aDNA) have been previously used in demographic studies of skeletal archaeological remains from several archaeological sites in the Czech Republic, for example, by Boberová et al. , 2012, Bravermanová et al. , 2018, or Frolík et al. , 2017. The determination of genetic kinship among the buried individuals would give an important insight into understanding funerary practices, and the social and demographic structures of historical cultures. Additional useful information can also be obtained from written historical sources, such as civil and parish registers, testaments and chronicles.The quality of genetic analyses of aDNA are negatively infuenced by two major problems: its degradation into small fragments; and the contamination of aDNA with modern DNA. Firstly, over time, the DNA will become damaged and broken into small fragments due to its inhospitable environmental conditions (Hofreiter et al. , 2001, pp. 353–354 ; Pääbo et al. , 2004, pp.654–660). Secondly, contaminant DNA can come from individuals who were in contact with the skeletal remains (archaeologists, anthropologists, or geneticists in the laboratory), as well as from chemical reagents, laboratory, or cross-sample contaminations. While working with our samples for genetic analyses, we followed the instructions published by Yang and Watt (2005).Archaeogenetic research of genetic kinship is based on analyses of uniparental markers (Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA) and autosomal STR markers Volume X ● Issue 2/2019 ● Pages 143–152 *Corresponding author. E-mail: novackova.janka@gmail.com ARTICLE INFO Article history: Received: 1 st May 2019Accepted: 15 th October 2019DOI: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.24916/iansa.2019.2.4 Key words: Early Modern Period ancient DNA (aDNA) genetic analysesshort tandem repeatsY-chromosomeautosome ABSTRACT The main aim of this study was to determine genetic kinship and genetic sex of individuals buried either in the same grave, multi-level grave, or neighbourhood grave. Success of genetic analyses is based on the quantity and quality of extracted aDNA, which can be compromised by degradation of DNA and possible contamination by modern DNA. We analysed archaeological skeletal remains from an Early Modern period graveyard belonging to the Church of St. John the Baptist in the former village of Obora, one of the most honourable Early Modern period archaeological sites in the Czech Republic. Most of the 906 excavated anatomically-laid burials are dated to the years 1730s–1770s. The results of 23 analysed individuals (divided into 4 groups) revealed that individuals are not blood relatives. Studies of historical written sources provide information that the parish afliation at the time of death had a crucial role in choosing the place for burial. Genetic analyses increased success rate of sex determination to 91% compared to 61% determined by morphological methods. We were thus able to determine the genetic sex of children, an evaluation that cannot be made by morphological methods.
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2019 ● X/2 ● 143–152Jana Nováčková, Otakara Řebounová, Dana Kvítková, Martin Omelka, Vlastimil Stenzl: Genetic Kinship and Sex Determination of Early Modern Period Human Remains from a Defunct Graveyard in the Former Village of Obora (Located on Šporkova Street in Prague’s Lesser Town District) 144 (Deguilloux et al. , 2014; Juras et al. , 2017; Melchior et al. , 2010; Simón et al. , 2011). Each marker has its own unique mechanism of heritability from parent to ofspring, and can reveal or exclude genetic relationships at diferent levels. We analysed the skeletal remains from a defunct graveyard of the Church of St. John the Baptist in the former village of Obora, situated at Šporkova Street no. 322/III in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. Genetic kinship and genetic sex was determined from the results of autosomal and Y-chromosomal STR markers. The site of Obora used to be a village located near Prague castle in the quarter known as Prague’s Lesser Town. The frst written record referencing Obora is dated to the years 1278– 1282, but previous excavation has uncovered fragments dated to between the 9 th –10 th century (Dragoun, 1988a; 1988b; 1991). Obora was assigned to Prague in the 1650s, and its Church of St. John the Baptist was incorporated into the parish district of the Church of St. Wenceslas. The church with its graveyard was closed in 1784, and rebuilt into a residential building (Omelka, 2009). Skeletal remains of 906 anatomically-laid burials or parts thereof, that were dated to the years 1730s–1770s according to their grave goods, were excavated and documented during the archaeological rescue excavation conducted by the Department of Archaeology of the National Heritage Institute in Prague in the year 2002 (study no. 30/02) and 2004 (study no. 30/04) – Figure 1. The archaeological location in Šporkova Street is one of the most valuable Early Modern period archaeological sites in the Czech Republic due to the assemblage collection of grave goods and preserved written historical sources, providing great possibilities to study: funerary customs among the burgher citizens of the time (Omelka, Řebounová, 2017); other manifestations of Baroque religiousness (Omelka, Řebounová, 2011; 2014); as well as social and demographic structures among this population (Omelka, Řebounová, 2012b). Several articles were published (mainly in Czech peer-reviewed journals) regarding artefacts found in the grave, including goods such as rings (Omelka, Šlancarová, 2007), beads (Omelka, Řebounová, 2008), crosses (Omelka et al., 2009; 2010), pins (Omelka et al., 2011), a medallion (Omelka, 2006a; Omelka, Řebounová, 2012a; 2016) and buttons (Omelka et al., 2018). Pilot results of genetic analyses of 11 individuals were presented at the International conference “Internationale Tagung der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Mittelalterarchäologie 2018” in Sankt Pölten (Austria) (Nováčková et al., in press). In the present study, we increased the number of analysed individuals to confrm or reject the hypothesis that the pattern of funerary practices of Early Modern society, as suggested by the pilot study, would hold up under further examination. 2. Material and methods We analysed a total of 46 samples (bones and teeth) from 23 individuals (Table 1), of which 12 individuals (group 3 and group 4) are newly published, and 11 individuals (group 1 and group 2) were previously published (Nováčková et al. , in press). Individuals were divided into four groups (Table 1) according to their stratigraphic relationships in the graveyard (Figure 2). The groups contain the genetic material of men, women and children, except for group 2, where two children (newborn and 18 months old) were buried just above an adult woman. Multi-level graves contained skeletal remains of adult women, men and children and so there is a high probability that they are members of one family (for example, Figure 1. The plan of three phases of excavations at the defunct graveyard of the Church of St. John the Baptist and ground plan of the church. The archaeological rescue excavation was carried out only on the part of graveyard in which construction work took place on (Omelka, 2006b, unpublished). Drawn by Martin Omelka. 0 20 m
image/svg+xmlIANSA 2019 ● X/2 ● 143–152Jana Nováčková, Otakara Řebounová, Dana Kvítková, Martin Omelka, Vlastimil Stenzl: Genetic Kinship and Sex Determination of Early Modern Period Human Remains from a Defunct Graveyard in the Former Village of Obora (Located on Šporkova Street in Prague’s Lesser Town District) 145