Wednesday, April 23, 2014

According to his reports it seemed to be a primary burial, as the skeleton was lying on its back [in front of his cave] . . . The inhumation was accompanied by two ribs of Bos primigenius

Supplementary Information 1
Sampling, Library Preparation and Sequencing

Alissa Mittnik*, Susanna Sawyer, Ruth Bollongino, Christos Economou, Dominique Delsate, Michael Francken, Joachim Wahl, Johannes Krause

from the paper:

Iosif Lazaridis, Nick Patterson, Alissa Mittnik, et al.,
Ancient human genomes suggest three ancestral populations for present-day Europeans.
BioArxiv 2013 (preprint). Freely accessible → LINK (last version) [doi:10.1101/001552]


"The Late Mesolithic Loschbour sample stems from a male skeleton recovered from the Loschbour rock shelter in Heffingen, Luxembourg." 

"The skeleton was excavated in 1935 by Nicolas Thill. The in situ find is not documented, but was described retrospectively by Heuertz (1950 [1], 1969 [2]). According to his reports it seemed to be a primary burial, as the skeleton was lying on its back in a flexed position and with arms crossed over the chest. The inhumation was accompanied by two ribs of Bos primigenius, dated in 1975 by conventional radiocarbon to 7115 [plus/minus 45] BP (GrN-7177; 6,010-5,850 cal BC)[4] and a small flint scraper.  The skeleton was AMS radiocarbon dated in 1998 to 7,205 [plus/minus 50] before present (BP) (OxA-7738; 6,220-5,990 cal BC)[5]. Based on morphological, radiological and histological data, the estimated age of death is 34 to 47 years[6]. Pathological finds include slight dorsal and lumbar vertebral osteoarthritic lesions, minimal unsystematized enthesopathies and an osteo-dental discharge fistula[6]. The skull seems at least partly decorated with ocher[6]. A second and older(final middle Mesolithic) burial, with a cremated individual dated in 1999 to 7,960 [plus/minus 40] BP (Beta 132067, AMS radiocarbon method), was discovered in a nearby pit among ashes [5]. The disturbed archaeological layers in which the two burials were found contained rich lithic assemblages, including microlithic artefacts of early, middle and late Mesolithic periods (e.g. points with retouched and unretouched bases, points with bilateral retouch, an obliquely truncated point, a point with a slanted base and surface retouch, mistletoe points with surface retouch, a scalene triangle, narrow backed bladelets and a truncated bladelet with a narrow back), massive antler tools, faunal remains from aurochs, red deer, wild boar, and roe deer [4,7,8] and two perforated allochtonous fossilized shells of Bayana lactea [9]. New excavations in 1981 and 2003 revealed additional information on the stratigraphy [10,11], taphonomic processes and palaeoenvironment."

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