Int J Legal Med. 2002 Oct;116(5):304-8. Epub 2002 May 30

Genetic analysis of human remains from a double inhumation in a frozen kurgan in Kazakhstan (Berel site, Early 3rd Century BC).

Clisson I, Keyser C, Francfort HP, Crubezy E, Samashev Z, Ludes B.

Institut de Medecine Legale, Strasbourg, France.

The discovery of a big barrow of the Saka period in eastern Kazakhstan between the Russian and the Chinese borders provided the opportunity to excavate a frozen burial site. In the burial chamber, there was a wooden sarcophagus with two human bodies. The skeletons of these two individuals, a man and a woman, were well preserved. A genetic study based on STRs and mitochondrial DNA analyses was undertaken in order to determine whether these human remains belonged to close relatives. Results were obtained for all the markers. Nevertheless, nuclear STRs did not allow a clear conclusion concerning the relationship, but analysis of mitochondrial DNA showed that these skeletons were not close relatives.