To find out, authors of the study carbon-dated bodies preserved at the American Museum of Natural History and analyzed the DNA preserved to varying degrees within them. They found that the bodies had been buried over the 330 years that spanned the society’s beginning to its decline — not just at the peak of its influence between the 11th and 12th century, as others had once thought. Moreover, nine bodies shared the exact mitochondrial DNA, which can be passed only through the mother. From the nucleic DNA preserved in six individuals, the researchers also discerned two direct relationships: a mother-daughter pair and a grandmother-grandson.
They believe that power and influence in Chaco Canyon was hierarchical, belonged to this small group of people and was passed down through a female line between 800 and 1130 A.D. “At the center of Chaco is an elite matriline,” said Douglas J. Kennett, an archaeologist at Penn State University who was lead author on the paper.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
A Single, Remarkable Matrilineal Line at Chaco Canyon!
Chaco Canyon is such an amazing place!: