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16 October 2019ROSEMARKIE MAN GENETIC ANALYSIS RESULTS

Genetic analysis has been undertaken on the left petrous of Rosemakie Man’s skull at the University of Huddersfield. We extracted and analysed his DNA under dedicated ancient DNA clean-room condition. High-throughput genomic sequencing allowed us to determine his maternal (mitochondrial genome) and paternal (Y-chromosome) lineages. His maternal lineage was J1b1a1a, which, although found at low frequency in Norway, is nowadays almost entirely restricted to the British Isles. His paternal lineage belongs to the R1b-L151 family, which is part of R1b, the most common male lineage in Europe today. We compared his nuclear genome with a worldwide dataset of ancient and modern populations, and he groups with other Iron Age individuals from Scotland, including the Knowe of Skea, Orkney (unpublished data). Further more detailed analyses are on-going.

Katharina Dulias and Ceiridwen J. Edwards

Archaeogenetics Research Group, School of Applied Sciences, University of Huddersfield.

(Katharina’s current address is: Department of Archaeology, BioArCh, University of York).

22 July 2019ROSEMARKIE CAVES PROJECT AGM

The first Annual General Meeting of the Rosemarkie Caves Project as an independent organisation was held at Tarradale House on 29th May 2019.

The Project currently has 22 members, with membership being open to persons who express an interest in the objects of the Project who are aged 16 years and over.

10 April 2019SAMPLE PROCESSING RECOVERS HAMMERSCALE FROM LEARNIE 1A/B

RCP volunteers recently spent a weekend processing soil samples from the 2017 and 2018 seasons. This is an invaluable stage of the post-excavation process where botanical material and smaller artefacts/ecofacts, which were not hand-retrieved during excavation, can be recovered. While certainly a large amount of charcoal was retained, we also recovered more animal and fish bone and some artefacts, including worked antler.

This material can now be added to the assemblages for analysis by environmental specialists and artefact specialists. Along with key artefact analysis, the valuable botanical remains will provide more information about the activities taking place and the types of natural resources being exploited.

Also, and more importantly for the Early Medieval layers, we also undertook magnetic sampling of both grid sampled and bulk soil samples from areas where we found evidence for iron metal-smithing. Amazing results, in particular from around the Learnie 1A furnace, with huge amounts of hammerscale recovered! And smaller amounts of iron residues recovered in Learnie 1B.

The project is so grateful to our volunteers who gave up a weekend to work through this material on cold, windy days! Now off to the specialists...

Hammerscale from the furnace in Learnie 1A

 

Flotation in progress at Ferryton

 

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