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A. Arndt, W. Van Neer, B. Hellemans, J. Robben, P. Volckaert, and M. Waelkens (2003)

Roman trade relationships at Sagalassos (Turkey) elucidated by ancient DNA of fish remains

Journal of Archaeological Science, 30:1095-1105.

The excavations of Roman and Early Byzantine contexts at the town of Sagalassos (Turkey) yielded fish remains belonging to species that do not occur near the site. The modern geographical distribution of the identified fish indicates trade with various regions of Anatolia, the Mediterranean coast, Egypt and/or the Levant. Trade with Levant and Egypt is evident throughout the period by the presence of Clarias, a catfish living amongst others in the Nile and Levant. Mitochondrial DNA analysis was successfully carried out on modern populations of this species from Turkey, Syria, Israel and Egypt. Several variable regions were discovered on the mitochondrial control region containing polymorphisms that distinguish the haplotypes. Primer sets were designed to amplify small fragments of ancient DNA containing these informative regions. Ancient fish DNA could be successfully extracted, amplified and sequenced. The analyses indicate that the catfish bones belong to Clarias gariepinus and that they originated from the lower Nile. In addition, this study sheds light on the understanding of the modern distribution of C. gariepinus in Anatolia.
Peer Review, International Redaction Board, Impact Factor
IF 2011 = 1.914
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