A new investigation deepens the mystery of the Himalayan skeleton lake


the lake Roopkund It is famous that hundreds of skeletons have been discovered on its shores, which studies have proven to be much older than initially thought.

Now, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications, it was concluded that the skeletons belonged to genetically distinct groups that died at various times and at least two separate episodes for a thousand years.

The study involved an international team of 28 researchers from European institutions but also from the United States and India.

Located at over 5,000 meters high in the mountains of the Himalayas, the lake has always baffled scientists, who do not understand the presence of hundreds of skeletal remains on the shores of the so-called "Skeleton Lake".

"The lake Roopkund has long been the subject of speculation about who these individuals were, what brought them to the lake and how they died, "said one of the authors of the article, Niraj Raidell & # 39; Institute Birbal Sahri of Paleociênciasin Lucknowin India, which has long worked on the skeletons of Roopkund.

Now analysis of DNA to reveal an even more complex story, demonstrating that the skeletons derive from at least three distinct genetic groups later sequencing complete genetics of 38 individuals.

The first group is composed of 23 individuals with ancestors related to the people of current India, which do not seem to belong to a single population. The second largest group consists of 14 people with origins more related to the people living in MediterrTOmole especially in the current Greece. And the third has a ancestry more typical than that found in Southeast Asia.

The presence of individuals with ancestors in the MediterrTOmoleexperts suggest, indicate that the lake Rookund It was not only of local interest, but rather attracted visitors from various parts of the world.

The dietary analysis also confirmed the various origins, officials said.

They also explained that carbon dating enabled us to realize that the skeletons do not have the same height originally hypothesized and that the first genetic group comes from a period between the 7th and 10th centuries and the other two from a later period, between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries.

"It is not yet clear what led these people to Lake Roopkund or how they died, "he said. Niraj Rai.

"Through the use of analysis biomolecularsuch as DNA diet, reconstruction of the stable isotope and dating of radiocarbonwe found out that the history of the lake Roopkund it is more complex than we imagined and the impressive question arises as to how migrants come MediterrTOmole who have a profile of ancestry which is now extremely atypical in the region, died here only a few hundred years ago, "said another of the study's authors, David Reich, of the Harvard University School of Medicine.

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