The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)


Anthropological Studies on Mummified Human Brains from Archaeological Fields in Korea

CHANG SEOK OH1, SOONG DEOK LEE2, MYEUNG JU KIM3, YI-SUK KIM4, DO-SEON LIM5 and DONG HOON SHIN1.

1Department of Anatomy, Seoul National University, 2Department of Forensic Medicine, Seoul National University, 3Department of Anatomy, Dankook University, 4Department of Anatomy, Ewha Womans University, 5Department of Dental Hygiene, Eulji University

Friday All day, Clinch Concourse Add to calendar

Mummified brains have been discovered in archaeological fields of Korea. Although the morphology of the brain had been perfectly preserved on gross examination, we still do not know how well biomolecules were preserved within it. Fortunately enough, we had the chances to investigate the mummified brains, through various forms of anthtopological examinations. In general, the mummified brains showed well-preserved grey and white matter within well demarcated brain lobes, on which gyri and sulci could be easily identified. On histological examination, lipids were mainly discovered in the remaining brain tissue, which might be correspondent to the preserved myelin sheath. The preservation status of ancient DNA (aDNA) in mummified brain tissue was also determined by means of molecular studies. Quantifiler analysis revealed that aDNA in the mummified brain was less fragmented than that contained in the femurs. The better preservation status of the brain DNA was shown also in another study on autosomal and mitochondrial DNA. By a series of these studies, we could know that mummified brain tissue promises to be the preferred source for future anthropological studies on the individuals discovered from archaeological fields in Korea. *Corresponding author: Dong Hoon Shin ([email protected])

Grant acknowledgement: This work was supported by the Seoul National University Research Grant (Brain Fusion Program 2012).

Tweet
comments powered by Disqus