1Anthropology, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2Anthropology, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
March 26, 2015 , Gateway Ballroom 2
Since the publication of the detailed Eva site reported by Lewis and Lewis in 1961, the Eva site in Western Tennessee has played a fundamental role in understanding Archaic traditions in the Midsouth U.S. region. Both the site’s wealth of material culture and skeletal remains have enabled archaeologists and bioanthropologists to characterize the cultural traditions and populations of the Shell Mound Archaic. Due to recent advances in non-destructive DNA extraction methods, we accessed mtDNA data from the molars of nine individuals from the site’s earliest stratum. The success of this non-destructive technique allows for unprecedented access to the genetic profile of the Eva site’s oldest occupants, which had previously been limited to estimates of population relatedness to other archaeological populations based on phenotype alone. Mitochondrial data were generated by targeting portions of HVI and HVII using traditional (Sanger) sequencing methods and by targeting complete genomes via next-generation techniques. This research presents the oldest mitochondrial DNA data from skeletons in the Southeast U.S. region and applies these results to theories for Peopling of the Americas and prevailing migration models. Through the combination of archaeological data with the data produced here, we present mitochondrial haplotype data to contextualize the genetic variation at the Eva site within the broader geographic landscape of both archaeological and genetic variation in the Southeast.
This research was funded by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.