via MPG, 06 February 2024: This news report is based on a paper published late last year by Carlhoff et al. on the Iron Age Log Coffin culture in Mae Hong Son province, Thailand, where individuals were interred in large wooden coffins crafted from single teak trees and adorned with intricate carvings. This study delves into the genetic profiles and community structures of these ancient societies, revealing a complex genetic landscape and substantial connections across different river valleys.
To understand the genetic profile of the Log Coffin-associated communities, and the connection of individuals buried in different caves, an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Germany and Thailand has analyzed the DNA of 33 ancient individuals from five Log Coffin sites. The genomes recovered from the ancient individuals allow the first detailed study of the structure of a prehistoric community from Southeast Asia. “This project illustrates how ancient DNA can contribute to our understanding of past communities, their every-day life, and their cross-regional connections”, says first author Selina Carlhoff, a researcher in the Department of Archaeogenetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.