Archaeologists, CCMB to explore ancient human race

An agreement to this effect was signed on Thursday between the Department of Archaeology and Museums and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB).

By Author   |   Published: 29th Dec 2016   8:45 pm Updated: 29th Dec 2016   9:14 pm
CCMB
Archaeology Department signs MOU with CCMB.

Hyderabad: In a first of its kind move in the country, archaeologists and scientists are combining their skills to draw a profile of humans and animals that lived in Telangana during the early historic period.

An agreement to this effect was signed on Thursday between the Department of Archaeology and Museums and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB).

The agreement, which will boil down to ancient DNA analysis at a later stage, comes in the wake of recent excavations by the department at megalithic sites in Pullurubanda of Siddipet in Medak district, during which a huge collection of human and animal skeletal remains was unearthed. Bone samples from these proto historic and early historic sites have already been sent to CCMB for DNA analysis.

Addressing a press conference here, CCMB director Rakesh K Mishra and State Archaeology director NR Visalatchy said that the purpose of the study was to build a database on disease process and to indicate conditions that could lead to development, maintenance and changing manifestations of diseases through time. It could also help sort out specimens that can potentially be tried for ancient DNA analysis later.

“The aim of the MoU is to know patterns of genetic diversity in ancient humans and to connect them with the present day population structure,” said Dr Mishra.

Visalatchy said the department has also signed an agreement with Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute (DCPGRI), Pune to carry out research on human skeletal material.

“Our researchers will be trained at Deccan College to make an inventory and basic observations on human remains,” she said, adding that Deccan College students would be involved in the research.

Stating that this was the first such collaboration in the country, Visalatchy said the MoU with CCMB for ancient DNA analysis would help in further decoding of population histories.