Comprehensive Site Chronology and Ancient Mitochondrial DNA Analysis from Verteba Cave – a Trypillian Culture Site of Eneolithic Ukraine


Alexey G. Nikitin, Mykhailo P. Sokhatsky, Mykola M. Kovaliukh, Mykhailo Y. Videiko

Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica 1(1-2): 9–18, 2010. Online First, 14 April 2011

This manuscript presents a study of a ritual site of the Trypillian Culture complex (tc) in western

Ukraine where material artefacts are found side-by-side with human and animal remains. The organic

content in pottery sherds made it possible to carbon date the ceramics found with bone remains, thus

allowing a reference point for carbon dating bone collagen. this allowed us to develop a comprehensive

chronology of the usage of the cave. Mitochondrial dna (mtdna) extracted from human remains shed

additional light on the history of the site’s occupation by early agrarians on the territory of Ukraine.


P.16. “of the seven samples from which ancient mtdna were

successfully retrieved five belong to the pre-HV branch of

the  r lineage of mtdna phylogenetic tree (torroni  et al.

2006), and include one pre-HV specimen, two HV/V and

two h specimens. the two remaining specimens belong to

the Jt cluster of the mtdna phylogenetic tree (table 1).

the chronologically oldest sample in the set belongs to the

t4 haplogroup and the youngest sample to the J haplogroup

(root sequence).”


p.17. “Verteba is a unique site of pre-historic human activity,

which was almost continuously utilised by local trypillian

groups for nearly a millennium.  the site provides an

unprecedented insight into the ritual practices of neolithic

people in eastern  europe.  unlike most  tc archaeological

sites Verteba contains superbly preserved biological remains

which can be examined in the context of material culture

artefacts, aiding in a comprehensive understanding of the

site’s legacy. the radiocarbon chronology presented in this

report makes Verteba the most extensively dated  tc site,

and the aDNA information obtained makes Verteba the first

tc site to provide insight into the genetic history of the tc