Kinship, acquired and inherited status, and population structure at the Early Bronze Age Mokrin necropolis in northern Serbia.
Marija Krečković Gavrilović,
Krishna R Veeramah,
Posted 19 May 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.05.18.101337
Posted 19 May 2020
Twenty-four ancient genomes with an average sequencing coverage of 0.85 were produced from the Mokrin necropolis, an Early Bronze Age (2,100-1,800 BC) Maros culture site in Serbia, to provide unambiguous identification of biological sex, population structure, and genetic kinship between individuals. Of the 24 investigated individuals, 15 were involved in kinship relationships of varying degrees, including 3 parent-offspring relationships. All observed parent-offspring pairs were mother and son. In addition to the absence of biological daughters, we observed a number of young women and girls with no biological relatives in our sample. These observations, together with the high mitochondrial diversity in our sample, are consistent with the practice of female exogamy in the population served by Mokrin. However, moderate-to-high Y-chromosomal diversity suggests a degree of male mobility greater than that expected under strict patrilocality. Individual status differences at Mokrin, as indicated by grave goods, support the inference that females could inherit status, but could not transmit status to all their sons. The case of a son whose grave good richness outstrips that of his biological mother suggests that sons had the possibility to acquire status during their lifetimes. The Mokrin sample resembles a genetically unstructured population, suggesting that the social hierarchies of the community were not accompanied by strict marriage barriers. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
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