Variant studies on ancient DNA have attempted to reveal individual origin. Here, based on cloning sequencing and polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphisms, we analyzed polymorphisms in the first hypervariable region and coding regions of mitochondrial DNA of 19 human bone remains which were excavated from a tomb near the Terra Cotta Warriors and dated some 2,200 years before present. With the aim of shedding light on origins of these samples who were supposed to be workers building the mausoleum for the First Emperor of China, we compared them with 2,164 mtDNA profiles from 32 contemporary Chinese populations at both population and individual levels. Our results showed that mausoleum-building workers may be derived from very diverse sources of origin
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