Research directors: E. Crubézy, P-H. Giscard.
The valley of Eyging Gol in Mongolia was the focus of surveys, excavations and genetic and ethnological investigations for six years during the 1990s, under the direction of P-H. Giscard and E. Crubézy. Today, it continues to be the subject of genetic studies.
Besides isolated graves, a very large cemetery of the Xiongnou elite class (dating from the 3rd century BCE – 2nd century ACE) has been excavated. The excellent state of conservation of the skeletons permitted the first complete genetic study of a funeral complex, taking into account female and male lineages and kinship relationships. The history of the site based on the comparison of cultural and genetic data has also been realised.
This sample was compared to a group of 17 families currently living in the isolated region of the valley where the cemetery was found, and a comparison with Mongolians was also made. Results showed that male lineages are extinct today, whereas some female lineages present in the cemetery are found preferentially in the valley; thus, a hypothesis of population settlement has been constructed.
Current research focuses on the pathology and epidemiology of the sample, continuing with the comparative approach using biological and cultural data and the comparison of genetic data and discrete traits.
KEYSER-TRACQUI C, CRUBEZY E, PAMZSAV H, VARGA T, LUDES B. 2006 Population origins in Mongolia: genetic structure analysis of ancient and modern DNA. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 2006 Oct;131(2) p 272-81
CRUBEZY E., F.X. RICAUT, H. MARTIN, S. ERDENEBAATAR, H. COQUEUGNOT, B. MAUREILLE & P.H. GISCARD 2006 Inhumation and cremation in medieval Mongolia: analysis and analogy. Antiquity 80. p 894–905.
KEYSER-TRACQUI C., CRUBÉZY E., LUDES B. 2003 Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analysis of a 2000-year-old necropolis in the Egyin Gol valley of Mongolia. American Journal of Human Genetics, Aug.73(2), p. 247-60.
MURAIL P., CRUBEZY E., H. MARTIN, HAYE L., BRUZEK J., GISCARD P-H, TURBAT T., ERDENEBAATAR D. 2000. The man, the woman and the hyoid bone : from archaeology to the burial practices of the Xiongnu people (Egying Gol valley, Mongolia). Antiquity 74, p. 531-536.
CRUBEZY E., H.MARTIN, P-H GISCARD, Z. BATSAIKHAN, S. ERDENEBAA- TAR, J.P. VERDIER & B. MAUREILLE. (1996). Funeral practices and animal sacrifices in Mongolia at the Uigur period : archaeological and ethno-historical study of a kurgan in the Egying Gol valley. Antiquity. V 70, N°270, . p. 891-899.