Bones found during Marmaray digging reveal ancient secrets

Two months ago, Turkey celebrated opening of the Marmaray tunnel, which runs beneath the Bosphorus Sea to connect the two sides of Istanbul.

Bones found during Marmaray digging reveal ancient secrets

World Bulletin / News Desk

During the digging process when Istanbul's Marmaray tunnel was being built, a number of archeological discoveries were made, including the remains of people from ancient times.

Scientists have analyzed skeletons unearthed during the excavations to understand how these ancient people lived.

Mehmet Goroglu of Istanbul’s Yildiz Technical University said that some of the bones were over a thousand years old.

Speaking to Turkey’s Hurriyet, he said “The identification [of the bones] reveals the age, height, and sex of the people who lived in that period. We can also make evaluations about these people’s diseases, diet methods as well as their work and lifestyles. The genetic identification process gives us sample from their DNA and we can reveal their genetic journey. If they had a genetic problem, we have the chance to reveal this diseases. Our country has these technologies. This year we will also find opportunity to publish the data we have obtained.”

An entire community from the Yenikapi district has revealed healthy eating habits upon the analysis of jawbones and teeth, compared to other skeletons discovered in Anatolia which do not suggest such luxury.

Despite this, the high number of child skeletons revealed other problems, most likely due to medical conditions, inflectional diseases, natural disasters and environmental factors, claimed the expert.

After analyzing their ancestry, Goroglu confirmed that the mothers’ side mostly had an ancestry from Anatolia and Mesopotamia. The father ancestry is yet to be studied.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Ocak 2014, 17:31