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‘Lady in the well’ sheds light on ancient human population movements

The lady’s DNA showed she hailed from somewhere in Central Asia – perhaps 3200 kilometres or more away. She died aged about 40 to 45 years, the researchers said, probably between 1625 BC and 1511 BC. Her body bore signs of multiple injuries.

“How and why a woman from Central Asia — or both of her parents — came to Alalakh is unclear,” said Ludwig Maximilian University Munich archaeologist Philipp Stockhammer, co-director of the Max Planck-Harvard Research Centre for the Archaeoscience of the Ancient Mediterranean and co-author of the study published in the journal Cell.

“Trader? Slaves? Marriage? What we can say is that genetically this woman is absolutely foreign, so that she is not the result of an intercultural marriage,” Stockhammer added. “Therefore, a single woman or a small family came this long distance. The woman is killed. Why? Rape? Hate against foreigners? Robbery? And then her body was disposed in the well.”

Reuters

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