Ancient nuclear genomes enable repatriation of Indigenous human remains

Joanne L. Wright, Sally Wasef, Tim H. Heupink, Michael C. Westaway, Simon Rasmussen, Colin Pardoe, Gudju Gudju Fourmile, Michael Young, Trish Johnson, Joan Slade, Roy Kennedy, Patsy Winch, Mary Pappin, Tapij Wales, William "Badger" Bates, Sharnie Hamilton, Neville Whyman, Sheila van Holst Pellekaan, Peter J. McAllister, Paul S. C. Taçon & 8 others Darren Curnoe, Ruiqiang Li, Craig Millar, Sankar Subramanian, Eske Willerslev, Anna-Sapfo Malaspinas, Martin Sikora, David M. Lambert*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    Abstract

    After European colonization, the ancestral remains of Indigenous people were often collected for scientific research or display in museum collections. For many decades, Indigenous people, including Native Americans and Aboriginal Australians, have fought for their return. However, many of these remains have no recorded provenance, making their repatriation very difficult or impossible. To determine whether DNA-based methods could resolve this important problem, we sequenced 10 nuclear genomes and 27 mitogenomes from ancient pre-European Aboriginal Australians (up to 1540 years before the present) of known provenance and compared them to 100 high-coverage contemporary Aboriginal Australian genomes, also of known provenance. We report substantial ancient population structure showing strong genetic affinities between ancient and contemporary Aboriginal Australian individuals from the same geographic location. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of successfully identifying the origins of unprovenanced ancestral remains using genomic methods.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbereaau5064
    JournalScience Advances
    Volume4
    Issue number12
    Number of pages12
    ISSN2375-2548
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Cite this

    Wright, J. L., Wasef, S., Heupink, T. H., Westaway, M. C., Rasmussen, S., Pardoe, C., ... Lambert, D. M. (2018). Ancient nuclear genomes enable repatriation of Indigenous human remains. Science Advances, 4(12), [eaau5064]. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aau5064
    Wright, Joanne L. ; Wasef, Sally ; Heupink, Tim H. ; Westaway, Michael C. ; Rasmussen, Simon ; Pardoe, Colin ; Fourmile, Gudju Gudju ; Young, Michael ; Johnson, Trish ; Slade, Joan ; Kennedy, Roy ; Winch, Patsy ; Pappin, Mary ; Wales, Tapij ; Bates, William "Badger" ; Hamilton, Sharnie ; Whyman, Neville ; van Holst Pellekaan, Sheila ; McAllister, Peter J. ; Taçon, Paul S. C. ; Curnoe, Darren ; Li, Ruiqiang ; Millar, Craig ; Subramanian, Sankar ; Willerslev, Eske ; Malaspinas, Anna-Sapfo ; Sikora, Martin ; Lambert, David M. / Ancient nuclear genomes enable repatriation of Indigenous human remains. In: Science Advances. 2018 ; Vol. 4, No. 12.
    @article{10f4dfb79449495d8079c27df3d2875e,
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    abstract = "After European colonization, the ancestral remains of Indigenous people were often collected for scientific research or display in museum collections. For many decades, Indigenous people, including Native Americans and Aboriginal Australians, have fought for their return. However, many of these remains have no recorded provenance, making their repatriation very difficult or impossible. To determine whether DNA-based methods could resolve this important problem, we sequenced 10 nuclear genomes and 27 mitogenomes from ancient pre-European Aboriginal Australians (up to 1540 years before the present) of known provenance and compared them to 100 high-coverage contemporary Aboriginal Australian genomes, also of known provenance. We report substantial ancient population structure showing strong genetic affinities between ancient and contemporary Aboriginal Australian individuals from the same geographic location. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of successfully identifying the origins of unprovenanced ancestral remains using genomic methods.",
    author = "Wright, {Joanne L.} and Sally Wasef and Heupink, {Tim H.} and Westaway, {Michael C.} and Simon Rasmussen and Colin Pardoe and Fourmile, {Gudju Gudju} and Michael Young and Trish Johnson and Joan Slade and Roy Kennedy and Patsy Winch and Mary Pappin and Tapij Wales and Bates, {William {"}Badger{"}} and Sharnie Hamilton and Neville Whyman and {van Holst Pellekaan}, Sheila and McAllister, {Peter J.} and Ta{\cc}on, {Paul S. C.} and Darren Curnoe and Ruiqiang Li and Craig Millar and Sankar Subramanian and Eske Willerslev and Anna-Sapfo Malaspinas and Martin Sikora and Lambert, {David M.}",
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    language = "English",
    volume = "4",
    journal = "Science Advances",
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    publisher = "American Association for the Advancement of Science (A A A S)",
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    Wright, JL, Wasef, S, Heupink, TH, Westaway, MC, Rasmussen, S, Pardoe, C, Fourmile, GG, Young, M, Johnson, T, Slade, J, Kennedy, R, Winch, P, Pappin, M, Wales, T, Bates, WB, Hamilton, S, Whyman, N, van Holst Pellekaan, S, McAllister, PJ, Taçon, PSC, Curnoe, D, Li, R, Millar, C, Subramanian, S, Willerslev, E, Malaspinas, A-S, Sikora, M & Lambert, DM 2018, 'Ancient nuclear genomes enable repatriation of Indigenous human remains', Science Advances, vol. 4, no. 12, eaau5064. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aau5064

    Ancient nuclear genomes enable repatriation of Indigenous human remains. / Wright, Joanne L.; Wasef, Sally; Heupink, Tim H.; Westaway, Michael C.; Rasmussen, Simon; Pardoe, Colin; Fourmile, Gudju Gudju; Young, Michael; Johnson, Trish; Slade, Joan; Kennedy, Roy; Winch, Patsy; Pappin, Mary; Wales, Tapij; Bates, William "Badger"; Hamilton, Sharnie; Whyman, Neville; van Holst Pellekaan, Sheila; McAllister, Peter J.; Taçon, Paul S. C.; Curnoe, Darren; Li, Ruiqiang; Millar, Craig; Subramanian, Sankar; Willerslev, Eske; Malaspinas, Anna-Sapfo; Sikora, Martin; Lambert, David M.

    In: Science Advances, Vol. 4, No. 12, eaau5064, 2018.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Ancient nuclear genomes enable repatriation of Indigenous human remains

    AU - Wright, Joanne L.

    AU - Wasef, Sally

    AU - Heupink, Tim H.

    AU - Westaway, Michael C.

    AU - Rasmussen, Simon

    AU - Pardoe, Colin

    AU - Fourmile, Gudju Gudju

    AU - Young, Michael

    AU - Johnson, Trish

    AU - Slade, Joan

    AU - Kennedy, Roy

    AU - Winch, Patsy

    AU - Pappin, Mary

    AU - Wales, Tapij

    AU - Bates, William "Badger"

    AU - Hamilton, Sharnie

    AU - Whyman, Neville

    AU - van Holst Pellekaan, Sheila

    AU - McAllister, Peter J.

    AU - Taçon, Paul S. C.

    AU - Curnoe, Darren

    AU - Li, Ruiqiang

    AU - Millar, Craig

    AU - Subramanian, Sankar

    AU - Willerslev, Eske

    AU - Malaspinas, Anna-Sapfo

    AU - Sikora, Martin

    AU - Lambert, David M.

    PY - 2018

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    N2 - After European colonization, the ancestral remains of Indigenous people were often collected for scientific research or display in museum collections. For many decades, Indigenous people, including Native Americans and Aboriginal Australians, have fought for their return. However, many of these remains have no recorded provenance, making their repatriation very difficult or impossible. To determine whether DNA-based methods could resolve this important problem, we sequenced 10 nuclear genomes and 27 mitogenomes from ancient pre-European Aboriginal Australians (up to 1540 years before the present) of known provenance and compared them to 100 high-coverage contemporary Aboriginal Australian genomes, also of known provenance. We report substantial ancient population structure showing strong genetic affinities between ancient and contemporary Aboriginal Australian individuals from the same geographic location. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of successfully identifying the origins of unprovenanced ancestral remains using genomic methods.

    AB - After European colonization, the ancestral remains of Indigenous people were often collected for scientific research or display in museum collections. For many decades, Indigenous people, including Native Americans and Aboriginal Australians, have fought for their return. However, many of these remains have no recorded provenance, making their repatriation very difficult or impossible. To determine whether DNA-based methods could resolve this important problem, we sequenced 10 nuclear genomes and 27 mitogenomes from ancient pre-European Aboriginal Australians (up to 1540 years before the present) of known provenance and compared them to 100 high-coverage contemporary Aboriginal Australian genomes, also of known provenance. We report substantial ancient population structure showing strong genetic affinities between ancient and contemporary Aboriginal Australian individuals from the same geographic location. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of successfully identifying the origins of unprovenanced ancestral remains using genomic methods.

    U2 - 10.1126/sciadv.aau5064

    DO - 10.1126/sciadv.aau5064

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    JO - Science Advances

    JF - Science Advances

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    Wright JL, Wasef S, Heupink TH, Westaway MC, Rasmussen S, Pardoe C et al. Ancient nuclear genomes enable repatriation of Indigenous human remains. Science Advances. 2018;4(12). eaau5064. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aau5064