Mitochondrial and Y-chromosome diversity of the prehistoric Koban culture of the North Caucasus
The Koban archaeological culture is a well-known Northern and Central Caucasus culture that has been widely
distributed throughout this region during the end of Bronze Age, and the beginning of the Iron Age. Named after
the Koban cemetery (Republic of North Ossetia, Russia), it had highly developed agriculture and metallurgy. The
Koban culture had been dramatically transformed under the influence of Scythian invasions and left a significant
cultural legacy, including a number of historical puzzles. One of them is related to the origin, development, and
ancestry of Koban culture due to significantly different opinions on the matter.
Here, we characterize, using Sanger and high-throughput sequencing, the mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal
diversity of Koban culture individuals, whose remains were excavated at the Zayukovo-3 and Klin-Yar 3 cemeteries
in the North Caucasus.
In this study we provide a new data for better understanding of the origin and genetic diversity of the North
Caucasus communities during the Bronze and Iron Ages and show that the Koban archaeological culture has
genetic continuity with other ancient cultures of the Caucasus.