In 1942, hundreds of human skeletal remains were discovered on a lake deep in the Himalayas, puzzling experts. The site has been called "Skeleton Lake" and has been shrouded in mystery for decades, creating new DNA analysis of the bones. However, the research has yielded surprising results.
The Roopkund Lake is 16,499 feet above sea level in the Indian Himalayas and the skeletons found were long believed to have been victims of an old catastrophic event, say researchers.
research results are published in the journal Nature Communications.
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"Little is known about the origin of these skeletons, since they have never been subjected to systematic anthropological or archaeological investigation, partly because of the disturbed nature of the site, which is often influenced by stone carvings, and often visited by local pilgrims and walkers who have manipulated the skeleton and removed many of the artifacts, "international research groups explain in their study.
The evil place has also become part of the local legend. "Local folklore describes a pilgrimage to the nearby shrine to the mountain goddess, Nanda Devi, conducted by a king and queen and their many attendants, who – because of their inappropriate, festive behavior – were turned down by the wrath [nearby mountain] Nanda Devi," explains researchers. "It has also been suggested that these are the remains of an army or group of merchants caught in a storm. Finally, it has been suggested that they were victims of an epidemic. "
Researchers sequenced through from 38 skeletons at Roopkund Lake, which revealed surprising results. While 23 originated in South Asia, 14 were from the eastern Mediterranean. One individual was found to have Southeast Asian ancestors.
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"We were very surprised at Roopkund's skeletal genetics," said the major author Éadaoin Harney of Harvard University, in a statement from Harvard University, in a statement by Harvard University institute, which also participated in the research. "The presence of individuals with ancestors, usually associated with the Eastern Mediterranean, suggests that the Roopkund Lake was not only a place of local interest but instead attracted visitors from all over the world."
Dietary analysis also confirmed the different origin of the skeleton. "Stable isotope dietary reconstruction of the skeleton also supports the presence of several different groups," explained the Max Planck Institute.
Radio columnization also found that the remains come from very different times. All remains of South Asian ancestors were dated to around 800 BC, while the other skeletal remains analyzed were dated to around 1800 BC. "These findings disprove previous proposals that the skeleton of Roopkund lake was deposited in a single catastrophic event," explains the researchers at Nature Communications.
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"It is still not clear what brought these individuals to Lake Roopkund or how they died," said Niraj Rai of the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences India, in the Max Planck Institute's statement. "We hope this study represents the first of many analyzes of this mysterious site."
Unhappy places in other parts of the world also reveal their secrets. For example, a medieval burial pit in Lebanon sheds new light on Crusader times in the Middle East.
Workers preparing to lay new water pipes recently discovered a horrible old burial ground in Britain. 26 human skeletons from the Iron Age and Roman periods were found at the site in Childrey Warren, Oxfordshire, some of which are believed to be ritual burials.
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Experts in Peru recently revealed the gruesome details of a site for 16th century ritual victims in Peru that contains more remains 140 children.
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In Mexico, a large number of skulls buried under the streets of modern Mexico city throw light on the cruel details Aztec human sacrifice.
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