They also analyzed the stable isotopes in the samples to learn more about what they ate. A study published in the journal Nature Communications, found that the skeletons of Roopkund lake belong to genetically distinct groups who died in multiple periods in at least two episodes separated by one thousand years. This warranted further investigation - a deep dive by way of whole genome sequencing.
These findings are consistent with the genetic evidence that they belonged to a variety of socioeconomic groups in South Asia," said archaeologist Ayushi Nayak of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. That's just a few hundred years ago. The results of the isotope analysis also show diverse diets within and among each subgroup, adding to the mystery. But on the way, the goddess strikes the pilgrims down for their celebratory and inappropriate behavior, and they fall into small, glacial Roopkund Lake. First, during the 7th-10th centuries, individuals with Indian-related ancestry died at Roopkund, possibly during several distinct events, researchers said. “It’s been subject to so much disturbance, both from the natural environment, like rockslides,” says Harney, and from hikers on the nearby trail going down to retrieve bones or look at the site.
It was not until sometime during around 1800 AD that the other two groups, likely composed of travellers from the eastern Mediterranean and Southeast Asia arrived at Roopkund lake, they said.
In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. We hope you’ll support us. But some did not. Find more newsletters on our newsletter sign-up page. "It is still not clear what brought these individuals to Roopkund Lake or how they died," said geneticist Niraj Rai of the Birbal Sahni Institute of PalaeosciencesRai. Some hypothesize that the bodies could be evidence of a fatal 19th-century military expedition, but when many women’s bodies were found in the lake, this idea fell out of favor. "Through the use of biomolecular analyses, such as ancient DNA, stable isotope dietary reconstruction, and radiocarbon dating, we discovered that the history of Roopkund Lake is more complex than we ever anticipated," said geneticist David Reich of Harvard Medical School. A massive hailstorm still can’t be ruled out, but the scientists wonder if the hailstorm was the fatal blow or if it occured after the people died. We hope that this study represents the first of many analyses of this mysterious site' said Douglas J. Kennett of the University of California, Santa Barbara in the US. These 38 genomes were then compared against 1,521 ancient and 7,985 present-day individuals from around the world. According to Eadaoin Harney of Harvard University, the presence of individuals with ancestries typically associated with the eastern Mediterranean suggests that Roopkund lake was not just a site of local interest, but instead drew visitors from across the globe.
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