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April 26, 2024

Sex and marriage patterns in an ancient empire revealed by DNA

The pattern of sex and marriage in ancient empires can be decoded by analyzing DNA samples. There are various methods to retrieve these samples such as ancient skeletal remains, preserved mummified bodies, fossilized feces, and more. Recently, advancements in technology and scientific research methods have provided a new approach to understanding human history through genetic testing and analysis. By examining the DNA, scientists can identify the sex of the individual, track genetic lineages, and potentially reconstruct a rough sketch of the ancient population structure. This might reveal patterns of mating and marriage, including whether people married within their own group or outsiders; whether men or women tended to move into their spouse’s community; how closely related spouses typically were, and so on. Moreover, aspects of social stratification also become clear through such studies. For instance, if genetic diversity is higher in males than in females, it might suggest that men had more opportunities to reproduce, perhaps due to polygamy. Conversely, if there's greater genetic diversity among females, it could imply societies where powerful men tend to father children with a range of women. However, the translation of these genetic insights to definitive practices and customs should be done carefully as they only offer clues and not concrete historical documentation. Therefore, these findings should ideally be corroborated by archaeological and anthropological evidence. These revelations offer us an insightful way to study ancient cultures and their practices that have largely been wrapped in mystery due to the lack of recorded history or surviving literature.