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Otago scientist digs up human remains

A University of Otago scientist has been digging up human remains in the backyards of Uzbek villages to discover how people lived in the Middle Ages.

Department of Anatomy bioarcheologist Dr Rebecca Kinaston has recently returned from a month-long expedition to the village of Xo’Janqo in southwest Uzbekistan, where she and Ladislav Damašek, from Charles University, Prague, co-led an archaeological team for a community-approved excavation funded by a University of Otago Research Grant.

Uzbekistan has a long history of human settlement, and its village oases were important links on High Medieval trade routes stretching across Europe and Asia.

The researchers were interested in understanding diet, health, migration, interaction, ancestry, and care during a time of increased interaction along what is commonly known as the Silk Roads.

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