We studied genetic characteristics within and among gelada (Theropithecus gelada) populations inhabiting the southern and northern plateaus of Ethiopia. Twenty-one mtDNA haplotypes were identified. Geladas on the southern plateau were genetically separated from those on the northern plateau, with a large differentiation as indicated by Fst values of 0.665–0.917. The difference between the subspecies (T. g. gelada and T. g. obscurus) on the northern plateau highlighted a substantial genetic variation. Divergence times were estimated as ~250000 years between subspecies on the northern plateau and ~400000 years between those on the northern and southern plateaus. The genetic differentiation between the geographically distant Simien Mountain and Arsi groups (640 km) was ~2/3 of that between the geographically closer Debra Libanos and Arsi groups (250 km). The difference between subspecies within the northern plateau was similar to that between Papio hamadryas hamadryas and P. h. anubis. The difference between geladas in the north and south was similar to inter-subspecies differences in other mammals, and thus suggested that the Arsi geladas belong to subspecies T. g. arsi (tentative name). Considering the present distribution, geladas appear to have a complicated history of speciation. However, further analyses based on genetics, morphology and ecology are required to confirm these findings.
The monastery of San Andrés de Arroyo (established in 1181) is one the best examples of Cistercian architecture in the Spanish region of Castilla y León. In this study, strontium isotope ratios were used to study the population of the recently excavated graveyard of this monastery. Twenty-nine individuals (of which 13 had preserved teeth) found in burials from the 13th and 14th centuries were subjected to analysis. Enamel 87Sr/86Sr ratio values obtained by using a multicollector ICP-MS instrument were used to distinguish between local and non-local individuals. Additionally, an anthropological study based on entheseal changes and other paleopathological conditions was carried out in all the exhumed individuals. This combined data allowed us to define the chemical and osteological diversity of a medieval Spanish monastery and its surrounding village. Among the usual profiles for a rural society, two individuals, both showing strong indications of being foreign to the area, were found to exhibit evidence of physical activities compatible with military training and activity. The present study can be considered as the first experimental indication that during the 13th and 14th centuries Spanish monasteries served as a last refuge for soldiers, which is compatible with historical records and previous indirect evidence.
The life history of a female individual skeleton (ST61) from the Edo period (AD 1603–1868) was investigated by using multi-tissue and multi-isotope analyses. Her gravestone and historical documents revealed that ST61 was a grandmother of a chief retainer of the Akashi clan who died in 1732 aged 77 years. Radiocarbon and sulfur stable isotope analyses indicated that the contribution of marine foods to the ST61 diet was relatively low (17.2% protein) despite the relatively higher nitrogen isotope ratio of the rib bone collagen. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis of the serial section of tooth dentin along the growth lines indicated that breast milk was not the major protein source of ST61 after roughly 1–1.5 years of age, although this weaning pattern was not evident from the oxygen stable isotope ratios of her tooth enamel serial sections. The carbon stable isotopes in tooth dentin collagen and tooth enamel apatite suggested that her diet from 0.5 to 5 years of age possibly contained a small proportion of C4 plants. Stable isotope ratios of the rib bone and the tooth dentin collagen differed, consistent with historical documents describing a residential change at the age of 27. The calibrated radiocarbon ages of the associated rice hull were at least 80–120 years older than the year of death of ST61. Sulfur stable isotope ratio of the rice hull suggested that fish fertilizers might have been used for paddy rice at that time. Multi-tissue and multi-isotope analyses can provide information of several kinds from different time windows even from an individual skeleton.