mtDNA analysis of the human remains buried in the sarcophagus of Federico II

Mario Giuseppe Mirisola, Alfredo Salerno, Valentino Romano, Patrizia Carta, Valentino Romano, Alfredo Salerno, Francesco Calì, Andrea Berti, Giampietro Lago, Carmen Ferro, Filippo Cali', Patrizia Carta

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

2 Citazioni (Scopus)


The sarcophagus containing the remains of Federico II, located in the Cathedral of Palermo (Sicily, Italy), was opened on 1998 to perform amultidisciplinary survey [1]. Next to the remains of Federico II and in close contact with them were laying two other skeletons belonging,according to historical records, to Pietro II di Aragona and to an anonymous person (“The Third Individual”), probably a woman. The bonesappeared severely deteriorated. Chemical analysis performed on bone samples excluded that the bodies underwent some kind of embalmingprocess. The analysis of mtDNA from bone samples taken from the three skeletons was successful in only one of the two labs involved. TheHVR1-mtDNA sequence (region: from nt 16,035 to nt 16,395), obtained from the bone samples of Federico II and “The Third Individual” appearidentical but bear double peaks at the same nucleotide positions, suggesting mixing (i.e. contamination) of different mtDNA types. The HVR1sequence obtained from the bone sample of Pietro II di Aragona does not present double peaks and differ from the Cambridge ReferenceSequence (CRS) at six nucleotide positions. Cloning experiment of the Federico II amplicon demonstrated that the mixed mtDNA types are onlytwo: one identical to CRS, the other identical to the sequence of Pietro II di Aragona. A reconstruction of these data are proposed in the Discussion.Due to the problematic context in which this study was carried out (mixed and deteriorated biological material, failure to replicate resultsin two different labs), our results and reconstruction can only be offered on a tentative basis. It is hoped that the data presented in this study willreveal useful, for future comparison, if further molecular genetics research will be carried out on the royal dynasties that ruled Sicily in the earlycenturies of the past millennium.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)313-319
Numero di pagine7
RivistaJournal of Cultural Heritage
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1600.1601???
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  • ???subjectarea.asjc.2000.2000???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1600.1607???
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