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Ancient DNA Recovery in Progress
Scientists at a Chinese DNA laboratory are working hard to extract DNA from bones selected from the skeletal remains of a woman whom scientists believe was the wife of a duke during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD).

The 2,000-plus-year-old remains were unearthed in August of the year 2000 by the Yongding river near Laoshan Hills in Beijing's western Shijingshan district and moved to Changchun, the capital city of Jilin Province on October 3 this year under the escort of several archeologists and related experts.

The extraction process, expected to be completed in February of 2003, will be carried out by the Frontiers Archeological DNA Lab of in northeast China's Jilin University, reputed as the archeological circle's first and only special lab for DNA researches on ancient people.

The lab staff noted that the woman's head has been restored with the use of three-dimensional technology. According to the archeologists examining the remains, the distinctive features of the restored head led them to believe that the woman originated from central China, and not from western China, as was previously thought.

China has successfully extracted bone DNA from remains dating back 4,000 years.

(Xinhua News Agency December 31, 2002)

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