Principal Investigator: Irena Cvijanovic, PhD, The Institute of History Belgrade

Regarding ethnogenesis of the Serbs in the Middle Ages, there is a number of questions. According to the historical sources, the Serbs came in the Balkans sometimes after the bulk of the Slavic tribes (ca. 630). However, according to available archaeological material, there is no single material nor sceletal evidence, which could be observed as the typical “early Serbian”. The analysis of mitochondrial DNA variability allows us to infer the history of human evolution and patterns of migration which led to the colonization of the various geographic areas of the world by studying ancient and present lineages. One of the aims of this project is to perform high-resolution phylogenetic studies of mtDNA and Y chromosome variations in ancient populations that lived in the Southwestern region of Serbia (Čačak- Kraljevo- Priboj) from Bronze Age (1800 BC) up to Middle Ages (1250 AD). Chemical analysis of the specimens from mentioned archeological sites will enable us to establish to what extent the population of this region has migrated during lifetime or whether they have come from other geographical areas. Taken together, combination of results obtained by molecular genetics approach, analytical chemistry and historical/archaeological facts about the Bronze, Roman Iron and Middle Ages populations of Southwestern Serbia, would, for the first time, enable us to establish link between genetic and cultural heritage regarding ethnogenesis of one specific Balkan population – Serbs.