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 Research:
           

             In 1653, the Patriarch Nikon modified liturgical practices to bring the Russian Orthodox Church in line with those of the Eastern (Greek) Orthodox Church, from which it had split two hundred years earlier. ‘Old Believers’ (staroveri) rejected these changes, and continued to worship using the earlier practices. Their actions resulted in persecution by the Russian Orthodox Church, which forced them to disperse across Siberia, where they formed remote communities. For the next three and a half centuries, they lived in relative isolation from other Russian groups.
            The objective of my research is to determine the genetic relationship between isolated populations of Old Believers and other Slavic Russians. Variable nucleotide sites found in maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) were used as genetic markers in this study. It is my hypothesis that Old Believers have become significantly genetically differentiated from other ethnic Russians because of the demographic consequences of religious persecution and geographic isolation from them over the past three and a half centuries. In other words, they should have undergone an initial founder effect and subsequent genetic drift as a result of the population size fluctuations that they experienced since their forced exile to Siberia in the mid-seventeenth century.
            The expectation is that measures of genetic diversity should be reduced in the separate Old Believer communities compared with those for ethnic Russians, and specifically that only a subset of haplogroups common in ethnic Russians should be found in the Old Believers, even over this relatively short period of 15 generations. However, initial results of this study show little differentiation between the Old Believers and their potential source populstions in Russia, leading to the conclusion that the Old Believers were not living in isolation long enough to genetically separate from the larger population from which they derived.





















 Publications and Presentations:
 
  • Rubinstein S, Mehta N, Zhadanov SI, Cocca MF, Osipova LP, Schurr TG (In Preparation) mtDNA variation in Old Believer and ethnic Russian populations of northern Siberia. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol.

  • Rubinstein S, Mehta N, Zhadanov SI, Cocca MF, Osipova LP, Schurr TG (2006) mtDNA variation in Old Believer and ethnic Russian populations of northern Siberia. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol Suppl.

  • Rubinstein S, Mehta N, Zhadanov SI, Cocca MF, Osipova LP, Schurr TG (2005) mtDNA variation in Old Believer and ethnic Russian populations of northern Siberia. American Anthropology Association Abstracts.

  • Rubinstein S, Mehta N, Zhadanov SI, Cocca MF, Osipova LP, Schurr TG (2004) mtDNA variation in Old Believer and ethnic Russian populations of northern Siberia. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. Suppl. 123(38):170-71.




















  • Samara Rubinstein  

    Adjunct Lecturer   
    Ph.D. 2006, Temple University  
    CV  ••   Baikal Archaeology Project
          
          
    ANTHRO Home
    Interests:
    Courses Taught:
  • Biological Anthropology
  • Ancient DNA
  • Molecular Anthropology
  • Old Believers
  • Russia
  • Intro to Human Evolution (102)

  • Courses tought in other institutions:
  • Introduction to Physical
    Anthropology
  • Origins of Cultural Diversity
  • Introduction to Anthropology:
    A Four-Field Approach to Race and
    Racism