The archaeological site fo Sampula cemetery was located about 14 km to the southwest of the Luo County in Xinjiang Khotan, China, belonging to the ancient Yutian kingdom. 14C analysis showed that this cemetery was used from 217 B.C. to 283 A. D. Ancient DNA was analysed by 364 bp of the mitochondrial DNA hypervariable region 1 (mtDNA HVR-1), and by six restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) sites of mtDNA coding region. We successfully extracted and sequenced intact stretches of maternally inherited mtDNA from 13 out of 16 ancient Sampula samples. The analysis of mtDNA haplogroup distribution showed that the ancient Sampula was a complex population with both European and Asian Characteristics. Median joining network of U3 sub-haplogroup and multi-dimensional scaling analysis all showed that the ancient Sampula had maternal relationship with Ossetian and Iranian.
The Ossetes are the most prominent of the northern Iranian speaking peoples which were once more expansive in their extant than the south Iranian languages we are more familiar with (e.g., Kurdish, Persian, etc.).