Archaeogenetics

Maria Pala, Pedro Soares, Gyaneshwer Chaubey, Martin Richards

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Archaeogenetics was described by Renfrew as ‘the study of the human past using the techniques of molecular genetics’ –involving the collaboration of geneticists with archaeologists, anthropologists, historical linguists and climatologists. He traced its origins to the pioneering work of Cavalli–Sforza in the 1960s, using classical genetic markers (such as blood groups etc.). Ammerman and Cavalli–Sforza developed a suite of new approaches, in particular the use of principal component maps, to evaluate the distribution of genetic variation in space. Their results on Europe, in particular, were taken to imply large-scale demic diffusion of farming communities from the Near East with the advent of the Neolithic. The discipline was then renewed in the 1980s by Wilson’s work on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), as DNA sequencing started to become routine, making it possible for the first time to build genealogical trees of lineages within a species1.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge World History
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 2: A World with Agriculture, 12,000 BCE - 500 CE
EditorsGraeme Barker, Candice Goucher
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages1-25
Volume2
ISBN (Electronic)9780511978807
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

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    Pala, M., Soares, P., Chaubey, G., & Richards, M. (2015). Archaeogenetics. In G. Barker, & C. Goucher (Eds.), The Cambridge World History: Volume 2: A World with Agriculture, 12,000 BCE - 500 CE (Vol. 2, pp. 1-25). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511978807