An Archaeologist Amongst Geneticists: Overview of My Experiences as an Archaeologist in an Ancient DNA Laboratory
Author(s): Jakob Sedig
In this paper, I provide insight on the field of ancient DNA (aDNA) analysis from my unique perspective as an archaeologist employed in a leading aDNA laboratory. Ancient DNA research has advanced so much that genomic data from thousands of individuals across the globe are now available for study. These data are allowing geneticists and archaeologists to conduct studies that provide new insights into migration, demographic transitions, and relatedness of ancient individuals. They also afford an entirely new dataset to examine longstanding archaeological questions. While aDNA analysis is having a significant impact on interpretation of the past, due to the very rapid growth and development of the field, archaeologists might find themselves falling behind on increasingly complex methods and numerous publications. Thus, I provide a brief overview on the process of aDNA research. Additionally, this paper addresses some of the recent controversies in aDNA studies, such as "sample hoarding," the seeming focus on European samples, and ethical issues surrounding aDNA analysis. Finally, while there certainly have been many fruitful collaborations between archaeologists and geneticists, there have also been disagreements about results and data interpretation. I therefore also examine how archaeologists and geneticists can better collaborate in future research.
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An Archaeologist Amongst Geneticists: Overview of My Experiences as an Archaeologist in an Ancient DNA Laboratory. Jakob Sedig. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443622)
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Abstract Id(s): 20439