The Ancestors Speak: Community-Based Paleogenomics

Author(s): kalina kassadjikova

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Community Archaeology in 2020: Conventional or Revolutionary?" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Paleogenomics is now a well-established method for studying archaeological human remains. When geneticists, archaeologists, and descendent communities work together, it can also be a powerful tool for community building and reconciliation. This paper outlines several collaborative projects in which local communities employ paleogenetic expertise to learn more about individuals whose unmarked burials were disturbed during public and private development on the East coast. In each case, locals mobilized to properly identify, rebury, and memorialize their ancestors through a series of public outreach events and cultural celebrations. Genetic analysis helped to clarify the background of the deceased and explore biological ties to living descendents. These examples model a successful community-based participatory approach for historical genetic research and its utility for reclaiming history and unifying historically divided populace.

Cite this Record

The Ancestors Speak: Community-Based Paleogenomics. kalina kassadjikova. 2020 ( tDAR id: 456908)


Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 860