Pala, Maria, Soares, Pedro, Chaubey, Gyaneshwer and Richards, Martin B. (2015) Archaeogenetics. In: The Cambridge World History Volume 2. A World with Agriculture, 12,000 BCE–500 CE . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 26-54. ISBN 9780521192187

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.

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