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Article contents

‘The Farm Beneath the Sand’ – an archaeological case study on ancient ‘dirt’ DNA

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Martin B. Hebsgaard
Affiliation:
Centre for Ancient Genetics, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100, Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
M. Thomas P. Gilbert
Affiliation:
Centre for Ancient Genetics, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100, Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
Jette Arneborg
Affiliation:
Danish Middle Ages & Renaissance, National Museum of Denmark, Frederiksholm Kanal 12, DK-1220 Copenhagen K, Denmark
Patricia Heyn
Affiliation:
Centre for Ancient Genetics, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100, Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
Morten E. Allentoft
Affiliation:
School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand
Michael Bunce
Affiliation:
Ancient DNA Research Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Murdoch University, South Street, Perth 6150 Australia
Kasper Munch
Affiliation:
Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3140, USA
Charles Schweger
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E9, Canada
Eske Willerslev
Affiliation:
Centre for Ancient Genetics, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100, Copenhagen Ø, Denmark Danish Middle Ages & Renaissance, National Museum of Denmark, Frederiksholm Kanal 12, DK-1220 Copenhagen K, Denmark School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand Ancient DNA Research Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Murdoch University, South Street, Perth 6150 Australia Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3140, USA Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E9, Canada
Corresponding
E-mail address:
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Abstract

It is probable that ‘The Farm Beneath the Sand’ will come to stand for a revolution in archaeological investigation. The authors show that a core of soil from an open field can provide a narrative of grazing animals, human occupation and their departure, just using DNA and AMS dating. In this case the conventional archaeological remains were nearby, and the sequence obtained by the old methods of digging and faunal analysis correlated well with the story from the core of ancient ‘dirt’ DNA. The potential for mapping the human, animal and plant experience of the planet is stupendous.

Type
Method
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd 2009

References

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