3rd October 2005 – Ancient DNA and Archaeology

Ancient DNA and Archaeology – What can we use it for?

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Dr Ken Brown from Manchester University led us into a discussion on ancient DNA.  How do we get this DNA? Where from? Is it any use? What can we do with it when we’ve got it? Using genetic fingerprinting techniques often used in criminal investigations she addressed questions like “Why did man go into agriculture from hunting?” and “Why did the Roman Empire collapse?”. These are the sorts of archaeological questions that can be now be addressed with a DNA approach.

An interesting evening illustrating the scientific method in principle and in practice and some of the dubious media practices practised in science reporting/TV.

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