I’m looking forward to the 82nd annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (Vancouver, BC, Canada: March 29–April 2, 2017) at the end of this month, which will be my first SAA.
This is a sprawling conference. I’ve spent a long while going through the entries and have highlighted some abstracts of special interest below — I’ll feature things that caught my eye from other domains of archaeology and non-human aDNA/proteome work in later posts. … ⇒
Nature Communications 8, Article number: 14115 (2017)
Douglas J. Kennett, Stephen Plog, Richard J. George, Brendan J. Culleton, Adam S. Watson, Pontus Skoglund, Nadin Rohland, Swapan Mallick, Kristin Stewardson, Logan Kistler, Steven A. LeBlanc, Peter M. Whiteley, David Reich & George H. Perry
For societies with writing systems, hereditary leadership is documented as one of the hallmarks of early political complexity and governance. … ⇒
Y-DNA supports population discontinuity between Early Neolithic & Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age in Cis-Baikal
The study of Ancient DNA (aDNA), DNA recovered from archaeological and historic post mortem material, has complemented the study of anthropology and archaeology. There are several challenges in the retrieval and analysis of DNA from ancient specimens including exogenous contamination with modern DNA, … ⇒
Upcoming presentation from SMBE 2016:
The genomic enigma of two Medieval North Africans (35210)
Torsten Günther, Cristina Valdiosera, Juan Carlos Vera-Rodríguez, Ricardo Rodriguez-Varela, Emma Svensson, Rafael M Martínez Sánchez, Rafael Carmona Ávila, Leonor Peña Chocarro, Guillem Pérez Jordà, Youssef Bokbot, Eneko Iriarte, Colin Smith, Mattias Jakobsson
The trans-Saharan gold and salt trade as well as the trans-Saharan slave trade played an important role in population movements connecting sub-Saharan and Mediterranean economies during the Middle Ages. … ⇒
Llamas, B., Fehren-Schmitz, L., Valverde, G., Soubrier, J., Mallick, S., Rohland, N., Nordenfelt, S., Valdiosera, C., Richards, S. M., Rohrlach, A., Barreto Romera, M. I., Flores Espinoza, I., Tomasto Cagigao, E., Watson Jiménez, L., Makowski, K., Leboreiro Reyna, I. S., Mansilla Lory, J., Ballivián Torrez, J. A., Rivera, M. A., Burger, R. L., Constanza Ceruti, M., Reinhard, J., Spencer Wells, R., Politis, G., Santoro, C. M., Standen, V. G., Smith, C., Reich, D., Ho, … ⇒
Sankararaman, S., Mallick, S., Patterson, N., & Reich, D. (2016). The Combined Landscape of Denisovan and Neanderthal Ancestry in Present-Day Humans. Current Biology, 26:1–7. [In Press Corrected Proof, online 28 Mar 2016: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.03.037]
Some present-day humans derive up to ∼5% [ 1 ] of their ancestry from archaic Denisovans, an even larger proportion than the ∼2% from Neanderthals [ 2 ]. We developed methods that can disambiguate the locations of segments of Denisovan and Neanderthal ancestry in present-day humans and applied them to 257 high-coverage genomes from 120 diverse populations, … ⇒
EDIT February 09, 2016: A convincing rebuttal from researchers at MPI Leipzig & Tübingen in eLife: Weiß et al. 2015.
EDIT May 26, 2015: I’m much more dubious of this claim upon closer reading and some discussions with colleagues. Look at the damage profiles and the number of reads mapping to wheat.
Oliver Smith, … ⇒
Peter B. Damgaard, Ashot Margaryan, Hannes Schroeder, Ludovic Orlando, Eske Willerslev, Morten E. Allentoft
February 6, 2015; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/014985
Poor DNA preservation is the most limiting factor in ancient genomic research. In the vast majority of ancient bones and teeth, endogenous DNA molecules only represent a minor fraction of the whole DNA extract, rendering traditional shot-gun sequencing approaches cost-ineffective for whole-genome characterization. … ⇒
From Matisoo-Smith, E. (2015). Ancient DNA and the human settlement of the Pacific: A review. Journal of Human Evolution (in press, corrected proof). doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2014.10.017:
During searches of museum collections to attempt to find other commensal animal bones, we encountered archaeological collections of human remains from Isla Mocha, a small island located approximately 30 km off the coast of south central Chile, about 100 km south of the site of El Arenal. … ⇒
Follow-up to a bizarre mtDNA finding from 2013: 2 of 14 skulls in the Botocudo collection of The Museu Nacional/Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, found to have seemingly Austronesian mtDNA haplogroups while the remainder exhibited the typically Native American hg C1. … ⇒