‘Archaeology meets Environmental Genomics: implementing sedaDNA in the study of the human past’ by Kadir Toykan Özdoğan, Arjen de Groot, Gertjan Plets
Title: Archaeology meets Environmental Genomics: implementing sedaDNA in the study of the human past
Authors: Kadir Toykan Özdoğan, Pere Gelabert, Neeke Hammers, N. Ezgi Altınışık, Arjen de Groot, Gertjan Plets
Publication year: pre print 2023
Publication type: scientific article
Sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) has become one of the standard applications in the field of paleogenomics in recent years. It has been used for paleoenvironmental reconstructions, detecting the presence of prehistoric species in the absence of macro remains and even investigating the evolutionary history of a few species. However, its application in archaeology has been limited and primarily focused on humans. This article argues that sedaDNA holds a significant potential in addressing key archaeological questions concerning the origins, lifestyles and environments of past human populations. Our aim is to facilitate the integration of sedaDNA into the standard workflows in archaeology as a transformative tool and thereby unleashing its full potential for studying the human past. Ultimately, we not only underscore the challenges inherent in the sedaDNA field but also provide a research agenda for essential enhancements needed for implementing sedaDNA into the standard workflows of archaeologists.