Ancient DNA Research: 2010 Aims

July 9, 2010


Ancient DNA research provides the possibility to study the environment and history of past human populations by the analysis of DNA from biological archaeological finds such as animal, human and botanical remains.


It is our aim to provide complementary data to the research performed by other disciplines in Sagalassos such as the pottery studies, residue analysis, botanical studies, archaeozoology and anthropology. By integrating ancient DNA data, we could provide insight and answers to the following questions:
– the origin and spread of domesticated and wild botanical and animal species
– family relationships among ancient human burials
– the demography of past human populations at Sagalassos
– human migration patterns and trade that have been taken place in history in this area
– the identification and origin of food (animal and botanical origin) that has been preserved in cooking wear

Finally, we want to explore the possibility of analyzing ancient biological material (animal and botanical origin) preserved in sediments in order to identify the species and to give a genetic “profile” of the paleoenvironment. These data should contribute to the historical reconstruction of the environment at Sagalassos. The study period covers the 3rd century BC until the 13th century AD.


The main task at the site will be collecting material of biological remains (animal, botanical and human), pot shells and sediments together with recording the circumstances (location and environmental conditions) of the finds. Samples should be taken with the necessary precautions for avoiding contamination of contemporary (especially human) origin. Ancient DNA analysis will be carried out in a dedicated laboratory in Belgium. The analysis could be destructive for the samples which could mean that the collected material is completely used in the ancient DNA study.

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