1932

Abstract

The study of ancient genomes has burgeoned at an incredible rate in the last decade. The result is a shift in archaeological narratives, bringing with it a fierce debate on the place of genetics in anthropological research. Archaeogenomics has challenged and scrutinized fundamental themes of anthropological research, including human origins, movement of ancient and modern populations, the role of social organization in shaping material culture, and the relationship between culture, language, and ancestry. Moreover, the discussion has inevitably invoked new debates on indigenous rights, ownership of ancient materials, inclusion in the scientific process, and even the meaning of what it is to be a human. We argue that the broad and seemingly daunting ethical, methodological, and theoretical challenges posed by archaeogenomics, in fact, represent the very cutting edge of social science research. Here, we provide a general review of the field by introducing the contemporary discussion points and summarizing methodological and ethical concerns, while highlighting the exciting possibilities of ancient genome studies in archaeology from an anthropological perspective.

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2020-10-21
2024-04-14
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