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#4 Introduction to Genetics for Archaeology

Lecture Four - mitochondrial Eve, molecular clocks & human evolution, haplogroups & differentiation, human migration, genetic populations & problems of definition, ghost populations & introgression

Welcome back to this course on archaeological genetics. Now that we’ve covered molecular genetics, principles of heredity and the different technologies and protocols used to sequence DNA, its time to start applying it all to the real world.

The first part of the lecture will briefly cover some phylogenetics and evolutionary theory, then we’ll dive into how mitochondrial DNA started the genetics revolution in archaeology, beginning with ‘mitochondrial Eve’ and the development of haplogroups. Then we’ll look at human migration and how this combines archaeology and genetics, and some of the difficulties of classifying a genetic population.

Finally we’ll turn to the topic of ghost populations and what that means, how we can identify them in the DNA and what they tell us. This is linked to the concept of admixture and introgression, and together with haplogroups and phylogenetics we get a good sense of how genetic diversity arises and how human groups separate and coalesce, with traits appearing and merging as people move and disperse.

Grey Goose Chronicles
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