Posted: 5 months ago
Updated: 5 months ago by JENNINGS, BR
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Time zone: Europe/London
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Ends: 06:15pm (duration is about 1 hour)

Unlocking the secrets of ancient environments: the potential, and challenges facing ancient DNA research

Rosie Everett
University of Warwick

With ancient DNA as a tool at the forefront of archaeological analysis, researchers into the past natural world are now turning to ancient DNA to provide a higher resolution of past environments. In particular, exploring the method for understanding the palaeoecological context for past climate change, and providing a new tool for reconstructing past environments.

The bulk of this assessment is based on ancient sedimentary DNA (sedaDNA), in particular ancient plant DNA, and is a relatively new approach for understanding the surrounding paleoenvironmental context of archaeological sites from sedimentary archives, alongside with more traditional proxies such as pollen. However, with all methods within the paleoenvironmental discipline, there are several aspects of the application of the proxy that still need to be addressed, in order to confidently apply it to palaeoenvironmental research.

SedaDNA is complex and at times, frustrating for the field. But it is exciting, and this talk aims to address several of these issues, including those associated with more traditional paleoenvironmental tools, as well as those that have arisen with the new proxy. But most importantly, to highlight some of the innovative research within the discipline pushing archaeological research forward.