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Human Traces webinar series: From Lakes to Soils: Using SedaDNA to Track the Human Past

Online meeting
Contact person
Nathalie Dubois
E-Mail address
Working groups
Meeting Category


Date: 22 February 2024
Time: 14:00 UTC
Speaker: Prof. Antony Brown (The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø University Museum)
Title: From Lakes to Soils: Using SedaDNA to Track the Human Past
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Sedimentary ancient DNA (sedaDNA) is only 20 years old and is still growing exponentially. It is re-writing vegetation history with large geographically-defined spatial datasets, and providing histories for plants not detected in pollen analysis, as well as animals poorly represented in the bone record. Its use in archaeology and historical ecology is even younger although arguably it potential is just as great as in palaeocology. This seminar will illustrate the use of sedaDNA at a variety of spatial scales from regional reconstruction to the analysis of a single context, and geographically from the sub-arctic to the Mediterranean. Just as with traditional environmental techniques there are taphonomic challenges which are critical to the production of robust data on the environmental effects of human activity. However, within the limits set by taphonomic processes and along with complimentary methods (such as biomarkers), sedaDNA can massively expand our scientific and cultural horizons, allowing hypotheses to be tested and theories to be challenged that were otherwise impossible.

Do not hesitate to contact Human Traces if you want to contribute with your own research on Human Traces.

Further information

Please get in touch with the Human Traces Steering Committee if you would like to present your work related to Human Traces.