DNA, Ancient and Modern: Genomic and Historical Analysis of Lombard and British Populations

AHA Session 248
Saturday, January 6, 2018: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Virginia Suite B (Marriott Wardman Park, Lobby Level)
Nükhet Varlik, Rutgers University at Newark
Modern DNA and the Peopling of the British Isles
Walter Bodmer, Oxford University
Paleogenomics and the Migration of Lombards
Krishna Veeramah, State University of New York at Stony Brook
Nükhet Varlik, Rutgers University at Newark and Nicola Di Cosmo, Institute for Advanced Study

Session Abstract

The presentations and commentaries of this session are intended to encourage the involvement of historians in research and interpretation of genetic data on human populations. The techniques of genetic sequencing and analysis of genetic markers, while now at an advanced level, still require historical investigation for their analysis to be comprehensive.

The two papers draw on data collected in two different ways: to put it simply, they analyze modern DNA and ancient DNA. The presentation by Sir Walter Bodmer shows the use of DNA from contemporary individuals to create a “genetic map” of the people of the British Isles, revealing links of genetic clusters to geography and to past events thought to reflect population change. The presentation by Krishna Veeramah draws on DNA collected from human remains thought to be associated with migrating communities of people known as Lombards. The genetic analysis is associated with archaeological analysis of the grave sites. The commentators, two multidisciplinary historians, will review the genetic analysis and comment on the historical skills and approaches that best complement the technical side of genetic analysis, highlighting factors that distinguish the analysis of modern and ancient DNA.

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