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‘The Farm Beneath the Sand’ – an archaeological case study on ancient ‘dirt’ DNA

Hebsgaard, M.B., Gilbert, T.P., Arneborg, J., Heyn, P., Allentoft, M.E., Bunce, M., Munch, K., Schweger, C. and Willerslev, E. (2009) ‘The Farm Beneath the Sand’ – an archaeological case study on ancient ‘dirt’ DNA. Antiquity, 83 (320). pp. 430-444.

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It is probable that ‘The Farm Beneath the Sand’ will come to stand for a revolution in archaeological investigation. The authors show that a core of soil from an open field can provide a narrative of grazing animals, human occupation and their departure, just using DNA and AMS dating. In this case the conventional archaeological remains were nearby, and the sequence obtained by the old methods of digging and faunal analysis correlated well with the story from the core of ancient ‘dirt’ DNA. The potential for mapping the human, animal and plant experience of the planet is stupendous.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Antiquity Publications
Copyright: © 2009 Antiquity Publications
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