Definition of Archaeogenetics

Archaeogenetics: The study of the past using the techniques of molecular genetics. The application of genetics to archeology. The term "archaeogenetics" was coined in the 1990s by the archeologist Colin Renfrew from the Greek archaios (ancient) + genetics = archaeogenetics, literally, ancient genetics.

In archaeogenetics, information on the DNA of different ethnic groups from around the world is used to analyze prehistoric events and corroborate accounts from historical sources. The DNA data are reconciled with the findings of archeologists, linguists, and paleoanthropologists to shed light on the past.


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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