Taking advantage of the advances in ancient DNA technology to probe human history

Comparing DNA between ancient individuals and modern populations will enable us to address a number of questions about human history in the Asia-Pacific region, including population continuity over time, large-scale population movement and admixture at certain time-points, and population replacements – events that can be linked to the archeological and climate records in the past.

The collaborative project entails extraction of DNA from human remains (in particular bone and teeth), originating from various sites from all over the ISEA region. All samples will also be radiocarbon dated, and characterized using isotope analyses. Isotope analysis is used for providing additional information on the individual’s lifestyle and environmental conditions, such as carbon and nitrogen isotopes for characterizing ancient diet, strontium isotopes for identifying geographic origin.