Race Is A Social Construct

One of our all time most popular posts here on Anthropology.net is a 2008 blog post, "Race as a Social Construct." Yesterday the journal Science published an open access paper that stated race should be phased out of current studies on human genetic diversity. Modern genetics research operate in a paradox, which that race is... Continue Reading →

Kostenki 14 – A 36,000 Year Old European

Just what makes a European? European genetic ancestry used to seem straightforward and in general is now understood as an admixture of three sources; indigenous European hunter-gatherers from 42,00 to 45,000 ago, Middle Easterners from the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago, and Central Asians who charged through Europe in the last 4,000 to 5,000 years. Last month,... Continue Reading →

Are YOU a Neandertal?

In 2010 the draft genome for Neandertals was released by Svante Pääbo and colleagues. It was reported that European and Asian populations are between 1-4% Neandertal—but what percentage Neandertal are you? The company known as 23andMe recently released an analysis that claims to answer precisely this question. While personal genome sequencing has not yet hit... Continue Reading →

Recovering 1,000 Year Old Viking mtDNA

Today's big anthropological headline is based upon this brand new open access PLoS One paper, "Evidence of Authentic DNA from Danish Viking Age Skeletons Untouched by Humans for 1,000 Years." The paper is written well, has lots of controls, and establishes some protocols on how to recovery ancient DNA. Despite these good things, I think... Continue Reading →

How was the world peopled?

PLoS Genetics has published a new population genetics paper. It summarizes the order by which the world was peopled through the use of a new statistical model. This has been a big question in anthropology, and has often relied on archaeology, linguistics, and ethnography to supplement the genetic and physical data. I don't mean to... Continue Reading →

The Genealogy of Kwaday Dän Ts’inchi

In 1999, hunters looking for sheep stumbled upon the remains of a man in Tatshenshini-Alsek Park, British Columbia, Canada. The man was found at the foot of a glacier. After reporting the discovery, a team of archaeologists and forensic anthropologists worked with the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations to recover the remains. His affiliation wasn't... Continue Reading →

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