Monday, January 16, 2012

"Rolling in the Deep"

Wow.  Just spotted a fascinating article in today's Boston Globe:  DNA testing is helping archaeologists gain clues about ancient civilizations!

I find it amazing that sea water acts as a preservative for DNA.  One would think the detritus in these ancient jugs would have washed away underwater - not so.  According to the article, the DNA more likely would have been corrupted if it had been exposed to contaminants in the open air.

One researcher quoted in the article "pooh poohs" the importance of these finds, stating that researchers already had an idea about the contents of these jugs prior to DNA testing.

Even so, I believe this is a critical development.  Who knows what else may be uncovered by these tests - not just in these vessels, but at myriad ancient sites?

Still, this development is, in my opinion, extremely important - if for no other reason than it opens our minds about the myriad applications of DNA technology for historians, archaeologists, and yes, genealogists.

Can you think of new applications of DNA testing that would develop a fuller picture of your ancestors' lives?  Feel free to share them below!

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