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The Science of Roman HistoryBiology, Climate, and the Future of the Past$
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Walter Scheidel

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691195988

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691195988.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Modern DNA and the Ancient Mediterranean

Modern DNA and the Ancient Mediterranean

(p.224) Chapter Seven Modern DNA and the Ancient Mediterranean
The Science of Roman History

Roy J. King

Peter A. Underhill

Princeton University Press

This chapter takes a look at genetics and its role in the study of ancient history. Genetics is the study of inheritance, and DNA variation is the essence of heredity. DNA sequence differences underpin genetics overall and population genetics is the study of such diversity in populations and how it changes through time. Reconstructing human history using modern DNA has been a longstanding endeavor rooted in sampling practicality. If a mutational change does not negatively affect the individual's ability to reproduce, it may be passed down to each succeeding generation, eventually becoming established in a population. Such mutations, whether beneficial, harmful, or neutral, can serve as genetic markers.

Keywords:   genetics, modern DNA, DNA variation, inheritance, heredity, reconstructing history, population genetics, population diversity

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