Paleogenomics of Animal Domestication
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Starting with dogs, over 15,000 years ago, the domestication of animals has been central in the development of modern societies. Because of its importance for a range of disciplines—including archaeology, biology, and the humanities—domestication has been studied extensively. This chapter reviews how the field of paleogenomics, has, and will continue to, revolutionise our understanding of animal domestication. We discuss how the recovery of ancient DNA from archaeological remains is allowing researchers to overcome inherent shortcomings arising from the analysis of modern DNA alone. In particular, we show how DNA, extracted from ancient substrates, has proven to be a crucial source of information to reconstruct the geographic and temporal origin of domestic species. We also discuss how ancient DNA is being used by geneticists and archaeologists to directly observe evolutionary changes linked to artificial and natural selection to generate a richer understanding of this fascinating process.
- Organismal Biology