Sunday, January 27, 2008

Renfrew on DNA and looting

Scotsman (Susan Mansfield)

The link here to Egypt is a bit tenuous, but it is an interesting piece which does reference the Egyptian civilization so I have included it:

FEW of us realise we carry around in our bodies the seeds of our most distant past. But recent developments in science indicate that the analysis of the DNA of living people can shine a light on the earliest history of the human race.

Professor Colin Renfrew, a leading archaeologist, will describe how advances in molecular genetics in the past ten years have improved our understanding of human origins in a lecture in Edinburgh on Monday, part of celebrations of the Society of Antiquities of London's tercentenary.

Lord Renfrew has been described as having "an almost unequalled influence in the world of western archaeology". A former Disney Professor of Archaeology at Cambridge University, his recent books include Figuring It Out: What Are We? Where Do We Come From? and Prehistory: The Making of the Human Mind.

"Very often, the further back you go, the murkier things become," he says. "But with recent developments in molecular genetics, we've got a very clear idea of the outlines of the very beginning of the human story."

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