A Survey of Direct and Indirect Approaches to Tracking Migration in the Archaeological Record

Erik Gjesfjeld
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Human beings have demonstrated a remarkable ability to colonize and inhabit new landscapes throughout the world. From our first migration out of Africa to more recent population diasporas, the archaeological and historical record has served as an important resource for understanding the movement of populations across space and through time. This talk will survey recent advancements in methods used by archaeologists to directly and indirectly examine migration events in the past. This will include exploring the potential of modern and ancient DNA to directly track the movement of individuals and the use of quantitative macroevolutionary methods to indirectly investigate migration through temporal changes in material culture diversity. This research ultimately provides a long-term perspective on the dynamic impact of migrations on the demographic and cultural history of populations.

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