Construire en terre 2 : pour une approche culturelle, technique et sociale de l'architecture Actualités 26ème Congrès de la SAfA = 26th Meeting of the Society of African Archaeologists

Reconstructing the human past: using ancient and modern genomics

Congrès, colloques, réunions


13-16 september 2022
EMBL Heidelberg / Virtual




EMBO | EMBL Symposium


Combining genome-wide data from ancient and modern populations opens new windows into the past. Population-scale sequencing projects investigating past and present human diversity have already provided us with extraordinary insights into patterns of human variation and mobility through time and space. The available dataset of genome-wide data from modern humans has approximately tripled since the first edition of ‘Reconstructing the human past: using ancient and modern genomics’ in 2019, and the ability to carry out further large-scale studies on the scale of whole cemeteries and deeply sampled time transects makes it now possible to ask and answer questions that were simply impossible to address before.


The integration of archaeological evidence and historical records with genomic data elucidates aspects of human history and the cultural evolution of past societies. Genome-wide data from archaic human remains, such as Neandertals and Denisovans, allows to investigate human evolution in action and to provide direct insights into genetic changes that define our own lineage. The potential of ancient DNA data to reconstruct genomic variation of human-associated animals and plants to understand the process of domestication and their evolutionary trajectory is equally promising to such studies in humans.


Furthermore, the reconstruction of ancient pathogen genomes and metagenomic analysis of the oral and gut microbiomes provides us with molecular fossils to study microbial evolution through time. This meeting will involve scientists from population genetics, bioinformatics, microbiology, anthropology, archaeology and history and will strengthen future interactions in this young research field that is already changing the way we think about our past and will shape how we study genetic variation in the future.


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