Documenting Domestication. New Genetic and Archaeological Paradigms
by Melinda Zeder

Pages: 377
Publisher: --
Edition: 1st., 2006
Language: English
ISBN: 978-0520246386


Domesticates and the process of their domestication have been central, foundation areas of study in both biology and archaeology for more than 100 years. Advances in molecular and archaeobiological techniques over the past two decades have resulted in a virtual explosion of studies exploring the origins of plant and animal domestication. New genetic techniques have allowed plant and animal geneticists to identify the wild progenitors of key domestic species and the likely geographic context of initial domestication, to explore the diffusion of domestic crops and livestock, and even to begin to decode the specific genetic shifts that structured the transformation of a wild species into a domestic one. At the same time archaeobiologists have developed increasingly specialized approaches to the study of plant and animal domestication. The use of high-power scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the development of advanced techniques for the recovery and identification of plant macro- and microfossils have resulted in sophisticated approaches for distinguishing wild from domestic plants and animals in archaeological assemblages.

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