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Indonesians in Medieval Africa October 22, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
Indonesians in Medieval Africa

Despite all the excitement about the use of DNA in history, those elusive strands have so far proved surprisingly unhelpful in our text books. The problem is that populations with similar DNA live close to each other and that it is next to impossible to give a chronological breakdown of when a given locality changes […]

A Romani Mystery in Eleventh-Century England March 9, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval
A Romani Mystery in Eleventh-Century England

***Dedicated to Stephen D*** Our knowledge of the ancient and medieval movements of peoples depends on extraordinarily inadequate contemporary sources and theĀ  deadly (and often unsupported) prejudices of historians and archaeologists. But now, with the use of DNA sampling and other techniques, including isotope analysis, science is coming to the rescue: giving us surprising insights […]

DNA Champion November 24, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
DNA Champion

Our DNA is the damnedest stuff, it gets everywhere: not only forensically but also historically. Just the other day, Beach reviewed the evidence (2010) that one medieval Amerindian woman in Iceland passed on her DNA to eighty modern Icelanders. Then there are plenty of other dramatic examples of DNA spreading through history, especially now that […]