A review of DNA analyses of archaeological and ancient tissues

Victoria E. Gibbon*, Goran Štrkalj, John Harington, Clem B. Penny

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Recently, there has been an increase in genetic research involving the extraction and analysis of DNA to obtain information on human and other animal remains. This paper reviews selected aspects of research on ancient and archaeological tissues to address anthropological problems. Factors influencing successful and authentic DNA extraction and amplification, such as molecular preservation, degradation and contamination, are considered. Good molecular preservation and minimising DNA contamination are essential to obtain authentic DNA results. Genetic analyses on skeletal material is still at an early stage in South Africa, but would be of great value to the country's rich historical, archaeological and palaeoanthropological assemblages.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)145-149
    Number of pages5
    JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of South Africa
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2008


    • ADNA authenticity
    • ADNA contamination
    • Ancient DNA (aDNA)
    • Bone extraction
    • Molecular archaeology


    Dive into the research topics of 'A review of DNA analyses of archaeological and ancient tissues'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this