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Trends Genet. 2006 Mar;22(3):139-55. Epub 2006 Feb 3.

Documenting domestication: the intersection of genetics and archaeology.

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Archaeobiology Program, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560-0112, USA.


Domestication, a process of increasing mutual dependence between human societies and the plant and animal populations they target, has long been an area of interest in genetics and archaeology. Geneticists seek out markers of domestication in the genomes of domesticated species, both past and present day. Archaeologists examine the archaeological record for complementary markers--evidence of the human behavior patterns that cause the genetic changes associated with domestication, and the morphological changes in target species that result from them. In this article, we summarize the recent advances in genetics and archaeology in documenting plant and animal domestication, and highlight several promising areas where the complementary perspectives of both disciplines provide reciprocal illumination.

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