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Archaeology through DNA analysis - Essay Example

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Archaeology through DNA analysis

An example can be seen through a recent discovery which led a group of researchers' claim into having been able to positively identified the remains of Copernicus-the first astronomer who theorized that it is the Sun, not the Earth, that is in the center of the universe. Such findings have put an end for years of debates and speculation over the location where the 'unsung hero' was exactly buried.
The article ensues from the discovery of a grave and remains under the floor tiles of the cathedral where Copernicus was purportedly buried by Polish archaeologist Jerzy Gassowski and his team last August of 2005. Hence, a thorough examination of the article suggests that there is heavy dependence on the field findings for which the resources for the DNA analysis were indeed drawn from. Such were the tooth and a femur bone of the remains that were matched with a separate finding of two strands of hair from one of the said astronomer's books. Furthermore in support of the result through a dissimilar process, experts' reconstruction of the skull shows distinct indications of several facial features from Copernicus's portraits. This includes a broken nose and a cut above the left eye which coincides with a scar mark. The reconstruction also paved way to a visualization of Copernicus's face in flesh.
On account of the quantitative significance of these field findings, it can still be assumed that the performed DNA analysis endowed such findings with more meaning. Through the DNA analysis, experts and researchers were able to merge the "minor" individual discoveries (i.e. the suspected remains, the hair in Copernicus's book and Copernicus's portraits) into a more conclusive and well-harmonized "major" discovery.
Consequently, this article demonstrates that archaeology is not enclosed within pure discoveries but it also concerns verification of those discoveries. And now, with the advancement of technology, we are stimulated by the fact that even the smallest and most seemingly marginal of field findings before, that of a single strand of hair can also possibly yield significant contributions to the verification of a major discovery. It is important to note then that "minor" discoveries can be as relevant as "major" discoveries such that the former also constitutes the latter. With the technology of DNA analysis at hand, it can be presumed that archaeologists today are faced with deeper challenges on extracting and handling evidences from archaeological sites and in material resources.
More so, the article also illustrates another magnificent advancement in technology. That is, the ability of experts today to generate a flesh visualization of deceased beings-whether humans or animals, through the reconstructions of their skulls. With this, the public may become more interested and be able to relate more with history as they are being discovered.
Study of Migration in Africa through DNA analysis
Another popular function of DNA analysis, which has been mentioned earlier, is genealogy detection. Recently, this technique has been used by Stanford University researchers in order to determine traces of ancestry between two regions in Africa at different periods of time. This has led the researchers to have successfully established that animal-herding methods were brought to Africa through migration rather than through the sharing of knowledge in between groups of ...Show more

Summary

Over the years, the technique of DNA analysis has been gaining recognition as a very advantageous tool in archaeology. Indeed, perhaps for most of us, DNA analysis can be considered as the most conclusive technology when it comes to the identification and examination of human beings…
Author : christiansenjac
Archaeology through DNA analysis essay example
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