A visit to Ankara is always uplifting, no matter how short. This one started with a visit to the new aDNA laboratory in Beytepe at Hacettepe University. Yilmaz Selim and Fusun Özer have designed a pretty nice facility there, and it is just about to be taken into use. I think a facility needs a couple of things to be successful; equipment, know-how, material, and fundings. This one has most of it. The facility is certainly up to date, Fusun and Mehmet Somel (who is one of the collaborators behind this unit) has shown their aDNA competence in several publications, and Yilmaz has both the material and the knowledge about it. Let’s see where this is going, but I think it stands a good chance of being successful in the field of archaeogenetics.
But Ankara has already generated much data from various sites and periods in the larger region. A war-room related to results from some of the materials provided for a quit refreshing afternoon. I am always amazed by the creativity when geneticists, anthropologists, and archaeologists gather around data and results for a preparation-seminar. These war-rooms are the starting of the end of a particular study, and a possibility to freely express ideas and reactions to the outcome of recent work. This one, hosted by Yilmaz at Hacettepe University, did not disappoint.
A creative war-room in Ankara