Arkeologiforum and the naturalization of ancient DNA

Arkeologiforum was arranged by Populär Arkeologi today. Populär Arkeologi is a part of Vetenskapsmedia i Sverige AB, a family that also includes Forskning och Framsteg, Språk, Modern Psykologi, and Fokus. I have been engaged by them previously, and always been impressed with their professionalism and how informative and still entertaining they manage to get their events.  A couple of archaeologists were presenting and discussing various things at a sold-out venue at Hilton Hotel in Stockholm. My role was to discuss the future of archaeogenetics with Anna Källén, and with our very non-political and only scientific ATLAS project as a starting point (sorry, I know that there are some few people out there who really wants ATLAS to be political, but I have to disappoint you).

It was a good day. Ludvig Papmehl-Dufay gave us the latest updates on Sandbyborg, Jonathan Lindström did an excellent presentation on what can go wrong when feelings are trumping facts, and Anna Kjellström and Torun Zachrisson provided an excellent discussion on females in late Iron Age and early Medieval times. Four archaeologists I consider to be among the very best I know.  I was also happy to hear how natural various ancient DNA results was described and used in these presentations. The use of archaeogenetics as a tool in archaeology is not controversial or exclusive any more. These kind of events also attracts the best kind of audience, people who have made an effort to come and listen and learn and discuss. Popular Science can be done in different ways, and this is one of the better ways.

Discussing the future of archaeogenetics with Anna Källén

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Photo: Henrik Höjer