, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 233-244,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 10 Aug 2007

Ancient plant DNA in archaeobotany


Plant diaspores, tissues and wood are preserved in natural and anthropogenic sediments. Also, over the past centuries, plants have been collected in herbaria. These plant remains carry macroscopic and molecular information, making them a rich source for reconstructing past plant use, agriculture, diet or vegetation—they are thus proxies for past economies, ecology, migrations or trade. This article focuses on the application of ancient DNA analyses from plants excavated at Holocene archaeological sites. A short methodological section is added to illustrate possibilities and limitations of ancient DNA research in plants.

Communicated by F. Bittmann.