DNA Sequencing in Cultural Heritage

  • Stefania VaiEmail author
  • Martina Lari
  • David Caramelli
Part of the Topics in Current Chemistry Collections book series (TCCC)


During the last three decades, DNA analysis on degraded samples revealed itself as an important research tool in anthropology, archaeozoology, molecular evolution, and population genetics. Application on topics such as determination of species origin of prehistoric and historic objects, individual identification of famous personalities, characterization of particular samples important for historical, archeological, or evolutionary reconstructions, confers to the paleogenetics an important role also for the enhancement of cultural heritage. A really fast improvement in methodologies in recent years led to a revolution that permitted recovering even complete genomes from highly degraded samples with the possibility to go back in time 400,000 years for samples from temperate regions and 700,000 years for permafrozen remains and to analyze even more recent material that has been subjected to hard biochemical treatments. Here we propose a review on the different methodological approaches used so far for the molecular analysis of degraded samples and their application on some case studies.


Ancient DNA Paleogenetics New generation sequencing Cultural heritage 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly

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