Genomic Research on European Migrations at the End of Antiquity

Presented by
Patrick Geary
School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton University

Thursday, March 3, 2016 from 6:00-7:30pm
Lattie Coor Hall, Room 174
ASU Tempe Campus
Free and open to the public

Eventbrite - Genomic Research on European Migrations at the End of Antiquity

The extent to which migration into the Roman Empire at the end of Antiquity contributed to the collapse of imperial power in the West and the transformation of the Roman world has been debated for two centuries. Neither written nor archaeological sources are adequate to allow scholars to determine the extent of population movements, the internal structure of the militarized barbarian groups entering the Empire, or their demographic impact on the indigenous populations in regions in which they settled. Indeed, many scholars argue that the “barbarian invasions” never actually took place, at least not in the way they were described by romantic historians of the nineteenth century and by many contemporary politicians and pundits today who want to draw facile comparisons between medieval migrations and the current European migration crisis. Next Generation Sequencing of ancient DNA is providing new data on the demographic structures of Europe at the end of Antiquity. In this lecture Patrick Geary will describe the research his international and interdisciplinary team of archaeologists, historians, and geneticists is conducting on burials from Hungary and Italy from the sixth century that offers a new way of using genomics to answer questions about the deep history of Europe.