Ancient Migrations Study by anthropology scholar examines ancient DNA to reveal history of Central and South Asian populations

In “The formation of human populations in South and Central Asia” in the journal Science, researchers including Douglas J. Kennett, a UC Santa Barbara professor of anthropology, report sequencing the DNA of 523 never-before-studied ancient humans.

“It’s an amazing and massive undertaking that addresses a number of important questions,” said Kennett, whose lab at Penn State University, his previous appointment, directly radiocarbon dated over 250 individuals in the study to establish the chronological framework for the spread of Central and South Asian populations. “There are only about 2,000 complete ancient genomes that have been sequenced in the world, and over 500 of them come from this study.”