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Mapping The Neolithic Expansion In The Mediterranean: A Scientific Collective To Promote Archaeogenomics And Evolutionary Biology Research In Turkey

Project description

Promoting archaeogenomic partnerships in Turkey

An international scientific collective has been established to promote archaeogenomics and evolutionary biology research in Turkey. The goal of the EU-funded NEOMATRIX project is to establish the Ancient DNA Lab (MEAD) at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Turkey, as a centre of excellence through partnerships with the first ancient DNA centre in Greece at the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH), the Stockholm University’s Centre for Palaeogenetics, and the Palaeogenomics Lab at Institut Jacques Monod of the University of Paris and CNRS. Cross-lab visits, workshops and courses will provide further training for early-stage researchers, and communication activities will be organised to attract new researchers to the field. The common theme is the investigation of Neolithic expansion across the Mediterranean 8 millennia ago, which connected Anatolia with Europe.


NEOMATRIX is aimed to set the Middle East Technical University (METU) Ancient DNA Lab (MEAD) in Ankara, Turkey, as a centre of excellence in European science.
This will be achieved through MEAD partnering with three major archaeogenomics teams with complementary qualities, and addressing unique challenges MEAD has been facing in scientific production, such as its relative isolation and difficulties in attracting skilled ESRs.
The partners include (a) the first ancient DNA center in Greece at the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH), with strong expertise in population genomics and isotope analyses, (b) Stockholm University’s (SU) Center for Palaeogenetics, a leading ancient genomics center, and (c) the Paleogenomics Lab at the Institute Jacques Monod at CNRS, with deep expertise in animal and human ancient DNA research, especially in the analysis of poorly preserved samples.
The activities involve training through research-oriented cross-lab visits, workshops focused on method development, short courses to attract young scientists at MEAD, and well-designed communication activities including exhibitions. All activities will be built upon, and stimulated by, a joint research project where all teams will collaborate to tackle a challenging problem: the Neolithic expansion across the Mediterranean about 8 millennia ago that connected Anatolia with the west.
This is a long-standing problem in prehistory that will be analysed employing novel wet and dry lab tools, and through novel dimensions, such as the evolving roles of kinship and gender and their relationship with social inequality.
By the end of the 3-year project, the METU team will have closed network gaps and accumulated precious knowhow in state-of-the-art archaeogenomics. As importantly, NEOMATRIX will create a collaborative environment for widening democratic networks among archaeogenomic labs in Europe, allowing local teams to produce excellent interdisciplinary science.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 211 075,00
06800 Ankara

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Batı Anadolu Ankara Ankara
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 211 075,00

Participants (3)