MOLA provided archaeobotanical material to a research study, EvolvApple, being conducted by Alice Fietta and Angela Schlumbaum from the Conservation Genetics Group. The domestication of the apple is known to have taken place in Europe in the Neolithic period but whether it happened at a single or at multiple sites is uncertain.
New advances in ancient DNA studies have opened the door to respond to unanswered questions about the domestication of apples.
Extracting ancient DNA from apple pip samples, including those excavated by MOLA archaeologists, the team are analysing aspects of the genome. The research will better pinpoint the timing of domestication and highlight human selection processes that may have had an influence. The findings of the research are due to be published in 2017.