As of January 2019, Dr. Thompson will be at Yale University

Prospective students, please note that I will not be at Emory after December 2018. Until December 2018, please continue to correspond with me at my Emory email address.

This is an exciting move, but bittersweet. Emory University and especially the Department of Anthropology have been the most excellent of places to work, and I hope to maintain the many ties I have made here well into the future.

We are now excavating at the site with the oldest ancient DNA from Africa

Here is some exciting news that has kept us all very busy this semester! Our new project at Mount Hora in the Mzimba District of northern Malawi is the site that yielded the oldest known ancient DNA from anywhere in Africa. Although it is a wonderful site and an exciting result, I am even more excited by what this means for the future of ancient DNA analysis in Africa. Analysis of the DNA of ancient Africans has traditionally suffered from poor preservation, and so those of us working in Africa have not had access to the richness of information researchers in Europe have now begun to enjoy on an almost daily basis. So I do hope these remains, dated to ~8100 years ago, do not remain the oldest known DNA from Africa for long! But for now, please see this wonderful write-up and video by Carol Clark of Emory University, and some accompanying publicity from the New York Times, Discover, and Smithsonian Magazine.