Archaeogenetics and the Carthaginian Empire: Population History in Punic Tunisia (20 min)


Reed Johnston Morgan, Harvard University/Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology; Fatma Touj, Institut National du Patrimoine, Tunisie; Yamen Sgha?er, Institut National du Patrimoine, Tunisie; and Harald Ringbauer, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology


Iron Age Tunisia stood at the center of a connected maritime network stretching across the Mediterranean, both east and west. Traditional archaeological approaches have shown the impact of these contacts on material culture, but major questions remain regarding the demographic changes of the Punic period and the extent of population movement and admixture. Ancient DNA provides a tool to explore these questions. This study presents archaeogenetic analysis of necropoleis from across Tunisia, shedding new light on both chronological and geographic patterns in demography, including shifting connections between North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean, the differing impacts of migration on coastal and inland regions, and demographic variability between rural and urban sites. Careful interpretation of archaeological and historical context also allows the present study to move beyond generalizations about migration in the longue durée, toward an understanding of the intersections between genetic ancestry, kinship, and social identity in the Carthaginian Empire.