Divided by DNA: The uneasy relationship between archaeology and ancient genomics

Two fields in the midst of a technological revolution are struggling to reconcile their views of the past.

Thirty kilometres north of Stonehenge, through the rolling countryside of southwest England, stands a less-famous window into Neolithic Britain. Established around 3600 BC by early farming communities, the West Kennet long barrow is an earthen mound with five chambers, adorned with giant stone slabs. At first, it served as a tomb for some three dozen men, women and children. But people continued to visit for more than 1,000 years, filling the chambers with relics such as pottery and beads that have been interpreted as tributes to ancestors or gods.