A complete physical map of the DNA of an organism, consisting of overlapping clones spanning the genome, is an extremely useful tool for genomic analysis. Various methods for the construction of such physical maps are available. One approach is to assemble the physical map by "fingerprinting" a large number of random clones and inferring overlap between clones with sufficiently similar fingerprints. E.S. Lander and M.S. Waterman (1988, Genomics 2:231-239) have recently provided a mathematical analysis of such physical mapping schemes, useful for planning such a project. Another approach is to assemble the physical map by "anchoring" a large number of random clones--that is, by taking random short regions called anchors and identifying the clones containing each anchor. Here, we provide a mathematical analysis of such a physical mapping scheme.