Teaser 1531904505

Potential of protein analysis to retrieve dietary information from ancient dental calculus revealed by new study

July 18, 2018
A systematic study of dental calculus from the Iron Age to the present proves the potential of proteomic analysis to reveal information about individual diets, including plants, animals and dairy products consumption. [more]
Teaser 1531301649

Our fractured African roots

July 11, 2018
Humans did not stem from a single ancestral population in one region of Africa, as is often claimed. Instead, our African ancestors were diverse in form and culture, and scattered across the entire continent. [more]
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Oldest evidence of horse veterinary care discovered in Mongolia

July 02, 2018
New research reveals that the practice of veterinary dentistry was innovated on the open steppes of Mongolia and eastern Eurasia – and dates back more than 3000 years. [more]
Teaser 1530782778

Researchers from Germany and the United Kingdom join forces to study the impacts of climate change and resource stress on Arctic ecosystems

July 02, 2018
The UK’s Natural Environment Research Council and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research have  invested almost £8 million in 12 new projects to carry out crucial research in one of the most inhospitable regions on the planet. [more]
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First ancient syphilis genomes decoded

June 21, 2018
Researchers recovered three genomes of the bacterium Treponema pallidum from skeletal remains from colonial-era Mexico, and were able to distinguish the subspecies that causes syphilis from the subspecies that causes yaws. [more]
Teaser 1528447120

Oldest bubonic plague genome decoded

June 08, 2018
A pair of 3,800-year-old skeletons buried together in Russia test positive for a strain of the plague-causing bacterium Yersinia pestis that is ancestral to the strain that caused the Black Death. [more]
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Pacific rats trace 2000 years of human impact on island ecosystems

June 04, 2018
Rats were carried on ships as humans settled the remote islands of the Pacific - analysis of the rats’ remains reveals changes humans made to the island ecosystems. [more]
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New clues to the origins of agriculture

June 04, 2018
The invention of agriculture changed humans and the environment forever. The practice originated independently in a least a dozen different places over several thousand years. But why did agriculture begin in those places and at those particular times in human history? [more]
Original 1526370480

The evolution of language? There’s an app for that

May 15, 2018
A smartphone game designed by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History aims to study how languages evolve [more]
Teaser 1525930788

A European origin for leprosy?

May 10, 2018
The largest study to date on ancient leprosy DNA reveals previously unknown diversity of strains in Medieval Europe. [more]
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Stone age hepatitis B virus decoded

May 10, 2018
Study recovers oldest viral genomes, and shows the hepatitis B virus has been circulating in Europe for at least 7000 years [more]
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78,000 year cave record from East Africa shows early cultural innovations

May 09, 2018
A team of researchers have demonstrated that while some Indigenous hunter-gatherers in Sri Lanka made use of agricultural resources and trade connections with farmers and colonial powers, others continued to subsist primarily on tropical forest resources as late as the 19th century. [more]
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Humans were present in the Philippine islands as early as 700,000 years ago

May 02, 2018
A team of researchers have demonstrated that while some Indigenous hunter-gatherers in Sri Lanka made use of agricultural resources and trade connections with farmers and colonial powers, others continued to subsist primarily on tropical forest resources as late as the 19th century. [more]
Original 1524736443

Evidence for persistent forest reliance by Indigenous peoples in historical Sri Lanka

April 25, 2018
A team of researchers have demonstrated that while some Indigenous hunter-gatherers in Sri Lanka made use of agricultural resources and trade connections with farmers and colonial powers, others continued to subsist primarily on tropical forest resources as late as the 19th century. [more]
Teaser 1523284040

First human migration out of Africa much more geographically widespread than previously thought  

April 09, 2018
The first Homo sapiens fossil discovery from Saudi Arabia dates to 90,000 years ago during a time when the region’s deserts were replaced by grasslands. [more]
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New standards for ancient protein studies set forth by multi-national group of researchers

March 26, 2018
The new field of palaeoproteomics, harnessing cutting-edge techniques to analyze ancient proteins, is growing quickly. Researchers set out standards and precautions that aim to provide it with a firm foundation. [more]
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New linguistic analysis finds that Dravidian language family is approximately 4,500 years old

March 21, 2018
The Dravidian language family, varieties of which are spoken by 220 million people across South Asia, is crucial in understanding the prehistory not only of the subcontinent but of Eurasia as a whole. [more]
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Intensification of agriculture and social hierarchies evolve together, study finds

March 19, 2018
Computational analyses of the evolution of 155 Island South East Asian and Pacific societies reveal the way social and material factors combine to drive major transitions in human social organization. [more]
Teaser 1521140119

Scientists discover genomic ancestry of Stone Age North Africans from Morocco, which shows links to the Near East and sub-Saharan Africa  

March 15, 2018
Ancient nuclear DNA from 15,000-year-old modern humans from Morocco, the oldest ever recovered from Africa, shows dual genetic ancestry to ancient Near Eastern and to sub-Saharan African populations. [more]
Teaser 1520862016

Tracking the spread of early hunter-gatherers through language

March 12, 2018
Scientists have further evidence that an ancient family of languages spread over most of the Australian continent in the last 6000 years, rapidly replacing pre-existing languages. But the puzzle remains as to why. [more]
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International Women's Day 2018 at the MPI-SHH

March 08, 2018
This month we will be highlighting female employees and their work, beginning with Director Nicole Boivin of the Department of Archaeology. [more]
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Ball or stuffed toy - do dogs “know” what they’re smelling?

March 05, 2018
Dogs create a mental representation of objects that they perceive through smell, a new study shows – and are surprised if what they find at the end of the trail differs from what they expected to find. [more]
Teaser 1519744562

Ancient DNA reveals genetic replacement despite language continuity in the South Pacific  

February 27, 2018
New genetic research reveals the complex demographic history of Vanuatu, explaining how Austronesian languages were retained throughout its history despite near-total replacement of early Austronesian-Lapita with Papuan ancestry. [more]
Teaser 1519216171

Ancient DNA study reveals the prehistory of Southeastern Europe

February 21, 2018
Second largest ancient DNA study provides insight into the arrival of the first farmers to Europe and their interactions with hunter-gatherers. [more]
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Ancient DNA reveals impact of the “Beaker Phenomenon” on prehistoric Europeans

February 21, 2018
Largest ancient DNA study ever conducted answers the long-debated question of whether the spread of “Beaker” pottery was due to population migrations or the movement of cultural ideas. [more]
Teaser 1517487504

A typical Central European - The genome of the architect of the Dresden Frauenkirche deciphered

February 01, 2018
A research team from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the University of Tübingen examines the genetic material of 18th century German architect George Bähr to learn more about his appearance and health. [more]
Teaser 1517264908

Northern European population history revealed by ancient human genomes

January 30, 2018
Analysis of ancient DNA found that Scandinavia was settled by hunter-gatherers via a southern and a northern route, and reveals that agriculture was likely introduced by migrating agriculturalists. [more]
Teaser 1516020578

Possible cause of early colonial-era Mexican epidemic identified

January 15, 2018
Salmonella enterica, the bacterium responsible for enteric fever, may be the long-debated cause of the 1545-1550 AD “cocoliztli” epidemic in Oaxaca, Mexico that heavily affected the native population. [more]
 
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