Information for

Institute members


June 2016
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Talk by Päivi Onkamo

from 11:00 to 12:30

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Talk by Jargal Badagarov

from 14:00 to 15:00

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Latest publications

Maria A. Spyrou, Rezeda I. Tukhbatova, Michal Feldman, Joanna Drath, Sacha Kacki, Julia Beltrán de Heredia, Susanne Arnold, Airat G. Sitdikov, Dominique Castex, Joachim Wahl, Ilgizar R. Gazimzyanov, Danis K. Nurgaliev, Alexander Herbig, Kirsten I. Bos, and Johannes Krause
Historical Y. pestis genomes reveal the European Black Death as the source of ancient and modern plague pandemics

Nicole Boivin, Melinda Zeder, Dorian Fuller, Alison Crowther, Greger Larson, Jon Erlandson, Tim Denham, and Michael Petraglia (2016), Ecological consequences of human niche construction: Examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

News from the institute

European Black Death as source of modern plague

New study in Cell Host & Microbe: A single strain of plague bacteria sparked multiple historical and modern pandemics. [more]

Humans affected natural ecosystems for thousand of years

‘Pristine’ landscapes haven’t existed for thousands of years due to human activity, says a new study led by N. Boivin in the journal PNAS. [more]

Ancient crops provide a window into Madagascar’s past

By analyzing the remains of ancient crops an international research team has provided the first archaeological signature of the westward Austronesian expansion. [more]

Institute Profile

The overarching goal of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History is to explore the history of humans using state-of-the-art analytical and genetic methods. Scientists from different disciplines, such as genetics, linguistics, archeology, anthropology and history are working together  to answer fundamental questions about the biological and cultural evolution of man from the paleolithic until today, and they jointly develop innovative methods, in particular in the areas of genome sequencing, language documentation, bioinformatics and phylogeography.

The institute was founded in March 2014. Founding directors are Johannes Krause (Department of Archaeogenetics) and Russell Gray (Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution). A third Department of Archaeology (Director Nicole Boivin) started on December 1st.


By founding and establishing the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena the evolutionary research gets a place where a broad range of biological and cultural questions about human history and development will be answered by innovative methods; and at the same time evolutionary research returns to its origins in Germany.


Predecessor Institute

Before the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History was established the Max Planck Institute of Economics was located in Jena from 1993 until 2014.
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