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.