News 2018

Corentin Bochaton awarded the Roger Heim Prize
In December 2018, Corentin Bochaton was awarded the second-annual Roger Heim Prize by the Society of Friends of the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, France. more
Stone tools linked to ancient human ancestors found in Arabia with a surprisingly recent date
Stone handaxes, similar to those made by early humans as much as 1.5 million years ago, have been dated for the first time in the Arabian Peninsula, to less than 190,000 years old, where their production may have endured until the arrival of Homo sapiens. more
Taylor and colleagues win DAAD research award to study the early history of horses in Australia
The project “Horses and Human Societies in New World Australia” will explore the impact that horses have had on the people and environments of Australia since their introduction. more
International Application of Archaeological Science - Training Course 2019
The Department of Archaeology will hold its International Applications of Archaeological Sciences Training Course from 20-30 March 2019. The application deadline is November 21, 2018. more
Distinguished Lecture by Prof. Amy Bogaard: "Recent Explorations of Early Urban Agroecology in Western Eurasia"
Date & Time: Nov. 7, 2018, 15:00
Speaker: Prof. Amy Bogaard
Room: Villa V14
Host: Department of Archaeology more
Major corridor of Silk Road already home to high-mountain herders over 4000 years ago
Long before the formal creation of the Silk Road, pastoral herders living in the mountains of Central Asia helped form new cultural and biological links across the region. more
Earliest hominin migrations into the Arabian Peninsula required no novel adaptations
New study provides earliest evidence for hominins in ‘Green Arabia’ between 500,000 and 300,000 years ago alongside direct environmental data indicating productive, relatively humid grasslands. more
Patrcik Roberst awarded as best young researcher by Beutenberg Campus e.V.
Patrick Roberts was awarded the prize for the best up-and-coming researcher by the Beutenberg Canpus e.V. as part of the "Noble Gespräche" event series. A Laudatio was held by Michael Petraglia. more
DA Workshop: Panga ya Saidi and the Emergence of Cultural Modernity in East Africa
One Day Workshop: October 30, 2018.
Organised by Francesco d’Errico and Michael Petraglia more
Distinguished Lecture by Prof. Xiaoqiang Li: "The origin, spread and adoption of agriculture in China since the Late Pleistocene"
Date & Time: Oct 24, 2018, 15:00
Speaker: Prof. Xiaoqiang Li
Room: Villa V14
Host: Department of Archaeology more
DA Workshop: Prehistory and Societal Development in Eastern Asia
October 23, 2018.
Joint one-day workshop between the Department of Archaeology and the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), Chinese Academy of Sciences. Organised by Shixia Yang and Michael Petraglia. more
DA Workshop: Mosaic of Millet: Adoption of cultigens by pastoral populations in Central and Inner Asia
Date: 17-18 October 2018
Room: Villa V03
Organized by Alicia R. Ventresca Miller more
Cuisine of early farmers revealed by the analysis of proteins preserved in prehistoric pottery from Çatalhöyük
Analysis of proteins preserved in bowls and jars from this prehistoric site in central Anatolia shows the foodstuffs inside its inhabitants’ pottery vessels in unprecedented spectrum and resolution. more
Maria Guagnin wins Gerda Henkel Foundation award to study and conserve Saudi Arabian sculptures
The project “Dating and conservation of ancient camel sculptures in northern Saudi Arabia” will last approximately one year. more
Isotope Research in Archaeology
The Stable Isotope Research Group of the Department of Archaeology is hosting a workshop on recent developments and future avenues of isotope research in archaeology.
Date: Sep 17, 2018
Room: Villa V14
Host: Department of Archaeology more
Fish makes you older - Ricardo Fernandes wins Max Planck Day ‘Science Slam!’
Congratulations to Ricardo Fernandes from the Department of Archaology for winning the Max Planck Day ‘Science Slam!’ hosted at Max Planck headquarters in Munich on Friday the 14th of September. more
"Mentoring across continents"
New post in TrowelBlazers profiling Department of Archaeology Director Nicole Boivin, written by Alicia Ventresca Miller. more
Ancient livestock dung heaps are now African wildlife hotspots
Nomadic herders enriched savannah landscapes over three millennia, study finds. more
Massive Monumental Cemetery Built by Eastern Africa’s Earliest Herders Discovered Near Lake Turkana, Kenya
The 5,000-year-old cemetery is the earliest and largest monumental cemetery in eastern Africa and was built by an egalitarian society of mobile pastoralists. more
Stable Isotope Group demonstrates sampling and pretreatment of tooth enamel carbonate for stable carbon and oxygen isotope analysis
Article and video detail the proper methods for bulk and sequential tooth enamel sampling as well as pretreatment of archaeological and paleontological samples. more
Origins and spread of Eurasian fruits traced to the ancient Silk Road
New research reveals that many of the most familiar fruits in our kitchens today were cultivated in Central Asia over a millennium ago. These arboreal crops appear to have been an important part of the diet, and likely the commerce, along the Eurasian trade routes. more
Homo sapiens developed a new ecological niche that separated it from other hominins
New study argues that the greatest defining feature of our species is not ‘symbolism’ or dramatic cognitive change but rather its unique ecological position as a global ‘generalist specialist’. more
"Pre-industrial Anthropocene in tropical forests" - New publication in the journal Anthropocene
Researchers from the Department of Archaeology, MPI-SHH argue that archaeology and the study of past environments are crucial for defining the point at which our species began to dominate Earth systems. more
Potential of protein analysis to retrieve dietary information from ancient dental calculus revealed by new study
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
Our fractured African roots
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
New funding initiative enables researchers from Germany and the United Kingdom join forces to study the impacts of climate change and resource stress on Arctic ecosystems
Patrick Roberts is a co-lead investigator of the joint UK German project LOMVIA. Together with Norman Ratcliffe he uses biochemical and ecological studies of indigenous and invasive Arctic seabirds to study the local impacts of climate change and resource stress on species composition and competition in this increasingly changeable environment. more
Oldest evidence of horse veterinary care discovered in Mongolia
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
Evidence for variation in ancient livestock pasturing strategies in the Kazakh steppe
Differences in carbon and nitrogen isotope values between ancient livestock indicate that horses were grazed extensively, while ruminants were grazed intensively. more
Visit of young international diplomats on June 6th
The Federal Foreign Office's Foreign Service Academy brings together young diplomats from around the world in its 9th International Diplomat Programme. The aim of this training initiative is to perceive foreign policy as an opportunity for cooperation and as a basis upon which to build the foundation for a working partnership on global matters. The programme offers a broad selection of seminars, informative visits and study tours, such as a visit at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. more
Microbial Diversity of Traditional Dairy Ecologies
Heirloom Microbes Project Workshop
Date: June 17-20, 2018
Room: Villa V03
Host: Heirloom Microbes Project more
Archaeology for Kindergarten kids

Archaeology for Kindergarten kids

A group of pre-school children from the Dualingo Kindergarten visited the MPI for the Science of Human History at the beginning of June. Jana Zech and her colleagues have explained to the children how and what archaeologists research. Picture: skull models of various primitive human beings called Hominins.
Pacific rats trace 2000 years of human impact on island ecosystems
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
DAAD-funded project presented at the 7th Argentinian Congress on Archaeometrics
Verónica Zuccarelli presented data from her DAAD-funded research stay at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History to the VIIth Argentinian Congress on Archaeometrics, 17-20 April 2018. more
Human footprints found in northwestern Saudi Arabia near the city of Tabuk could be more than 85,000 years old
The president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Prince Sultan bin Salman, announced the find, made by Michael Petraglia, Huw Groucutt and colleagues. more
78,000 year cave record from East Africa shows early cultural innovations
The first substantial cave record from coastal Kenya ranges from the Middle Stone Age to the Iron Age, showing gradual changes in cultural, technological and symbolic innovations beginning at 67,000 years ago. more
Humans were present in the Philippine islands as early as 700,000 years ago
An international team of researchers has discovered the oldest evidence for the peopling of the Philippines by hominins. Their findings at the archaeological site of Kalinga (Rizal Municipality, Kalinga Province, Luzon Island) were dated to 709,000 years old. more
Patrick Roberts wins Beutenberg Campus award

Patrick Roberts wins Beutenberg Campus award

Congratulations to Patrick Roberts from the Department of Archaology for winning the Beutenberg-Campus Jena e.V's award for outstanding achievement by a young researcher. Patricks work has uncovered new insights into the relationship between humans and tropical forests in the past.
First human migration out of Africa much more geographically widespread than previously thought
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
the Future of the PAST - New archaeological science approaches to cultural interaction and biological exchange in Prehistory
Date & Time: April 5, 2018, 9:00 - 18:00
Room: Villa V14
Hosts: Alision Crowther, Department of Archaeology more
New standards for ancient protein studies set forth by multi-national group of researchers
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
Prof. Michael Petraglia speaks at University of Cambridge memorial event for Dr. Bridget Allchin, a pioneer in the field of South Asian archaeology
Prof. Petraglia’s talk at Wolfson College, University of Cambridge “Following in Bridget Allchin’s Footsteps: the Current State of Stone Age Archaeology” reflected on Dr. Allchin’s pioneering work and contributions to the field throughout her career. more
Department of Archaeology hosts a weeklong workshop on “International Applications of Archaeological Science”
Participants from around the world will attend to learn about the latest cutting-edge techniques in archaeological science. more
International Women's Day 2018 at the MPI-SHH
This month we will be highlighting female employees and their work, beginning with Director Nicole Boivin of the Department of Archaeology. Check back here throughout the month for updates! more
Distinguished Lecture by Dr. María Martinón-Torres - "The Evolution of Homo sapiens: Asian Perspectives"
Speaker: Dr. María Martinón-Torres, Director, Centro National Research Center on Human Evolution (CENIEH), Burgos, Spain
Date & Time: March 14, 2018, 15:30
Room: Villa V14
Hosts: Michael Petraglia and Nicole Boivin, Department of Archaeology more
Joint MPI Job Offer: Research Group Leader (W2) - Extreme events in biological, societal and Earth systems
The Max Planck Institutes for the Science of Human History, Biogeochemistry and Chemical Ecology invite applications for a Max Planck Research Group Leader (W2) position on the topic of extreme events in biological, societal and Earth systems. more
"Calling all archaeologists"
Stable isotope research group of the MPI-SHH provides recommendations on terminology, methodology, data handling, and reporting when developing and reviewing stable isotope applications in archaeology. more
Visit from the Counsellor for Science & Technology of the Indian Embassy in Germany
Mr. Rajachandran Madhan and researchers discussed ongoing projects in India and possibilities for future collaborations. more
Dr. Shixia Yang granted a Humboldt Research Fellowship to conduct research at the Institute
Dr. Yang, whose research areas include Paleolithic East Asia, lithic techniques and raw material sourcing, is a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. more
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