Press Releases 2016

"No Anthropocene Without Us!"

"No Anthropocene Without Us!"

December 07, 2016

The earth sciences have defined a new human age - now social scientists are calling for broader and more interdisciplinary discussion more

The Hidden Bacterial Legacy of Ancient Cultures

Dr. Jessica Hendy and Dr. Christina Warinner win the 200,000 € Annual Donation Award of the Max Planck Society more

Archaeogenetics Reveals Unknown Migration in the South Pacific

Genetic evidence overturn established colonization model. more

Sound of Words Is No Coincidence

Particular sounds are preferred or avoided in non-related languages far more often than previously assumed more

<p><strong>Shedding Light on the Justinian Plague</strong></p>

First complete reconstruction of the early medieval pathogen genome Yersinia pestis from Bavarian skeletons more

The famous World War II treasure probably never existed, but is simply a continuation of a long local tradition of folklore. more

Genome of 6,000-Year-Old Barley Grains Sequenced for First Time

Discovering new data on barley domestication - Oldest plant genome reconstructed to date more

<p><strong>Massive Open-Access Database on Human Cultures Created</strong></p>

An international team of researchers has developed a website at to help answer long-standing questions about the forces that shaped human cultural diversity. more

Neandertal Cannibalism and Neandertal Bones Used as Tools in Northern Europe

New findings from the archaeological collections from the Troisième caverne of Goyet in Belgium excavated almost 150 years ago. more

European Black Death as Source of Modern Plague

A single strain of plague bacteria sparked multiple historical and modern pandemics. more

Humans Affected Natural Ecosystems for Thousand of Years

‘Pristine’ landscapes simply do not exist anywhere in the world today and, in most cases, have not existed for at least several thousand years, says a new study 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

<strong>History on Ice<br /></strong>

History on Ice

May 02, 2016

Researchers paint a genetic portrait of Ice Age Europe more

The Dark Side of Religion

The Dark Side of Religion

April 04, 2016

How ritual human sacrifice helped create unequal societies more

Genetics Reveals the Impact of Lifestyle on Evolution

Y-chromosomal lineages that are associated with southern African Bantu-speaking agriculturalists have a higher rate of evolution than those associated with traditional foraging groups, probably due to the higher average age at paternity of the agriculturalists. more

Ancient DNA Shows European Wipe-Out of Early Americans

The first largescale study of ancient DNA from early American people has confirmed the devastating impact of European colonisation on the Indigenous American populations of the time. Wolfgang Haak, groupleader at MPI for the Science of Human History since summer 2015 is senior author on the study of an international research team. Press Release, The University of Adelaide, Australia more

Prehistoric Loss of Biodiversity

Scientists explore the role of climate change and ancient human activity in the disappearance of Zanzibar’s large fauna more

Europe’s Population Dramatically Changed at the End of the Last Ice Age

Genetic analyses shed new light on early European population dynamics   more

The Hideout of the Black Death

Historical pathogens survived for more than four centuries in Europe more

Ancient Genomes Reveal That the English Are One Third Anglo-Saxon

For the first time, researchers have been able to directly estimate the Anglo-Saxon ancestry of the British population from ancient skeletons, showing how Anglo-Saxon immigrants mixed with the native population. Stephan Schiffels and Wolfgang Haak, groupleaders at MPI for the Science of Human History since summer 2015 are leading authors on the study. Press Release, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge, UK

Gastritis Pathogens Found in Oetzi the Iceman

Helicobacter pylori genome of the glacier mummy decoded - new questions about the early migration of people in Europe more

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