Press Releases 2017

<p><strong>Genetics Preserves Traces of Ancient Resistance to Inca Rule</strong></p>

DNA analysis of present-day populations in the Chachapoyas region of Peru indicates that the original inhabitants were not uprooted en masse by the Inca Empire’s expansion into this area hundreds of years ago. more

<strong>Revising the Story of the Dispersal of Modern Humans Across Eurasia</strong>

Technological advances and multidisciplinary research teams are reshaping our understanding of when and how humans left Africa – and who they met along the way more

Plague Likely a Stone Age Arrival to Central Europe

The plague-causing bacterium Yersinia pestis may have first come to Europe with the large-scale migration of steppe nomads in the Stone Age, millennia before the first known historical epidemics. more

DNA Analyses Provide Information About the Settling of the Iberian Peninsula

In comparison to central and northern Europe, the Iberian Peninsula saw a faster fusion of early farmer populations, who migrated to the region from the Near East, and local hunter-gatherers. The study, by an international research team including researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, analyzed mitochondrial DNA from the Neolithic and early Bronze Age (5500-1500 BC). more

Neolithic Farmers Coexisted With Hunter-Gatherers for Centuries After Spreading Across Europe

New research shows that early farmers who migrated to Europe from the Near East spread quickly across the continent, where they lived side-by-side with existing local hunter-gatherers while slowly mixing with those groups over time. more

<p>Legibility Emerges Spontaneously, Rather Than Evolving Over Time</p>

The orientation of strokes within letters reveals surprising patterns that hardly changed in 3000 years more

<strong>The ‘Myth’ of Language History</strong>

Languages do not share a single history but different components evolve along different trajectories and at different rates. more

Shedding New Light on the Ancient Mediterranean

The partners of the new Max Planck-Harvard Research Center are investing a total of five million Euros in order to understand the key processes that shaped human history in the ancient Mediterranean by using cutting-edge scientific approaches. more

First Large-Scale Ancient Genomes Study From Sub-Saharan African Skeletons Lifts Veil on Prehistoric Populations

Genetic analyses uncover lost human populations and surprising relationships, revealing a complex history of population movements in ancient Africa. more

<p>Wolves Understand Cause and Effect Better Than Dogs</p>

Study conducted at the Wolf Science Center in Vienna shows that dogs seem to have lost some problem solving abilities when they were domesticated. more

“A Turning Point in the Study of Cultural Evolution”<br /><br />

The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History welcomes 300 participants from around the globe to Jena to introduce a unique forum for evolutionary research: the Cultural Evolution Society. The Society’s inaugural conference takes place from September 13th to 15th and is organized by the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution at the Max Planck Institute.     more

Mobile Women Were Key to Cultural Exchange in Stone Age and Bronze Age Europe

4000 years ago, European women traveled far from their home villages to start their families, bringing with them new cultural objects and ideas. more

Humans Learn Complex Grammatical Patterns Even in Extremely Challenging Circumstances

A large-scaled study of creole languages sheds light on the robustness of language transmission. more

Early Indian Ocean Trade Routes Bring Chicken, Black Rat to Eastern Africa

New technologies provide evidence in the debate on when and how Asian fauna was introduced to Africa. more

Humans Have Been Altering Tropical Forests for at Least 45,000 Years

Tens of thousands of years of controlled burns, forest management and clear-cutting have implications for modern conservation efforts – and shatter the image of the “untouched” tropical forest. more

Ancient DNA Reveals Origins of the Minoans and Mycenaeans

The mysterious Minoans descended primarily from local Stone Age farmers, as did their cultural counterpart, the Mycenaeans – and their descendants still inhabit Greece today. more

Archaeologists Find Key to Tracking Ancient Wheat in Frozen Bronze Age Box

A wooden container found in an ice patch at 2,650m in the Swiss Alps could help archaeologists shed new light on the spread and exploitation of cereal grains following a chance discovery more

Identifying Major Transitions in Human Cultural Evolution<br /><br />

Advances in methods and data reveal the broad patterns of cultural evolution more

Why Do Human Beings Speak so Many Languages?

by Michael Gavin more

DNA of Early Neanderthal Gives Timeline for New Modern Human-Related Dispersal From Africa

Mitochondrial DNA from Neanderthal individual who died in Swabian Jura in modern-day southwest Germany suggests that Neanderthals received genetic contribution from Africa by hominins that are closely related to modern humans more than 220,000 years ago. more

The First Genome Data from Ancient Egyptian Mummies

Study finds that ancient Egyptians were most closely related to ancient populations from the Near East. more

Populations Along the Eastern Mediterranean Coast Share a Genetic Heritage That Transcends Nationality

A new study reveals a genetic continuity and adds new aspects to the debate on the diffusion of the Indo-European languages. more

Precision Chronology Sheds New Light on the Origins of Mongolia’s Nomadic Horse Culture

MPI research suggests that nomadic horse culture can trace its roots back more than 3000 years in the eastern Eurasian Steppes, in the territory of modern Mongolia. more

MPI-SHH Supports <em>March For Science</em>

The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena (Germany) is pleased to announce its role as an official partner with the March For Science. more

Aboriginal Hair Shows 50,000 Years Connection to Country

DNA in hair samples collected from Aboriginal people across Australia in the early to mid-1900s has revealed that populations have been continuously present in the same regions for up to 50,000 years – soon after the peopling of Australia. more

Persistent Tropical Foraging in the Highlands of Terminal Pleistocene/Holocene New Guinea

Foraging lifestyles persisted in New Guinean tropical forest environments even after the advent of farming 8,000 years ago more

Computational Methods Applied to Big Datasets Are Compelling Tools for Historical Linguistics

Latest study reveals 89% success-rate of computational detection of word relationships across language families more

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