"PALEoRIDER - Human Health and Migration in prehistory" receives ERC Consolidator Grant
In its 2017 selection, the European Research Council (ERC) has selected Wolfgang Haak of the Department of Archaeogenetics as one of the successful recipients for its highly competitive Consolidator Grant scheme. This grant will allow Haak to fund a research group to focus on his project titled "PALEoRIDER - Human health and migration in prehistory."
The PALEoRIDER project will focus on human history in West Eurasia between the 4th and 2nd Millennium BCE and zoom in on the major human migration and genetic turnover events that have been described by Haak and international colleagues in recent archaeogenetics studies.
The aim is to contrast to emerging genetic patterns with contextual evidence from archaeology and related disciplines such as immune genetics in order to better understand the processes that underlie the observed changes. Another major aspect is the attention to pathogens and their role in shaping human health and potential impact on human demographies in the past.
The archaeological record highlights numerous technological advances for the time period in question (e.g. Bronze metallurgy, wheeled transport & new domesticates), which is also debated as the hot phase for the distribution of Indo-European languages across West Eurasia. Taken together with the first evidence of early pandemics and changing human genetics, this chapter in prehistory warrants special attention.
The ERC Consolidator Grants are awarded to outstanding researchers of any nationality and age, with at least seven and up to twelve years of experience after PhD, and a scientific track record showing great promise. Research must be conducted in a public or private research organisation located in one of the EU Member States or Associated Countries. The funding (maximum of €2 million per grant), is provided for up to five years and mostly covers the employment of researchers and other staff to consolidate the grantees' teams.