News 2016

Homo sapiens demonstrates unique tropical forest adaptations
In a new paper in Evolutionary Anthropology, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History review the evidence for the time-depth and nature of Homo’s relationship with tropical forest environments. more
No Anthropocene without us!
The earth sciences have defined a new human age - now social scientists are calling for broader and more interdisciplinary discussion.
Erle Ellis, Mark Maslin, Nicole Boivin, and Andrew Bauer:Involve social scientists in defining the Anthropocene. Nature, Vol. 540, 8. December 2016 more
Archaeology sheds light on Mongolia’s uncertain nomadic future
One of our research themes is exploring the ways in which biological and cultural processes interact over long-term historic and prehistoric timescales. In a piece published Dec 7 in The Guardian, incoming postdoctoral fellow William Taylor highlights recent archaeological research on climate and ancient nomadic life in Mongolia, discussing implications for the future in the context of anthropogenic climate change. more
The hidden bacterial legacy of ancient cultures
With their research project “Heirloom Microbes: The History and Legacy of Ancient Dairying Bacteria”, Dr. Jessica Hendy and Dr. Christina Warinner have won the Max Planck Society’s Annual Donation Award 2017. more
Human Dispersals in the Late Pleistocene - Interdisciplinary Approaches Towards Understanding the Worldwide Expansion of Homo sapiens
Conference at MPI for for the Science of Human History, November 8-10, 2016 Organised by Prof. Michael Petraglia more
Anthropocene. The age of humanity has begun
Nicole Boivin on TV. Aired on Oct 25, 2016, 3sat [In German] more
Pantropica: an investigation of geographical and temporal diversity in human ‘rainforest prehistories’, Jena October 3-6, 2016.

'Green hell' has long been home for humans. Andrew Curry covers the PANTROPICA workshop at MPI SHH in Science.
New Excavations in Kuumbi Cave, Zanzibar
A multidisciplinary team of scientists recently excavated one of Zanzibar’s most important caves, revealing a complex human occupation history over the last 18,000 years.  Initial occupations by Later Stone Age hunter-gatherers ranged between ~18,000 - 13,000 years ago.  Later peoples inhabited the cave in the late first to early second millennia AD. The new research contrasts with previous excavations and interpretations, painting a radically different picture of human habitation in the Zanzibar Archipelago of Tanzania. more
‘Pristine’ landscapes haven’t existed for thousands of years due to human activity
Press release to: Boivin, N. L.; Melinda Zederc, M.; Fullerd, D.; Crowthere, A.; Larsonf, G.; Erlandsong, J.; Denhamh, T.; Petraglia, M. D.: Ecological consequences of human niche construction: Examining long-term anthropogenic shaping of global species distributions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113 (23) , S. 6388-6396 (2016)
Ancient crops provide a window into Madagascar’s past
Press release to: Alison Crowther, Leilani Lucas, Richard Helm, Mark Horton, Ceri Shipton, Henry T. Wright, Sarah Walshaw, Matthew Pawlowicz, Chantal Radimilahy, Katerina Douka, Llorenç Picornell-Gelaber, Dorian Q Fuller, and Nicole Boivin (2016) Ancient crops provide first archaeological signature of the westward Austronesian expansion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113 (24), 6635-6640 (2016) more
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