Dog studies

We are investigating the cognitive abilities of dogs, and we are looking for participants. All studies are done in a playful way.

Participants wanted!

We are investigating the cognitive abilities of dogs, and we are looking for participants. All studies are done in a playful way. [more]

Latest publications

Hoover, K. C.; Hudson, M.: Hunter-gatherer adaptation and resilience: a bioarchaeological perspective / Daniel H. Temple and Christopher M. Stojanowski. - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019. - ISBN 9781107187351. $99.99 (Hardcover). American Journal of Physical Anthropology (2019)
Sawchuk, E. A.; Pfeiffer, S.; Klehm, C. E.; Cameron, M. E.; Hill, A. C.; Janzen, A.; Grillo, K. M.; Hildebrand, E. A.: The bioarchaeology of mid-Holocene pastoralist cemeteries west of Lake Turkana, Kenya. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences (2019)
Roberts, P.; Prendergast, M. E.; Janzen, A.; Shipton, C.; Blinkhorn, J.; Zech, J.; Crowther, A.; Sawchuk, E. A.; Stewart, M.; Ndiema, E. et al.; Petraglia, M. D.; Boivin, N. L.: Late Pleistocene to Holocene human palaeoecology in the tropical environments of coastal eastern Africa. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (2019)
Gurdasani, D.; Carstensen, T.; Fatumo, S.; Chen, G.; Franklin, C. S.; Prado-Martinez, J.; Bouman, H.; Abascal, F.; Haber, M.; Tachmazidou, I. et al.; Mathieson, I.; Ekoru, K.; DeGorter, M. K.; Nsubuga, R. N.; Finan, C.; Wheeler, E.; Chen, L.; Cooper, D. N.; Schiffels, S.; Chen, Y.; Ritchie, G. R.S.; Pollard, M. O.; Fortune, M. D.; Mentzer, A. J.; Garrison, E.; Bergstrom, A.; Hatzikotoulas, K.; Adeyemo, A.; Doumatey, A.; Elding, H.; Wain, L. V.; Ehret, G.; Auer, P. L.; Kooperberg, C. L.; Reiner, A. P.; Franceschini, N.; Maher, D. P.; Montgomery, S. B.; Kadie, C.; Widmer, C.; Xue, Y.; Seeley, J.; Asiki, G.; Kamali, A.; Young, E. H.; Pomilla, C.; Soranzo, N.; Zeggini, E.; Pirie, F.; Morris, A. P.; Heckerman, D.; Tyler-Smith, C.; Motala, A.; Rotimi, C.; Kaleebu, P.; Barroso, I.; Sandhu, M. S.: Uganda genome resource enables insights into population history and genomic discovery in Africa. Cell 179 (4), pp. 984 - 1002.e36 (2019)
Joo, I.: Phonosemantic biases found in Leipzig-Jakarta lists of 66 languages. Linguistic Typology (2019)
Rageot, M.; Mötsch, A.; Schorer, B.; Gutekunst, A.; Patrizi, G.; Zerrer, M.; Cafisso, S.; Fries-Knoblach, J.; Hansen, L.; Tarpini, R. et al.; Krausse, D.; Hoppe, T.; Stockhammer, P. W.; Spiteri, C.: The dynamics of Early Celtic consumption practices: a case study of the pottery from the Heuneburg. PLoS One 14 (10) (2019)
Gil, D.; Shen, Y.: How grammar introduces asymmetry into cognitive structures: compositional semantics, metaphors, and schematological hybrids. Frontiers in Psychology 10 (2019)
Scerri, E. M. L.: Cultural taxonomy for the European Upper Palaeolithic: a wide-ranging problem. Antiquity 93 (371), 135, pp. 1362 - 1364 (2019)
Hanot, P.; Herrel, A.; Guintard, C.; Cornette, R.: Unravelling the hybrid vigor in domestic equids: the effect of hybridization on bone shape variation and covariation. BMC Evolutionary Biology 19 (2019)
Wang, Y.; Wan, A. H.L.; Krogdahl, Å.; Johnson, M.; Larsen, T.: 13C values of glycolytic amino acids as indicators of carbohydrate utilization in carnivorous fish. PeerJ 7 (2019)

A complete list of publications you can find here.

Events calendar

November 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3
4 5 6 7
Cross-Departmental Work-in-Progress Seminar

from 13:00 to 14:00

8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18
Founding an evolutionary science of word and sound systems

19
Founding an evolutionary science of word and sound systems

20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30

Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

Institute Profile

The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH) in Jena was founded in 2014 to target fundamental questions of human history and evolution since the Paleolithic. From the vantage point of three interdisciplinary research departments – the Department of Archaeogenetics (Director Johannes Krause), the Department of Archaeology (Director Nicole Boivin), and the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution (Director Russell Gray) – the MPI-SHH pursues an integrative approach to the study of human history that bridges the traditional divide between the natural sciences and the humanities. [more]


News

"The 39-year-old's laboratory specializes in the analysis of ancient DNA, thus combining the disciplines of archaeology and genetics. It is one of a handful of institutions worldwide that regularly produce spectacular research results on human history."

Lord of the Bones – Johannes Krause profiled in Spiegel Online (German Language)

"The 39-year-old's laboratory specializes in the analysis of ancient DNA, thus combining the disciplines of archaeology and genetics. It is one of a handful of institutions worldwide that regularly produce spectacular research results on human history."

[more]
The first comprehensive study of the human ability to recognize the facial expressions of dogs suggests this ability is mainly acquired through age and experience and is not an evolutionarily selected trait, and in adults is better in those growing up in dog-positive cultural contexts.

Humans’ ability to read dogs’ facial expressions is learned, not innate

The first comprehensive study of the human ability to recognize the facial expressions of dogs suggests this ability is mainly acquired through age and experience and is not an evolutionarily selected trait, and in adults is better in those growing up in dog-positive cultural contexts.

[more]
The Paleo-Science & History Group received major DFG funding (€395k for three years, together with the Byzantinistik at the FU Berlin) from the “Beethoven” Program, which provides funding for integrated Polish-German research projects. On the German side, the project leaders are Prof. Johannes Niehoff-Panagiotidis from the Freie Universität Berlin and Dr. Adam Izdebski from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena.

New DFG funding awarded to the Paleo-Science & History Group: the SCALoFRAG Project

The Paleo-Science & History Group received major DFG funding (€395k for three years, together with the Byzantinistik at the FU Berlin) from the “Beethoven” Program, which provides funding for integrated Polish-German research projects. On the German side, the project leaders are Prof. Johannes Niehoff-Panagiotidis from the Freie Universität Berlin and Dr. Adam Izdebski from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena. [more]
The Department of Archaeogenetics supported the Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Archäologie in Herne with the conception and realization of a large new special exhibition on the history of the plague and its worldwide effects.

Special exhibition "Pest!" at the LWL-Museum für Archäologie Herne

The Department of Archaeogenetics supported the Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Archäologie in Herne with the conception and realization of a large new special exhibition on the history of the plague and its worldwide effects.

[more]
The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History’s Johannes Krause among four principal investigators to head HistoGenes - a project integrating genetic, archaeological and historical perspectives on Eastern Central Europe, 400-900 AD.

10 million Euro ERC Synergy Grant awarded for study of medieval populations

The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History’s Johannes Krause among four principal investigators to head HistoGenes - a project integrating genetic, archaeological and historical perspectives on Eastern Central Europe, 400-900 AD. [more]
Archaeogenetic analyses provide new insights into social inequality 4000 years ago: nuclear families lived together with foreign women and individuals from lower social classes in the same household.

Social inequality in Bronze Age households

Archaeogenetic analyses provide new insights into social inequality 4000 years ago: nuclear families lived together with foreign women and individuals from lower social classes in the same household. [more]
New study indicates Middle Palaeolithic people lived near the Indian Ocean coastline over 100,000 years ago, but shared common behaviours with inland populations.

The first directly dated evidence for Palaeolithic occupation on the Indian coast at Sandhav, Kachchh

New study indicates Middle Palaeolithic people lived near the Indian Ocean coastline over 100,000 years ago, but shared common behaviours with inland populations. [more]
The Mississippi: An Anthropocene River initiative seeks to explore the ecological, historical, and social interactions between humans and the environment across the Mississippi River Basin. Scholars from both sides of the Atlantic are working directly with local and international scientists, social theorists, artists, and activists with interests and backgrounds spanning the biological and social sciences as well as the humanities and visual arts.

Department of Archaeology Contributes to the Anthropocene Curriculum

The Mississippi: An Anthropocene River initiative seeks to explore the ecological, historical, and social interactions between humans and the environment across the Mississippi River Basin. Scholars from both sides of the Atlantic are working directly with local and international scientists, social theorists, artists, and activists with interests and backgrounds spanning the biological and social sciences as well as the humanities and visual arts. [more]
The Institute will be hosting a variety of events from October 7-10 to bring awareness to these issues, organized by the Mental Health Awareness Week Committee.

Max Planck Mental Health Awareness Week at the Institute

The Institute will be hosting a variety of events from October 7-10 to bring awareness to these issues, organized by the Mental Health Awareness Week Committee. [more]
New study reveals the earliest microliths (small stone tools smaller than 40 millimeters) in South Asia and in any rainforest environment worldwide, alongside tree-dwelling monkeys, other small mammals, and tropical plants in a Sri Lankan Cave.

Oldest miniaturized stone toolkits in Eurasia

New study reveals the earliest microliths (small stone tools smaller than 40 millimeters) in South Asia and in any rainforest environment worldwide, alongside tree-dwelling monkeys, other small mammals, and tropical plants in a Sri Lankan Cave. [more]
Understanding the causes and consequences of Late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions is increasingly important in a world of growing human populations and climate change. A new review, led by scholars at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, highlights the role that cutting-edge scientific methods can play in broadening the discussions about megafaunal extinction.

Microscopic evidence sheds light on the disappearance of the world’s largest mammals

Understanding the causes and consequences of Late Quaternary megafaunal extinctions is increasingly important in a world of growing human populations and climate change. A new review, led by scholars at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, highlights the role that cutting-edge scientific methods can play in broadening the discussions about megafaunal extinction. [more]
Analysis of 34 ancient plague genomes from the Black Death and succeeding plague epidemics in Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries, reveals how the bacterium diversified after a single introduction.

Ancient genomes provide insight into the genetic history of the second plague pandemic

Analysis of 34 ancient plague genomes from the Black Death and succeeding plague epidemics in Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries, reveals how the bacterium diversified after a single introduction. [more]
With the tremendous success of the 2018 and 2019 events, the Department of Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History is now calling for applications for our 2020 International Application of Archaeological Science Workshop. The workshop will be conducted in the Department’s research and laboratory facilities in Jena, Germany. Note that spaces are highly limited and only select applications will be funded.

International Application of Archaeological Science Workshop – 2020

With the tremendous success of the 2018 and 2019 events, the Department of Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History is now calling for applications for our 2020 International Application of Archaeological Science Workshop. The workshop will be conducted in the Department’s research and laboratory facilities in Jena, Germany. Note that spaces are highly limited and only select applications will be funded. [more]
Modern humans evolved in Africa, and we now know that human groups from all over the continent contributed to that process. An international group of scientists says that means it is time to stop arguing about where in Africa humans “really” came from.

One species, many origins

Modern humans evolved in Africa, and we now know that human groups from all over the continent contributed to that process. An international group of scientists says that means it is time to stop arguing about where in Africa humans “really” came from. [more]
In the beginning of September, the Paleo-Science & History Independent Research Group held its third pre/post-doc workshop in interdisciplinary approaches to history – within just one year since the group’s foundation in the summer of 2018.

Paleo-Science & History Outreach Activities: spreading innovative methods for the collaboration of science and history

In the beginning of September, the Paleo-Science & History Independent Research Group held its third pre/post-doc workshop in interdisciplinary approaches to history – within just one year since the group’s foundation in the summer of 2018. [more]
By using age-mortality and species-selection profiles from prehistoric East Asia, researchers identified carp aquaculture in Henan Province, China, thousands of years earlier than previously reported.

New study shows common carp aquaculture in Neolithic China dating back 8,000 years

By using age-mortality and species-selection profiles from prehistoric East Asia, researchers identified carp aquaculture in Henan Province, China, thousands of years earlier than previously reported. [more]
Johannes Krause is one of the authors of the Jena Declaration by which evolutionary researchers and zoologists oppose seemingly scientific justifications for racism and argue that the concept of race lacks any biological basis. In zoology and anthropology, the authors concludes, "today and in the future, not using the term race should be part of scientific decency".Photo: Jürgen Scheere/FSU

Jena Declaration - The concept of race is the result of racism, not its prerequisite

Johannes Krause is one of the authors of the Jena Declaration by which evolutionary researchers and zoologists oppose seemingly scientific justifications for racism and argue that the concept of race lacks any biological basis. In zoology and anthropology, the authors concludes, "today and in the future, not using the term race should be part of scientific decency".
Photo: Jürgen Scheere/FSU [more]
Patrick Roberts and Robert Spengler of the Department of Archaeology discuss the role Jena played on the career and ideas of Alexander von Humboldt and the development of the disciplines of Ecology, Climate Science, and Evolutionary Biology. They highlight how this legacy can still be seen in new research in Jena focused on human interactions with the natural world and our planet's changing environments and species. Read the full article here:

Celebrating Humboldt's long legacy in Jena

Patrick Roberts and Robert Spengler of the Department of Archaeology discuss the role Jena played on the career and ideas of Alexander von Humboldt and the development of the disciplines of Ecology, Climate Science, and Evolutionary Biology. They highlight how this legacy can still be seen in new research in Jena focused on human interactions with the natural world and our planet's changing environments and species. Read the full article here: [more]
Scientific analysis of dental calculus of the victims of famine found evidence of corn, oats, potatoes, wheat and dairy foods.

Teeth offer vital clues about diet during the Great Irish Famine

Scientific analysis of dental calculus of the victims of famine found evidence of corn, oats, potatoes, wheat and dairy foods. [more]
The highly competitive grants will allow the recipients to fund research groups on their projects "PANTROPOCENE: Finding a Pre-industrial, Pan-tropical 'Anthropocene'", "MICROSCOPE: Zooming into the Population History of Iron Age Europe with Rare Genetic Variants", and "FEDD: Fruits of Eurasia: Domestication and Dispersal".

Patrick Roberts, Stephan Schiffels, and Robert Spengler awarded ERC Starting Grants

The highly competitive grants will allow the recipients to fund research groups on their projects "PANTROPOCENE: Finding a Pre-industrial, Pan-tropical 'Anthropocene'", "MICROSCOPE: Zooming into the Population History of Iron Age Europe with Rare Genetic Variants", and "FEDD: Fruits of Eurasia: Domestication and Dispersal". [more]
Oshan Wedage, a PhD researcher at the Department of Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, has received one of the most prestigious scientific awards in his home country, Sri Lanka.

Oshan Wedage receives Sri Lankan President's Award for Scientific Research

Oshan Wedage, a PhD researcher at the Department of Archaeology, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, has received one of the most prestigious scientific awards in his home country, Sri Lanka. [more]
Humans caused significant environmental change around the globe by about 3,000-4,000 years ago, much earlier than prior estimates, as revealed by a new international study.

Archaeological assessment reveals Earth’s early transformation through land use

Humans caused significant environmental change around the globe by about 3,000-4,000 years ago, much earlier than prior estimates, as revealed by a new international study. [more]
The lake was thought to be the site of an ancient catastrophic event that left several hundred people dead, but the first ancient whole genome data from India shows that diverse groups of people died at the lake in multiple events approximately 1000 years apart.

Biomolecular analyses of Roopkund skeletons show Mediterranean migrants in Indian Himalayas

The lake was thought to be the site of an ancient catastrophic event that left several hundred people dead, but the first ancient whole genome data from India shows that diverse groups of people died at the lake in multiple events approximately 1000 years apart. [more]
When and how did Homo sapiens succeed in inhabiting Mongolia and adapting to the sometimes extreme environmental conditions? The video shows the work of the archaeologists on site and gives an insight into how the laboratory succeeds in drawing an ever more differentiated and complete picture of the human past from the samples obtained.

New Video: Mongolia Field Work and the Report of the Govi-Altai Cave and Palaeolake Survey

When and how did Homo sapiens succeed in inhabiting Mongolia and adapting to the sometimes extreme environmental conditions? The video shows the work of the archaeologists on site and gives an insight into how the laboratory succeeds in drawing an ever more differentiated and complete picture of the human past from the samples obtained. [more]
Stable isotope analysis of mollusc reveals that humans seasonally foraged taxa on basis of meat yields in Mesolithic northern Iberia

Seasonal Seafood in the Mesolithic: New study reveals humans foraged molluscs in winter for better meat returns

Stable isotope analysis of mollusc reveals that humans seasonally foraged taxa on basis of meat yields in Mesolithic northern Iberia [more]
Date: August 7-9, 2019Room: Villa V04Host: Department of ArchaeogeneticsOrganizer: Kathrin Nägele

Workshop: Interactions in pre-Columbian Cuba. Adding detail to the transition from the Archaic to the Ceramic Age

Date: August 7-9, 2019
Room: Villa V04
Host: Department of Archaeogenetics
Organizer: Kathrin Nägele [more]
New study explores genetic roots of 26 populations from diverse regions and cultures of western South America and Mexico, revealing long-distance connections between speakers of the same language, and new traces of genetic diversity within Amazonia.

Human genetic diversity of South America reveals complex history of Amazonia

New study explores genetic roots of 26 populations from diverse regions and cultures of western South America and Mexico, revealing long-distance connections between speakers of the same language, and new traces of genetic diversity within Amazonia. [more]
All of the plants on our kitchen tables have a long and mysterious history. Many of them can trace part of their ancestry back to the ancient Silk Road trade routes. New archaeobotanical data is illustrating how the domestication and dispersal process for the plants unfolded, as presented in Dr. Spengler’s new book.

New book "Fruit from the Sands: The Silk Road Origins of the Foods We Eat" by Dr. Robert N. Spengler III  

July 25, 2019

All of the plants on our kitchen tables have a long and mysterious history. Many of them can trace part of their ancestry back to the ancient Silk Road trade routes. New archaeobotanical data is illustrating how the domestication and dispersal process for the plants unfolded, as presented in Dr. Spengler’s new book. [more]
The Department of Archaeology is proud to extend our congratulations to Dr. Jillian Swift who has recently started a position as Archaeologist at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawai’i in the United States.

Another Department of Archaeology post-doc officially starts a museum research position in the United States of America

The Department of Archaeology is proud to extend our congratulations to Dr. Jillian Swift who has recently started a position as Archaeologist at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawai’i in the United States. [more]
Professor Michael Petraglia is a new affiliate of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  As one of his first teaching assignments he gave a week-long course to one hundred Ph.D. and Master’s level students entitled: "Human Evolution and Climate Change".

Michael Petraglia affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Professor Michael Petraglia is a new affiliate of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  As one of his first teaching assignments he gave a week-long course to one hundred Ph.D. and Master’s level students entitled: "Human Evolution and Climate Change". [more]
The Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA) was established in 2013 by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain.

Eleanor Scerri elected a member of Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities

The Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities (AGYA) was established in 2013 by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain. [more]
The ancestral relatives of millets and other small-seeded crops originally evolved to be dispersed by megafaunal grazers of the Pleistocene and earlier epochs, and in some cases later came to rely on pastoral herds to disperse their seeds.

Grazing Animals Drove Domestication of Grain Crops

The ancestral relatives of millets and other small-seeded crops originally evolved to be dispersed by megafaunal grazers of the Pleistocene and earlier epochs, and in some cases later came to rely on pastoral herds to disperse their seeds.

[more]
Ancient genomes suggest that the Philistines descended from people who migrated across the Mediterranean and reached the shores of the southern Levant at the beginning of the Iron Age.

Ancient DNA sheds light on the origins of the Biblical Philistines

Ancient genomes suggest that the Philistines descended from people who migrated across the Mediterranean and reached the shores of the southern Levant at the beginning of the Iron Age. [more]
 
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