Welcome to the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

Dear visitors, as Germany continues to deal with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History is committed to ensuring the health and wellbeing of its employees. In order to limit the spread of Covid-19, we have encouraged our employees to work from home. Our services and availability to the public during this time are limited. We thank you for your understanding.

We work in the field

We work in the lab

We work all over the world

We work in teams

We work in collaboration with our partners


More information in German

Environmental history points the way to the path of resilience. More information in German

Videos and Audios

International Dog Day: "Having a Dog is Healthy"

Biologist Juliane Bräuer researches dogs as head of the DogLab at the Max Planck Institute. Unlike many other animal species, the sympathy between humans and dogs is based on mutuality, the expert explains. (Audio in German)

The Genes of the Barbarians

From Deutschlandfunk: July 27, 2021. Little is really known about the groups of people who roamed Europe, Asia and Africa between the 3rd and 8th centuries. Who were they? And what drove them? What we know and tell about them is based on a rather thin source material. DNA analysis could reveal some of their secrets. Audio in German.

Finding Rico - Recruitment Video

Juliane Kaminski (Dog Cognition Centre, University of Portsmouth) and Juliane Bräuer (DogStudies, MPI for the Science of Human History, Jena) are looking for special dogs, that are able to distinguish objects by name.

Mtoto: The Sleeping Child

The National Research Center on Human Evolution (CENIEH) in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the National Museums of Kenya, co-leads a study on the oldest human burial in Africa, dating back to 78,000 years old


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Building and using dated phylogenies in the presence of bacterial recombination

from 14:00 to 15:00

Latest Publications

Perez Ramallo, P.; Lorenzo-Lizalde, J. I.; Staniewska, A.; Lopez, B.; Alexander, M.; Marzo, S.; Lucas, M.; Ilgner, J.; Chivall, D.; Grandal-d́Anglade, A. et al.; Roberts, P.: Stable isotope analysis and differences in diet and social status in northern Medieval Christian Spain (9th–13th centuries CE). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 41, 103325 (2022)
Sorrentino, R.; Carlson, K. J.; Figus, C.; Pietrobelli, A.; Stephens, N. B.; DeMars, L. J. D.; Saers, J. P. P.; Armando, J.; Bettuzzi, M.; Guarnieri, T. et al.; Oxilia, G.; Vazzana, A.; Parr, W.; Turley, K.; Morigi, M. P.; Stock, J. T.; Ryan, T. M.; Benazzi, S.; Marchi, D.; Belcastro, M. G.: The talar morphology of a hypochondroplasic dwarf: A case study from the Italian Late Antique period. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 3078 (2021)

Shnaider, S.; Ashastina, K.; Alisher kyzy, S.; Sayfullaev , N.; Zakabluk, G.; Chernonosov, A.; Spengler III, R. N.; Zotkina, L.: The Results of the Complex Study of the Kurteke Site (Eastern Pamir). Theory and practice of archaeological research 33 (4), pp. 284 - 296 (2021)
Gayantha, K.; Roberts, P.; Routh, J.; Wedage, O.; Ott, F.; Frenzel, P.; Chandrajith, R.; Gleixner, G.: Mid-late Holocene sub-millennial scale inverse trends of South Asian summer and winter monsoons in Sri Lanka. Frontiers in Earth Science 9, 789291 (2021)

Miller, J. M.; Wang, Y.: Ostrich eggshell beads reveal 50,000-year-old social network in Africa. Nature, s41586-021-04227-2 (2021)
Groucutt, H. S.: The morphological variability of Maltese ‘cart ruts’ and its implications. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 41, 103287, pp. 1 - 9 (2022)

Drake, N. A.; Candy, I.; Breeze, P.; Armitage, S.J.; Gasmi, N.; Schwenninger, J.L.; Peat, D.; Manning, K.: Sedimentary and geomorphic evidence of Saharan megalakes: a synthesis. Quaternary Science Reviews 276, 107318 (2022)
Parker, C. E.; Bos, K. I.; Haak, W.; Krause, J.: Optimized bone sampling protocols for the retrieval of ancient DNA from archaeological remains. Journal of Visualized Experiments 177, e63250 (2021)
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