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

List, J.-M.: Beyond edit distances: Comparing linguistic reconstruction systems. Theoretical Linguistics 45 (3-4), pp. 247 - 258 (2019)
Haak, W.: Stephen Shennan. 2018. The first farmers of Europe: an evolutionary perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 978-1-108-43521-5 £24.99. Antiquity 93 (372), pp. 1683 - 1684 (2019)
Hudson, M.: Towards a prehistory of the Great Divergence: the Bronze Age roots of Japan’s premodern economy. Documenta Praehistorica 46, dp.46.2 , pp. 30 - 43 (2019)
Fischer, M. S.; Hoßfeld, U.; Krause, J.; Richter, S.: Jenaer Erklärung: das Konzept der Rasse ist das Ergebnis von Rassismus und nicht dessen Voraussetzung. Biologie in unserer Zeit 49 (6), pp. 399 - 402 (2019)
Ruck, D. J.; Matthews, L. J.; Kyritsis, T.; Atkinson, Q. D.; Bentley, R. A.: The cultural foundations of modern democracies. Nature Human Behaviour (2019)
Liakopoulos, G.: The Early Ottoman Peloponnese: a study in the light of an annotated editio princeps of the TT10-1/14662 Ottoman taxation cadastre (ca. 1460-1463). Ginko, London (2019), 649 pp.
Hagan, R.; Hofman, C. A.; Hübner, A.; Reinhard, K.; Schnorr, S.; Lewis Jr, C. M.; Sankaranarayanan, K.; Warinner, C. G.: Comparison of extraction methods for recovering ancient microbial DNA from paleofeces. American Journal of Physical Anthropology n/a (n/a) (2019)
Jöris, O.; Uomini, N.: Evidence for Neanderthal hand preferences from the Late Middle Palaeolithic site of Buhlen, Germany: insights into Neanderthal learning behaviour. In: Learning among Neanderthals and Palaeolithic Modern Humans: archaeological evidence (Eds. Nishiaki, Y.; Joris, O.) (2019)
Miller, J. M.; Sawchuk, E. A.: Ostrich eggshell bead diameter in the Holocene: regional variation with the spread of herding in eastern and southern Africa. PLoS One 14 (11) (2019)
Winters, J.: Escaping optimization traps: the role of cultural adaptation and cultural exaptation in facilitating open-ended cumulative dynamics. Palgrave Communications 5 (1), 149 (2019) (2019), 13 pp.

A complete list of publications you can find here.

Events calendar

January 2020
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
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13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23
Cross-Departmental Work-in-Progress Seminar

from 13:00 to 14:00

24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31

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

Newest version of database sets new standards for reproducible research, providing a reliable approach to the quantitative study of linguistics

CLICS: World’s largest database of cross-linguistic lexical associations

Newest version of database sets new standards for reproducible research, providing a reliable approach to the quantitative study of linguistics [more]
The Paleo-Science & History Group (with the support of the Department of Archaeogenetics) is organising a joint workshop with the Institute of History of the University of Jena (FSU) on the applications of scientific methods to the study of the Middle Ages.

A joint Jena University-MPI workshop on the "Science of the Past" and Medieval History

The Paleo-Science & History Group (with the support of the Department of Archaeogenetics) is organising a joint workshop with the Institute of History of the University of Jena (FSU) on the applications of scientific methods to the study of the Middle Ages.
[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]
Basic cooperation skills appear to be shared by dogs and wolves, suggesting that this ability was present in a common ancestor and was not lost during domestication

Dogs and wolves are both good at cooperating

Basic cooperation skills appear to be shared by dogs and wolves, suggesting that this ability was present in a common ancestor and was not lost during domestication [more]
Scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History compared 2474 spoken languages, finding that emotion semantics have been shaped by both cultural and biological evolution.

The meaning of emotion: cultural and biological evolution impact how humans feel feelings

Scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History compared 2474 spoken languages, finding that emotion semantics have been shaped by both cultural and biological evolution. [more]
Schmid was awarded the prize in June 2019 for his master thesis: "A computer-based cultural evolution model for the propagation dynamics of European Bronze Age burial customs".

Interview with Clemens Schmid, winner of the DGUF's 2019 Deutscher Studienpreis for Archaeology

Schmid was awarded the prize in June 2019 for his master thesis: "A computer-based cultural evolution model for the propagation dynamics of European Bronze Age burial customs". [more]
In his new book, The Early Ottoman Peloponnese, Dr. Liakopoulos discusses the history, geography, demography and economy of the Peloponnese in the wake of the Ottoman conquest.

New publication by Dr. Georgios Liakopoulos

In his new book, The Early Ottoman Peloponnese, Dr. Liakopoulos discusses the history, geography, demography and economy of the Peloponnese in the wake of the Ottoman conquest. [more]
Dr. Eleanor Scerri has received a Leakey Grant for her fieldwork in the Ivory Coast, which will attempt to unravel the history of rainforest habitation in this region and its implications for how we understand the Pleistocene prehistory of Africa. The fieldwork will take place in the spring of 2020.

Dr. Eleanor Scerri wins Leakey Grant for ivory coast research

Dr. Eleanor Scerri has received a Leakey Grant for her fieldwork in the Ivory Coast, which will attempt to unravel the history of rainforest habitation in this region and its implications for how we understand the Pleistocene prehistory of Africa. The fieldwork will take place in the spring of 2020. [more]
The 23-chapter volume edited by Dr. Stuart Bedford is available now for purchase or free download. Read about the archaeology of Lapita, a cultural horizon associated with the founding populations who first colonised much of the southwest Pacific some 3000 years ago.

Now available: Debating Lapita - Distribution, Chronology, Society and Subsistence

The 23-chapter volume edited by Dr. Stuart Bedford is available now for purchase or free download. Read about the archaeology of Lapita, a cultural horizon associated with the founding populations who first colonised much of the southwest Pacific some 3000 years ago. [more]
Among the Top 10 Discoveries of 2019, two came from scientists at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. Read about how Robert Spengler’s research On the Origin of Apples and Christina Warinner’s discovery of a Medieval Female Scribe changed our understanding of human history this year.

ARCHAEOLOGY magazine credits MPI SHH scientists with two of Top 10 Discoveries of 2019

Among the Top 10 Discoveries of 2019, two came from scientists at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. Read about how Robert Spengler’s research On the Origin of Apples and Christina Warinner’s discovery of a Medieval Female Scribe changed our understanding of human history this year. [more]
Dr. Stephan Schiffels and Joscha Gretzinger use genetic analysis to help restore dignity to unethically obtained skeletons in South Africa

Addressing injustice with the science of human history

Dr. Stephan Schiffels and Joscha Gretzinger use genetic analysis to help restore dignity to unethically obtained skeletons in South Africa [more]
A study of diverse datasets, including pollen, coinage, and funeral practices, reveals that the effects of the late antique plague pandemic commonly known as the Justinianic Plague may have been overestimated.

Justinianic Plague not a Landmark Pandemic?

A study of diverse datasets, including pollen, coinage, and funeral practices, reveals that the effects of the late antique plague pandemic commonly known as the Justinianic Plague may have been overestimated. [more]
New archeological analysis challenges long-standing hypotheses about ostrich eggshell beads and the spread of pastoralism in Africa

Ostrich eggshell beads reveal 10,000 years of cultural interaction across Africa

New archeological analysis challenges long-standing hypotheses about ostrich eggshell beads and the spread of pastoralism in Africa [more]
"The dead are very important in Wanniyalaeto society," said Chief Wanniya Uruwarige. "This reuniting of spirits and physical remains... is a very special moment for my people."

Repatriation of Wanniyalaeto (‘Veddah’) remains following ceremony in Edinburgh

"The dead are very important in Wanniyalaeto society," said Chief Wanniya Uruwarige. "This reuniting of spirits and physical remains... is a very special moment for my people." [more]
Results of horseback surveys of ice patches in northern Mongolia provide the first archaeological insights from the region, revealing fragile organic artifacts previously buried in ice

Mongolia’s melting ice reveals clues to history of reindeer herding, threatens way of life

Results of horseback surveys of ice patches in northern Mongolia provide the first archaeological insights from the region, revealing fragile organic artifacts previously buried in ice

[more]
New study published in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology further encourages a focus on diverse African environments, rather than simply marine or savannah settings, when studying the evolution and dispersal of Homo sapiens.

New palaeoecological record from the tropical environments of coastal eastern Africa provides insights into early human adaptations

New study published in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology further encourages a focus on diverse African environments, rather than simply marine or savannah settings, when studying the evolution and dispersal of Homo sapiens. [more]
Dr. Natalie Uomini of the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution offers evolutionary perspectives on handedness to Live Science

Why Are People Left- (or Right-) Handed?

Dr. Natalie Uomini of the Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution offers evolutionary perspectives on handedness to Live Science

[more]
"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]
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]
 
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