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

Heirloom Microbes Project WorkshopDate: June 17-20, 2018Room: Villa V03Host: Heirloom Microbes Project

Microbial Diversity of Traditional Dairy Ecologies

Heirloom Microbes Project Workshop
Date: June 17-20, 2018
Room: Villa V03
Host: Heirloom Microbes Project [more]
Joint Workshop Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution& Friedrich Schiller University JenaDate: July 13, 2018Room:  Villa V14Hosts:  Martine Robeets & Volker Gast

Historical and comparative linguistics in Jena

Joint Workshop Department of Linguistic and Cultural Evolution& Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Date: July 13, 2018
Room: Villa V14
Hosts: Martine Robeets & Volker Gast [more]
A pair of 3,800-year-old skeletons buried together in Russia test positive for a strain of the plague-causing bacterium Yersinia pestis that is ancestral to the strain that caused the Black Death.

Oldest bubonic plague genome decoded

A pair of 3,800-year-old skeletons buried together in Russia test positive for a strain of the plague-causing bacterium Yersinia pestis that is ancestral to the strain that caused the Black Death. [more]
Date & Time: June 8, 2018, 15:30 Room: Villa V14 Host: Annemarie Verkerk, Equal Opportunities Officer

Distinguished Lecture by Prof. Dr. Jadranka Gvozdanovic (Univ. Heidelberg) - “The impact of implicit bias for women in academia and what to do about it”

Date & Time: June 8, 2018, 15:30
Room: Villa V14
Host: Annemarie Verkerk, Equal Opportunities Officer
Rats were carried on ships as humans settled the remote islands of the Pacific - analysis of the rats’ remains reveals changes humans made to the island ecosystems.

Pacific rats trace 2000 years of human impact on island ecosystems

Rats were carried on ships as humans settled the remote islands of the Pacific - analysis of the rats’ remains reveals changes humans made to the island ecosystems. [more]
The invention of agriculture changed humans and the environment forever. The practice originated independently in a least a dozen different places over several thousand years. But why did agriculture begin in those places and at those particular times in human history?

New clues to the origins of agriculture

The invention of agriculture changed humans and the environment forever. The practice originated independently in a least a dozen different places over several thousand years. But why did agriculture begin in those places and at those particular times in human history? [more]
Verónica Zuccarelli presented data from her DAAD-funded research stay at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History to the VIIth Argentinian Congress on Archaeometrics, 17-20 April 2018.

DAAD-funded project presented at the 7th Argentinian Congress on Archaeometrics

Verónica Zuccarelli presented data from her DAAD-funded research stay at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History to the VIIth Argentinian Congress on Archaeometrics, 17-20 April 2018. [more]
In a new video from Latest Thinking, Russell Gray describes his research investigating the cooperative abilities of kea birds, and what this can tell us about ourselves.

"Do Kea Birds Have Cooperative Abilities?"

In a new video from Latest Thinking, Russell Gray describes his research investigating the cooperative abilities of kea birds, and what this can tell us about ourselves. [more]
A smartphone game designed by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History aims to study how languages evolve.

The evolution of language? There’s an app for that

A smartphone game designed by scientists at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History aims to study how languages evolve. [more]
Date & Time: May 16, 2018, 15:30 Room: Villa V14 Host:  Johannes Krause, Department of Archaeogenetics

Distinguised Lecture by Ludovic Orlando: Tracking Six Millenia of Horse Selection, Admixture and Management with Complete Genome Time-Series

Date & Time: May 16, 2018, 15:30
Room: Villa V14
Host: Johannes Krause, Department of Archaeogenetics [more]
The president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Prince Sultan bin Salman, announced the find, made by Michael Petraglia, Huw Groucutt and colleagues.

Human footprints found in northwestern Saudi Arabia near the city of Tabuk could be more than 85,000 years old

The president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, Prince Sultan bin Salman, announced the find, made by Michael Petraglia, Huw Groucutt and colleagues. [more]
The largest study to date on ancient leprosy DNA reveals previously unknown diversity of strains in Medieval Europe.

A European origin for leprosy?

The largest study to date on ancient leprosy DNA reveals previously unknown diversity of strains in Medieval Europe. [more]
Study recovers oldest viral genomes, and shows the hepatitis B virus has been circulating in Europe for at least 7000 years.

Stone age hepatitis B virus decoded

Study recovers oldest viral genomes, and shows the hepatitis B virus has been circulating in Europe for at least 7000 years. [more]
The first substantial cave record from coastal Kenya ranges from the Middle Stone Age to the Iron Age, showing gradual changes in cultural, technological and symbolic innovations beginning at 67,000 years ago.

78,000 year cave record from East Africa shows early cultural innovations

The first substantial cave record from coastal Kenya ranges from the Middle Stone Age to the Iron Age, showing gradual changes in cultural, technological and symbolic innovations beginning at 67,000 years ago. [more]
An international team of researchers has discovered the oldest evidence for the peopling of the Philippines by hominins. Their findings at the archaeological site of Kalinga (Rizal Municipality, Kalinga Province, Luzon Island) were dated to 709,000 years old.

Humans were present in the Philippine islands as early as 700,000 years ago

An international team of researchers has discovered the oldest evidence for the peopling of the Philippines by hominins. Their findings at the archaeological site of Kalinga (Rizal Municipality, Kalinga Province, Luzon Island) were dated to 709,000 years old. [more]
A team of researchers have demonstrated that while some Indigenous hunter-gatherers in Sri Lanka made use of agricultural resources and trade connections with farmers and colonial powers, others continued to subsist primarily on tropical forest resources as late as the 19th century.

Evidence for persistent forest reliance by Indigenous peoples in historical Sri Lanka

A team of researchers have demonstrated that while some Indigenous hunter-gatherers in Sri Lanka made use of agricultural resources and trade connections with farmers and colonial powers, others continued to subsist primarily on tropical forest resources as late as the 19th century. [more]
Date & Time: May 2, 2018, 15:30 Room: Villa V14 Hosts:  Johannes Krause & Christina Warinner, Department of Archaeogenetics

Distinguished Lecture by Prof. Norman Hammond - “Archaeology, Epigraphy, and Identity: Problems in Maya Pre/History”

Date & Time: May 2, 2018, 15:30
Room: Villa V14
Hosts: Johannes Krause & Christina Warinner, Department of Archaeogenetics [more]
Congratulations to Patrick Roberts from the Department of Archaology for winning the Beutenberg-Campus Jena e.V's award for outstanding achievement by a young researcher. Patricks work has uncovered new insights into the relationship between humans and tropical forests in the past.

Patrick Roberts wins Beutenberg Campus award

Congratulations to Patrick Roberts from the Department of Archaology for winning the Beutenberg-Campus Jena e.V's award for outstanding achievement by a young researcher. Patricks work has uncovered new insights into the relationship between humans and tropical forests in the past.