Selected Events

Distinguished Lecture by Salima Ikram: "Who Were the Ancient Egyptians, and Where Did They All Come From?"

Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series

Distinguished Lecture by Felicity Meakins: "Language diversification through the lens of rapid intergenerational change?"

Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series

Distinguished Lecture by Dr. Juliane Kaminski: "Through a dog's eyes: Domestication and the dog-human bond"

Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series

Extreme events in biological, societal and earth systems

New Frontiers in Anthropocene Archaeology

DA Workshop

Distinguished Lecture by Prof. Fiona Marshall: "Ancient herders enriched and restructured African grasslands"

Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series
As the world population approaches 8 billion and we are faced with climatic and political uncertainty, global food security is becoming a growing concern. However, humans throughout history and prehistory have faced uncertainty in their food production systems, often in response to political changes, social turmoil, climate change, and/or technological shifts. There are many historical examples of changing political regimes directly effecting which crops farmers plant or the way that crops are cultivated, harvested, and processed. This workshop will discuss reconstructions of ancient food security strategies as a tool to develop practices for future economic sustainability. The study of ancient food security allows us to examine this issue at a chronological scale inaccessible to modern research, and in diverse social, cultural, and political contexts. We are particularly interested in exploring the ecological and social consequences of the transition from traditional agricultural systems, focused on low investment crops to systems dependent on crops of high yield, but high labor and resource input. Often, the transition to high input crops is fueled by cash cropping and ties people into unstable market economies. These economic transitions commonly reshape economic strategies from recruitment of diverse resources to intensification of a narrow suite of foods. These historical food transitions parallel, in many ways, modern shifts from small-scale family farms to large agrobusiness ventures. In this workshop, we seek to develop methods to document if and how people maintained food production under rapidly changing political, ecological, and economic systems. [more]

Distinguished Lecture by Alison Beach: "Reading the Remnants: Religious Women and the Material Turn in Medieval History"

Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series
Remnants of material culture – from excavated monastery walls to fragments of parchment books discovered in archives – are opening new windows into the everyday lives of medieval religious women. Focusing on the intersection between text and object, this lecture will present evidence for the intellectual and artistic contributions of women to the rapidly changing society of twelfth-century Europe. [more]
The study of population genetic variation and the sequencing of ancient DNA represent promising new avenues for investigating human history and our evolutionary past. This meeting will involve scientists from genomics, bioinformatics, microbiology, anthropology, archaeology and historians and may initiate future interactions in this exciting and timely new research area that has the potential to change the way we think about our human past and how we might study genetic variation in the future. [more]
With the 'Forsche Schüler' project, 'School Scientists' from the 8th year onwards can look behind the scenes of research and ‘try out’ science. Students can get insights into the science of human history by listening to talks and doing small experiments and tests. [more]

International Applications of Archaeological Sciences 2019

DA Workshop
In response to the overwhelmingly positive feedback to the first training in March of 2018, the Department of Archaeology has decided to run this international training course for a second consecutive year. The course will be held at the department’s research and laboratory facilities in Jena, Germany. [more]

Resilience, environmental change and society: Perspectives from History and Prehistory

Climate Change and History Research Initiative 2019 Annual Colloquium
Jointly organized by Princeton University and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (Palaeo-Science and History (PS&H) Independent Research Group (formerly ByzRes) and the Department of Archaeology). [more]
The Dogon of the Bandiagara Escarpment and the Seno Plains in Central Eastern Mali have long been known to inhabit these regions for centuries. However, the history of the Dogon and Pre-Dogon settlements remained incompletely searched and maintained through myth and oral histories. This workshop brings together researchers from the Max-Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the University of Geneva, who work jointly to uncover the history of population settlements in these regions. The workshop will focus on recent advances in the retrieval and analyses of ancient human remains and ancient pathogens. We aim to discuss recent findings from genomics, pathogenomics and biological anthropology to reveal the genetic structure of populations. Moreover, we will explore new avenues in simulation modelling to investigate population continuity in the region using ancient and modern DNA. [more]
Organized by Alicia Ventresca Miller. [more]

Global Markers of the Anthropocene

DA Workshop
This workshop aims to explore the feasibility of implementing a global study to systematically track and record markers of human activity from the past to the present day. It will bring together a group of multidisciplinary scholars from such diverse fields as archaeology, geology and Earth Sciences to explore the feasibility and practicality of a global scale study or set of studies, drawing on both existing datasets and new field data. The workshop will bring together Max Planck Society and external researchers, including researchers from the Anthropocene Working Group, for a two-day series of presentations and discussions at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. [more]

Distinguished Lecture by Katerina Harvati-Papatheodorou: "Neanderthals and early modern humans: New results from the lab and field"

Distinguished Lecturer Seminar Series

Transeurasian millets and beans, language and genes

Eurasia3angle Conference
Interdisciplinary conference in "Tandem style". We invited 6 geneticists, 6 linguists and 6 archaeologists, but only on condition that they could partner with at least one co-presenter from outside their own discipline. As a result, all presentations will be truly "interdisciplinary" in the sense that they integrate different disciplines in a single paper. [more]
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