Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

Research publications

You can find more research publications messages on the website of the Institute:

Research publications 2018

Possible cause of early colonial-era Mexican epidemic identified

January 19, 2018

Salmonella enterica, the bacterium responsible for enteric fever, may be the long-debated cause of the 1545-1550 AD “cocoliztli” epidemic in Oaxaca, Mexico that heavily affected the native population. [more]

Research publications 2017

On the leash!

November 27, 2017

Max Planck researchers discover the oldest ever images of dogs on leashes [more]


First large-scale ancient genomes study from sub-Saharan African skeletons lifts veil on prehistoric populations

September 21, 2017

Genetic analyses uncover lost human populations and surprising relationships, revealing a complex history of population movements in ancient Africa [more]


Mobile women were key to cultural exchange in Stone Age and Bronze Age Europe

September 06, 2017

4,000 years ago, European women travelled far from their home villages to start their families, bringing with them new cultural objects and ideas [more]


Ancient DNA reveals origins of the Minoans and Mycenaeans

August 03, 2017

Common ancestors from Neolithic Western Anatolia and Greece [more]


Unique wheat discovery in Bronze Age lunch box

July 27, 2017

Container found in the Swiss Alps leads researchers to new analysis method [more]


The first genome data from ancient Egyptian mummies

May 30, 2017

Study finds that ancient Egyptians were most closely related to ancient populations from the Near East [more]

Research publications 2016

Archaeogenetics reveals unknown migration in the South Pacific

October 03, 2016

Archaeogenetic analysis points towards settlers from Melanesia 


Sound of words is no coincidence

September 13, 2016

Particular sounds are preferred or avoided in non-related languages far more often than previously assumed [more]


In search of a golden age

August 09, 2016

The hunt for war treasure in the Philippines has hidden meanings [more]


Medieval plague strain sparked modern pandemics

June 08, 2016

European Black Death spread throughout the world in several waves [more]


‘Pristine’ landscapes haven’t existed for thousands of years due to human activity

June 06, 2016

There have not been 'pristine' landscapes for several thousands of years [more]


Rice and mung beans as archaeological sources

May 30, 2016

Ancient crops provide window into Madagascar's Southeast Asian settlement [more]


The dark side of religion

April 05, 2016

How ritual human sacrifice helped create unequal societies [more]


Genetics reveals the impact of lifestyle on evolution

April 04, 2016

Researchers find differences between ethnic groups living as farmers and those engaged in traditional hunter-gatherer activities [more]


Europe's population dramatically changed at the end of the last Ice Age

February 04, 2016

Genetic analyses shed new light on early European population dynamics [more]


The hideout of the Black Death

January 22, 2016

Historical pathogens survived for more than 4 centuries in Europe [more]


Gastritis pathogens found in Iceman Oetzi

January 07, 2016

Helicobacter pylori genome of the glacier mummy decoded [more]

Research publications 2015

8,000 years of adaptation in Europe leave a mark on our genes

November 23, 2015

Scientists provide evidence of a link between genetic changes and the spread of farming in the Stone Age [more]


Time travel with the molecular clock

November 20, 2015

Migration isn’t a new phenomenon, but new insights suggest that modern-day Europeans actually have at least three ancestral populations. This finding was published by Johannes Krause and prominently featured on the cover of Nature. The paleogeneticist himself is currently travellingl through time as a Founding Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena. For him, looking back millennia into the past is no problem. [more]


A massive migration from the steppe brought Indo-European languages to Europe

March 02, 2015

4,500 years ago, humans migrated from the Eurasian steppe to Central Europe and thus may have contributed to the spread of the Indo-European languages [more]

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