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Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

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 Cultural and Linguistic 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.

By assembling experts from research areas as diverse as palaeogenetics, proteomics, bioinformatics, anthropology, archaeology, history, and quantitative linguistics, the MPI-SHH seeks to join and advance a broad range of methods, approaches, and datasets to explore big questions of the human past. Using state-of-the-art analytical techniques and technologies, the MPI-SHH tackles these and other topics:

– The settlement history of the world through past human migrations and genetic admixture events
– The spread and diversification of human-associated microbes and infectious diseases
– The impact of climatic and environmental change on human subsistence in different world regions
– Human modification of ecosystems
– The rise of early forms of global trade systems
– The spread and diversification of languages, cultures, and social practices
– The co-evolution of genes and culture


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S. Anna Florin.

Burnt ancient nutshells reveal the story of climate change at Kakadu — now drier than ever before

Tiny nutshell fragments, found at a rock shelter in the Kakadu region, have helped researchers track past climate change in the region.
Los trolls se ponen creativos con su decepción electoral. Planet Flem/DigitalVision Vectors via Getty Images

Los trolls políticos se adaptan: crean nuevo material para engañar y confundir más a la audiencia

Lo que publican cambia con el tiempo, según la coyuntura, arman nueva propaganda; amplifican mensajes creados por otros, y su material y método varia según la red.
People have been modifying Earth – as in these rice terraces near Pokhara, Nepal – for millennia. Erle C. Ellis

Surveying archaeologists across the globe reveals deeper and more widespread roots of the human age, the Anthropocene

Hundreds of archaeologists provided on-the-ground data from across the globe, providing a new view of the long and varied history of people transforming Earth's environment.


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