ABOUT THE PROJECT
The HistoGenes project about the population history of Eastern central Europe from ca. 400 to 900 CE started in May 2020 and will run until 2026. We will analyze 6000 burials using the most advanced genomic, archaeological, historical, and anthropological methodologies. After bio-informatic modelling of the data, we will integrate the results into a new historical narrative. For the first time, we thus bring together the strengths of all available approaches to shed light on a formative period of Europe: the Early Middle Ages, c. 400 to 900 CE. How did people live in Eastern Central Europe 1500 years ago? And how did migrations and the rise and fall of powers affect their existence? We envisage a fresh picture of a distant past in which the present population of the region took shape. And we aim at creating a model for collaboration between the disciplines that will inspire further studies.
Funded by an ERC Synergy Grant, this project engages historians, archaeologists, geneticists, anthropologists, and specialists in bio-informatics, isotope analysis and other scientific methods from Austria, Germany, Hungary and the United States.
Our Research Team
Our team consists of four Principal Investigators and their teams at institutions in the US, Hungary, Germany and Austria, and specialists from seven partner institutions. We have also built up a network of partners and collaborators in Slovenia, Serbia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Rumania, and will include groups from further countries.
cPI Prof. Walter Pohl
IMAFO, Austrian Academy of Sciences: conceptualization, historical and archaeological preparation, studies and interpretation, methodological reflection
IÖG, University of Vienna: historical studies
NHM, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien: anthropological preparation of skeletons, focused studies of physical anthropology
PI Prof. Tivadar Vida
ELTE, Eötvös Loránd University Budapest: coordination of archaeological work, cemetery analyses, interpretation of archaeological record
BTK, Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont – Research Centre for the Humanities, Budapest: sample collection and preparation of ancient DNA, genetic analyses
HNHM, Magyar Természettudományi Múzeum, Budapest: sample collection
CEZA, Curt-Engelhorn Zentrum für Archäometrie, Mannheim: study of human and animal diet and mobility through isotope analyses, c14 dating
PI Prof. Johannes Krause
MPI, Max-Planck-Institutes in Leipzig and Jena: genetic analysis of aDNA in Jena laboratory, data processing and interpretation, ancient pathogen reconstruction, study of climate impact
LDA LSA, Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt, Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte: archaeological studies and sample collection
Princeton|New York Team
PI Prof. Patrick J. Geary
IAS, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton: conceptualization, coordination of genetic and historical approaches, interpretation of data and methodological reflection
SUNY, The Research Foundation of State University of New York: population genetic analysis, construction of data base