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.

Vienna Team

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

 

Budapest|Mannheim Team

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

 

Jena|Leipzig Team

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 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 

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