News Allgemein

HEAS board member Martin Steskal appointed as the new director of the Ephesos excavations

The prestigious excavations of the Austrian Archaeological Institute in Ephesos/Türkiye will be led by Martin Steskal from this year. For many years, Steskal has been committed to interdisciplinary research approaches and the establishment of archaeology as an interface between the humanities and sciences. His planned research includes questions on circular economy, resource management, human-environment relationships, production and consumption. He deals with the key question of how the living conditions of an ancient populations can be reconstructed.

Research Areas:
Read More
Read More
News Allgemein

HEAS Hosted ‘Archaeology for Kids’ Workshop at the NHM

On the 6th February 2024 HEAS hosted a group of children from children from around Vienna for a workshop on 'Archaeology for Kids' at the HEAS partner the Natural History Museum. The children learnt about the main prehistoric and historical eras with interactive examples of representative sites, monuments, and objects. We hope this hands on experience sparked an interest for the children in ancient cultures and the modern scientific methods used to study them. To learn more about the workshop and other work by Dr. Alexandra Dolea please see her blog post below: https://www.ilovearchaeology.com/post/archaeology-for-kids-workshop

Research Areas:
Read More
News Allgemein

HEAS Member Martin Fieder publishes new US textbook

HEAS Member Martin Fieder has published a new US textbook on social status, number of children in modern societies, confirming evolutionary assumptions on social status and reproduction. This is the first book to fully examine, from an evolutionary perspective, the relationship between social status and fertility in human societies before, during, and after the demographic transition. In most non-human social species, social status or relative rank in a social group is positively associated with the number of offspring, with high-status individuals typically having more offspring than low-status individuals. Humans, however, appear to be different. As societies have become richer, fertility has fallen to unprecedented lows, with some developed societies now at or below replacement fertility. Within rich societies, women in higher-income families often have fewer children than women in lower-income families. Evolutionary theory suggests that the relationship between social status and fertility is likely to be somewhat different for men and women, so it is important to examine this relationship for men and women separately. When this is done, the positive association between individual SES and fertility is often clear in less developed, pre-transition societies, especially for men. Once the demographic transition begins, it is elite families, and especially the women of elite families, who lead the way in fertility decline. Post-transition, the evidence from a wide range of developed…

Research Areas:
Read More
Read More
Allgemein Publications

The 10,000-year biocultural history of fallow deer and its implications for conservation policy

Baker, K.H., Miller, H., Doherty, S., Gray, H.W.I., Daujat, J., Çakırlar, C., Spassov, N., Trantalidou, K., Madgwick, R., Lamb, A.L., Ameen, C., Atici, L., Baker, P., Beglane, F., Benkert, H., Bendrey, R., Binois-Roman, A., Carden, R.F., Curci, A., De Cupere, B., Detry, C., Gál, E., Genies, C., Kunst, G.K., Liddiard, R., Nicholson, R., Perdikaris, S., Peters, J., Pigière, F., Pluskowski, A.G., Sadler, P., Sicard, S., Strid, L., Sudds, J., Symmons, R., Tardio, K., Valenzuela, A., van Veen, M., Vuković, S., Weinstock, J., Wilkens, B., Wilson, R.J.A., Evans, J.A., Hoelzel, A.R., Sykes, N., 2024. The 10,000-year biocultural history of fallow deer and its implications for conservation policy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 121, e2310051121. read more

Research Areas:
Read More
News Allgemein

HEAS Member Verena Schünemann has a new paper in Nature on Prehistoric human remains from South-America helping to uncover the origins of treponemal diseases.

The oldest known genome of a bacterium from a family that causes diseases such as syphilis has been identified in prehistoric human remains from Brazil, a Nature paper reveals. The finding helps to shed light on the origins of this disease group. Closely related but distinct subspecies of Treponema pallidum bacteria cause different types of treponemal disease, such as venereal syphilis and a non-sexually transmitted disease known as bejel. The origins of these diseases are debated: some argue that the syphilis epidemic in late 15th century Europe arose after Columbus’ expeditions introduced the bacteria from the Americas. Previous theories of the emergence of these diseases have been based on studies of ancient bone pathology but definitive evidence to identify the causative subspecies has eluded researchers. Verena Schuenemann and colleagues extracted DNA from four individuals from a nearly 2,000-year-old Brazilian burial site and were able to reconstruct the genomes of T. pallidum bacteria that had infected them. Their analysis revealed that the pathogen responsible was most closely related to the modern species that causes bejel. The finding adds strength to previous suggestions that civilizations in the Americas experienced treponemal infections in pre-Columbian times, and that treponemal disease was already present in the New World at least 500 years before Columbus set sail. The study does not shed light on the emergence…

Research Areas:
Read More
News Allgemein

HEAS Members win Young Investigator Award 2023

Congratulations to HEAS member Laura van der Sluis and HEAS Team Leader Pere Gelabert on being awarded the Young Investigator Award 2023. The Young Investigator Award is an initiative of the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Vienna designed to honour young postdoctoral scientists publishing in the top journals of their field. Award recipients are selected based on their publication output.

Research Areas:
Read More
News Allgemein

New publication on deep learning for population genetics by HEAS member Xin Huang and others

  The journal Nature Reviews Genetics published today a comprehensive review on how deep learning techniques are used in the context of population genetics, such as tasks for inferring demographic histories, identifying population structure and investigating natural selection from high-throughput sequencing data. With increasingly large-scale datasets on genetic diversity, especially for modern and ancient humans, technologies from deep learning are becoming more and more popular for studying evolutionary biology. An overview on this highly dynamic interdisciplinary field is presented in this publication, providing guidelines and discussing future directions. HEAS members Xin Huang and Martin Kuhlwilm led this work, with contributions from HEAS member Aigerim Rymbekova, as well as collaborators in Spain. Click here for more

Read More
Read More
News Allgemein

HEAS in the News -New Publication by HEAS Member

New publication of Philip R. Nigst and colleagues in the Journal of Paleolithic Archaeology on the results of the new excavations at Korolevo II in Ukraine. The site of Korolevo II in western Ukraine - located in the border area between central and eastern Europe - is mainly known for its Early Upper Palaeolithic assemblage, argued in the past to represent an assemblage at the transition from the Middle to the Upper Palaeolithic. Hence, the site holds a potential for a better understanding of the Middle to the Upper Palaeolithic transition and the replacement of Neanderthals by modern humans. In this paper we report on our new fieldwork between 2015 and 2017, which provided a new view on the stratigraphy, chronology and archaeological sequence of the site. Read more here   Link to article      

Research Areas:
Read More
News Allgemein

New publication by HEAS Member José-Miguel Tejero on prehistioric sound instruments

Sound instruments over 12,000 years old identified as used by the last hunter-gatherers of the Near East to imitate the call of birds of prey An international team of archaeologists and ethnomusicologists led by José-Miguel Tejero (Researcher at the Pinhasi Laboratory of the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology of the University of Vienna and HEAS Member) and Laurent Davin (CNRS. France) has discovered a unique set of prehistoric sound instruments in the Near East. These objects come from the Eynan-Mallaha archaeological site (Natufian archaeological culture, c. 13,000-9,700 BC) in northern Israel, excavated since 1955 by a Franco-Israeli team. The results of the study of these materials have just been published in the journal Scientific Reports. Link to article   [gallery ids="2519,2522"] [playlist type="video" ids="2517"]      

Research Areas:
Read More
News Allgemein

HEAS in the News: HEAS reacts to Colleague’s Nobel Prize

HEAS member Robin Golster has offered his congratulations to his colleague Prof. Anton Zeilinger upon the announcement of his Nobel Prize win. "The Faculty of Physics is very happy about this well-deserved award for Anton Zeilinger, who has significantly shaped our research and promotion of young talent since 1999 - as a top researcher, scientific mentor and also as Dean of our faculty. That in Austria as a whole there is a flourishing landscape for the Quantum research is also a great achievement of Anton Zeilinger. With his scientific curiosity and energy, he is an inspiration for all faculty members," congratulates Robin Golser, Dean of the Faculty of Physics at the University of Vienna. Read more here (in German): https://science.apa.at/power-search/3565881263135562463

Read More
Read More
News Allgemein

Exciting new publications from HEAS Deputy Head Ron Pinhasi

The Southern Arc and its lively genetic History Vast paleogenetic study reveals insights on migration patterns, the expansion of farming and language development from the Caucasus over western Asia and Southern Europe from the early Copper Age until the late middle ages   In a trio of papers, published simultaneously in the journal Science, Ron Pinhasi from the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology and Human Evolution and Archaeological Sciences (HEAS) at the University of Vienna and Songül Alpaslan-Roodenberg from the University of Vienna and Harvard University, Iosif Lazaridis and David Reich at Harvard University—together with 202 co-authors—report a massive effort of genome-wide sequencing from 727 distinct ancient individuals with which it was possible to test longstanding archaeological, genetic and linguistic hypotheses. They present a systematic picture of the interlinked histories of peoples across the Southern Arc Region from the origins of agriculture, to late medieval times. Read in full here The Southern Arc and its lively genetic History Ancient DNA from Mesopotamia suggests distinct Pre-Pottery and Pottery Neolithic migrations into Anatolia. A genetic probe into the ancient and medieval history of Southern Europe and West Asia. The genetic history of the Southern Arc: A bridge between West Asia and Europe

Read More
Read More
Allgemein

Ancient DNA from Mesopotamia suggests distinct Pre-Pottery and Pottery Neolithic migrations into Anatolia

Lazaridis, I., Alpaslan-Roodenberg, S., Acar, A., Açıkkol, A., Agelarakis, A., Aghikyan, L., Akyüz, U., Andreeva, D., Andrijašević, G., Antonović, D., Armit, I., Atmaca, A., Avetisyan, P., Aytek, A.İ., Bacvarov, K., Badalyan, R., Bakardzhiev, S., Balen, J., Bejko, L., Bernardos, R., Bertsatos, A., Biber, H., Bilir, A., Bodružić, M., Bonogofsky, M., Bonsall, C., Borić, D., Borovinić, N., Bravo Morante, G., Buttinger, K., Callan, K., Candilio, F., Carić, M., Cheronet, O., Chohadzhiev, S., Chovalopoulou, M.-E., Chryssoulaki, S., Ciobanu, I., Čondić, N., Constantinescu, M., Cristiani, E., Culleton, B.J., Curtis, E., Davis, J., Demcenco, T.I., Dergachev, V., Derin, Z., Deskaj, S., Devejyan, S., Djordjević, V., Duffett Carlson, K.S., Eccles, L.R., Elenski, N., Engin, A., Erdoğan, N., Erir-Pazarcı, S., Fernandes, D.M., Ferry, M., Freilich, S., Frînculeasa, A., Galaty, M.L., Gamarra, B., Gasparyan, B., Gaydarska, B., Genç, E., Gültekin, T., Gündüz, S., Hajdu, T., Heyd, V., Hobosyan, S., Hovhannisyan, N., Iliev, I., Iliev, L., Iliev, S., İvgin, İ., Janković, I., Jovanova, L., Karkanas, P., Kavaz-Kındığılı, B., Kaya, E.H., Keating, D., Kennett, D.J., Deniz Kesici, S., Khudaverdyan, A., Kiss, K., Kılıç, S., Klostermann, P., Kostak Boca Negra Valdes, S., Kovačević, S., Krenz-Niedbała, M., Krznarić Škrivanko, M., Kurti, R., Kuzman, P., Lawson, A.M., Lazar, C., Leshtakov, K., Levy, T.E., Liritzis, I., Lorentz, K.O., Łukasik, S., Mah, M., Mallick, S., Mandl, K., Martirosyan-Olshansky, K., Matthews, R., Matthews, W., McSweeney,…

Research Areas:
Read More
Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Members Allgemein

Susanna SAWYER

Susanna is a Lise Meitner Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Vienna. She completed her PhD under Svante Pääbo on genomic insights into Denisovans and Neandertals of Denisova Cave. She joined the department in 2018 and has focused on a wide range of ancient DNA questions. She is particularly interested in ancient epigenetics and the effect of maternal behavior on methylation signals during gestation in ancient human populations. In 2023 she will begin a new project on human ancient DNA analyses from sediments.

Read More
Department of Evolutionary Anthropology (DEA) Members Allgemein

Arne BIELKE

After I started studying biology at Leibniz University Hannover, I developed an interest in population genetics, conservation genetics, and ecology. Driven this passion, I pursued my education in evolutionary systems biology at the University of Vienna. For my master's thesis, I focused on recurrent ecotype formation of an alpine plant. I conducted a comprehensive analysis of smRNA profiles from reciprocally transplanted individuals and those grown in a common garden. Currently, for my PhD, my research focuses on New Zealand feral horses. Through bioinformatic and comparative population genomics, my goal is to provide science- based insights for future conservation management plans. This endeavor aims to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of New Zealand's European settlers through studying their horses, as human history has always shaped and been shaped by the history of our livestock’s.

Read More
Read More