Publications

Temporal dynamics of woolly mammoth genome erosion prior to extinction

Dehasque, M., Morales, H.E., Díez-del-Molino, D., Pečnerová, P., Chacón-Duque, J.C., Kanellidou, F., Muller, H., Plotnikov, V., Protopopov, A., Tikhonov, A., Nikolskiy, P., Danilov, G.K., Giannì, M., van der Sluis, L., Higham, T., Heintzman, P.D., Oskolkov, N., Gilbert, M.T.P., Götherström, A., van der Valk, T., Vartanyan, S., Dalén, L., 2024. Temporal dynamics of woolly mammoth genome erosion prior to extinction. Cell 187, 3531-3540.e3513. read more

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Program for Conference on Methodological Innovations in P-XRF-Studies released!

The first Conference on Methodological Innovations in P-XRF-Studies will be held on 24th of September 2024 at the Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science with an Ice-breaker Event at the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien on the 23rd of September. It will give space to discuss portable X-ray fluorescence (p-XRF), a method widely used in a variety of research fields including archaeometry, conservation, geology, heritage studies, and many more. However, despite its widespread use, there still remains a lack of understanding of the specific requirements and best practices for handling the instrument across different research applications and materials: The simplicity of the instrument, as easy as pulling a trigger, gives the impression that, compared to laboratory methods, it does not require a specialist to operate it. As a result, there is a lack of training opportunities for practitioners, a deficit of groundwork and innovative studies and a tendency to apply p-XRF in a repetitive manner to the ever-same research questions. This sidelines p-XRF and neglects its innovative potential. Therefore, this conference will provide a platform to present cutting-edge methods and strategies for p-XRF data acquisition, processing and interpretation. It aims to highlight practical and software innovations, handling techniques and the new ways of the application of p-XRF to a variety of materials. Presentations from a variety of fields utilizing p-XRF will be presented…

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HEAS Member Sylvia Kirchengast awarded funding from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)’s 1000 Ideas Program

HEAS Team Leader Sylvia Kirchengast (Department of Evolutionary Anthropology) has recently received new funding from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF)’s 1000 Ideas Program. Her research project, „Gender-associated infant mortality in archaeological samples“, will examine the still unexplained female deficit in prehistoric and historic cemeteries.   The demographic interpretation of prehistoric and historic cemeteries is challenged by a frequent female deficit, with male skeletons often outnumbering female skeletons by a factor of two or more, contrary to expected natural sex ratios. Methodological issues such as inaccurate morphological sex diagnosis and possibly faster decomposition of female skeletons have been suggested but remain unproven. Additionally, gender stereotypes may influence the sex classification of human remains.   Sylvia's interdisciplinary project posits a new explanation: the female deficit is not a methodological artifact but a result of the subordinate role of women in patriarchal societies. This deficit may stem from lower societal investment in female offspring or from deliberate neglect. The project explores this question through interdisciplinary collaboration between Roman Archaeology and Biological Anthropology.   The team, consisting of HEAS members Sylvia Kirchengast, Dominik Hagmann, and other experts from HEAS and beyond, will analyze a Roman-era cemetery from today’s Wels, Austria, known for its female deficit. The research will include aDNA analysis of subadult individuals to detect excess female mortality, 14C dating, and material culture…

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Early developmental masculinization among boys: More prenatal testosterone action (assessed via 2D: 4D) renders their faces perceived as masculine but not pretty or cute.

Schaefer, K., Seidl-Berger, A., Windhager, S., 2024. Early developmental masculinization among boys: More prenatal testosterone action (assessed via 2D: 4D) renders their faces perceived as masculine but not pretty or cute. Early Human Development, 106071.   read more

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HEAS Member Elmira Mohandesan awarded FWF Grant

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Elmira Mohandesan has been awarded an FWF stand-alone research grant (PAT 3594624). She and her international team will explore the genetic diversity and cultural interactions of Late Bronze to Middle Iron Age human communities in the Carpathian Basin. Their multidisciplinary study will investigate how eastern population influxes and horses influenced these societies, providing a comprehensive understanding of their socio-cultural transformations." More information

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HEAS Keynote by Eszter Bánffy took place on the 28th June 2024.

The HEAS Keynote with Eszter Bánffy took place on Friday the 28th June in the beautiful Theatersaal in the HEAS Partner Institution The Austrian Academy of Sciences. We welcomed almost 100 people online and in-person for her talk on 'New strategies and coping practices of early farmers taking the Danubian route (6000-5350 cal BC)'.   The recording from this event will be available on our YouTube channel later this week.

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Homo sapiens reached the higher latitudes of Europe by 45,000 years ago

Mylopotamitaki, D., Weiss, M., Fewlass, H., Zavala, E.I., Rougier, H., Sümer, A.P., Hajdinjak, M., Smith, G.M., Ruebens, K., Sinet-Mathiot, V., Pederzani, S., Essel, E., Harking, F.S., Xia, H., Hansen, J., Kirchner, A., Lauer, T., Stahlschmidt, M., Hein, M., Talamo, S., Wacker, L., Meller, H., Dietl, H., Orschiedt, J., Olsen, J.V., Zeberg, H., Prüfer, K., Krause, J., Meyer, M., Welker, F., McPherron, S.P., Schüler, T., Hublin, J.-J., 2024. Homo sapiens reached the higher latitudes of Europe by 45,000 years ago. Nature 626, 341-346. read more

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Pinhasi Lab featured on ARTE documentary

HEAS members Ron Pinhasi and Olivia Cheronet were recently featured on an arte documentary series 'Das Steinzeit Menu' in the second episode on 'Als Homo sapiens zum Bauern wurde'   The documentary (in German) can be viewed on the link below until the 24th July 2024.   https://www.arte.tv/de/videos/106261-000-A/das-steinzeit-menue/

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HEAS tribute to Board Member Sabine Ladstätter

It is with profound shock and sadness that we have learned of the passing of our esteemed and highly respected colleague, Sabine Ladstätter. As the head of the Austrian Archaeological Institute and the first female Director of the Ephesos excavations, Sabine was an outstanding archaeologist and a gifted science communicator. Sabine was integral to HEAS as one of the central team leaders in that she shared the HEAS approach of interdisciplinary research. She spearheaded the integration of archaeological sciences methods and approaches with Classical Archaeology. Her contributions have left an indelible mark on Austrian archaeology and touched the lives of everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her, both peers and the public alike. Sabine shared our vision for excellence in archaeological research in Vienna and beyond. We knew her as an enthusiastic, captivating, hardworking, devoted, caring, and down-to-earth colleague. Her passing creates a significant void in Austrian archaeology, both nationally and internationally. Sabine will be deeply missed.   Additional Tributes: https://www.oeaw.ac.at/oeai/medien/newsarchiv/news-detail/das-oeai-trauert-um-sabine-ladstaetter    

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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.

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Analyses invasives, micro-invasives et non-invasives des vestiges anthropobiologiques: quelles évolutions des pratiques actuelles et recommandations? Bulletins et mémoires de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris.

Goude, G., Le Maître, A., Bertrand, B., Mounier, A., 2024. Analyses invasives, micro-invasives et non-invasives des vestiges anthropobiologiques: quelles évolutions des pratiques actuelles et recommandations? Bulletins et mémoires de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris. BMSAP 36. read more

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HEAS Member awarded Fellow status at the 35th Annual Meeting of the Human Behaviour and Evolution Society (HBES).

HEAS Member, Bernhard Fink was recently awarded Fellow status at the recent 35th Annual Meeting of the Human Behaviour and Evolution Society (HBES). Fellow status is conferred to members of the Society for sustained outstanding contributions to the study/teaching of evolution and human behaviour, and to the service of the Society. There are currently 7 fellows (2 from Europe). https://www.hbes.com/awards/#toggle-id-3

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Cervidae antlers exploited to manufacture prehistoric tools and hunting implements as a reliable source of ancient DNA

Tejero, J.-M., Cheronet, O., Gelabert, P., Zagorc, B., Álvarez-Fernández, E., Arias, P., Averbouh, A., Bar-Oz, G., Barzilai, O., Belfer-Cohen, A., Bosch, M.D., Brück, F., Cueto, M., Dockner, M., Fullola, J.M., Gárate, D., Giannakoulis, M., González, C., Jakeli, N., Mangado, X., Meshveliani, T., Neruda, P., Nigst, P., Ontañón, R., Shemer, M., Šimková, P.G., Tapia, J., Sánchez de la Torre, M., Schwab, C., Weber, G., Pinhasi, R., 2024. Cervidae antlers exploited to manufacture prehistoric tools and hunting implements as a reliable source of ancient DNA. Heliyon 10, e31858. read more

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Call for Paper for p-XRF conference – deadline on 7th of June

The Call for Papers for the upcoming conference on Methodological Innovations in p-XRF Studies, hosted by the Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science (VIAS) and sponsored by HEAS, closes in just a couple of days on the 7th of June! The conference will provide a platform for presenting cutting-edge methods and strategies for p-XRF data acquisition, processing, and interpretation. We invite 20-minute presentations from all fields utilizing p-XRF, with a focus on practical and software innovations, handling techniques, and new applications across diverse materials. Key details: Abstract Submission Deadline: June 7th, 2024 (max. 250 words) Conference Registration Deadline: August 11th, 2024 Conference Date: September 24th, 2024 Ice-breaker Event: September 23rd, 2024 Location: VIAS and NHM Conference Proceedings: Will be published Participation: Free of charge For more information, please refer to the Conference_pXRF_CfP or visit the conference website: https://vias.univie.ac.at/projekte/conference-methodological-innovations-in-p-xrf-studies/ This conference is being organised by HEAS Member Michaela Schauer  

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HEAS UXO workshop

Workshop on Explosive ordnance identification for archaeologists Archaeological fieldwork often takes place in areas that were the scene of historical conflicts. This increases the probability of encountering explosive ordnance during excavations. It can be assumed that on average 10% of all explosive devices fired in conflicts did not explode. These unexploded ordnance (UXO) pose a risk to the safety of excavating archaeologists. Currently, many lack the necessary awareness and training to identify and properly handle ordnance found during fieldwork. This workshop aims to raise risk awareness and to close knowledge gaps in order to increase safety. Participants should be able to recognise potentially dangerous explosive ordnance, ammunition and ammunition parts during field work and react appropriately. This workshop is funded by the HEAS research network and supported by the Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science, the Institute for Prehistory and Historical Archaeology, and the Austrian Archaeological Institute. Date and location: Saturday June 8th 2024, 9:30 until ca. 15:00, Franz-Klein-Gasse 1, HS7, 1190 Vienna Speaker: Vice-Lieutenant Jürgen Zeitlhofer Workshop language:  German For registrations please email immo.trinks@univie.ac.at   Download flyer  

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HEAS Member Verena Schuenemann Publishes Research on How Leprosy Spread Between Red Squirrels And People in Medieval England

Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease that continues to sicken 200,000 people each year in many places around the world, according to the World Health Organization, spread through close contact over months with someone who has untreated leprosy. But new evidence from archaeological sites in the medieval English city of Winchester reported in Current Biology on May 3, 2024, shows that English red squirrels once served as an important host for the Mycobacterium leprae strains responsible for leprosy in people. The findings may have implications for understanding the spread of leprosy today, including why it has not been successfully eradicated, according to the researchers. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, they also highlight the importance of a collaborative One Health approach for understanding infectious diseases and health outcomes more broadly. One Health refers to an approach that recognizes that the health of people is closely linked to the health of animals and the environment.   Read Press Release Link to article

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HEAS Member wins Poster Price

HEAS Member Michelle Haemmerle recently won a poster prize for her work on the 'Monkeypox virus in museum samples of orangutans' at the VDSEE Symposium in the University of Vienna Biology Building (UBB). The publication the poster was based on was published earlier this month.

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Ancient mitogenomes from Pre-Pottery Neolithic Central Anatolia and the effects of a Late Neolithic bottleneck in sheep (Ovis aries)

Sandoval-Castellanos, E., Hare, A.J., Lin, A.T., Dimopoulos, E.A., Daly, K.G., Geiger, S., Mullin, V.E., Wiechmann, I., Mattiangeli, V., Lühken, G., Zinovieva, N.A., Zidarov, P., Çakırlar, C., Stoddart, S., Orton, D., Bulatović, J., Mashkour, M., Sauer, E.W., Horwitz, L.K., Horejs, B., Atici, L., Özkaya, V., Mullville, J., Parker Pearson, M., Mainland, I., Card, N., Brown, L., Sharples, N., Griffiths, D., Allen, D., Arbuckle, B., Abell, J.T., Duru, G., Mentzer, S.M., Munro, N.D., Uzdurum, M., Gülçur, S., Buitenhuis, H., Gladyr, E., Stiner, M.C., Pöllath, N., Özbaşaran, M., Krebs, S., Burger, J., Frantz, L., Medugorac, I., Bradley, D.G., Peters, J., 2024. Ancient mitogenomes from Pre-Pottery Neolithic Central Anatolia and the effects of a Late Neolithic bottleneck in sheep (Ovis aries). Science Advances 10, eadj0954. read more

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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

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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…

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Cross-modal associations of human body odour attractiveness with facial and vocal attractiveness provide little support for the backup signals hypothesis: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Třebický, V., Delplanque, S., Ferdenzi, C., Fink, B., Jelínková, L., Pátková, Ž., Roberts, S.C., Röder, S., Saxton, T.K., Schwambergová, D., Štěrbová, Z., Fialová, J.T., Havlíček, J., 2023. Cross-modal associations of human body odour attractiveness with facial and vocal attractiveness provide little support for the backup signals hypothesis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Evolution and Human Behavior 44, 19-29. read more

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