The analysis of DNA extracted from archaeological remains has transformed the study of the human past. Until now the new insights have been restricted chiefly to “pre-history,” and to northern, cooler regions of the globe, where DNA is better preserved.

DNA is now beginning to illuminate the period that saw the rise of civilizations in the ancient Mediterranean. Accordingly, the Initiative for the Science of the Human Past at Harvard (SoHP) is delighted to announce the formation of a new center for the study of the Mediterranean using ancient DNA and other scientific approaches.

The Max Planck-Harvard Research Center for the Archaeoscience of the Ancient Mediterranean (MHAAM) is a platform to engage colleagues and students in the discovery of new data which will prompt us to re-think and revise many of our contemporary perspectives on the history of pandemic disease, cultural engagement, migration and human health.

The main research sites for MHAAM are the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany (Johannes Krause’s group), and the Initiative for the SoHP, with research groups including those of Michael McCormick, David Reich and Noreen Tuross.

The new center will be inaugurated at Harvard University on Oct. 10, featuring a keynote lecture by Krause on his latest, unpublished research as well as by Reich and Iosif Lazaridis on new evidence for ancient migrations. The event will include the signing of the agreement between the Max Planck Society and SoHP. For more information, contact Lisa Ransom Lubarr at llubarr@fas.harvard.edu

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