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The Yamnaya Impact on Prehistoric Europe

The Yamnaya Impact on Prehistoric Europe

Objective

Dramatic migrations in the third millennium BC re-shaped Europe, modifying its economy, society, ethnicity and ideological structure for ever. The best incentive proxy are populations that moved from the steppes of Russia, spreading as far west as Hungary, implanting a pastoral economy with widespread innovations. These dynamic people covered thousands of kilometres within a few centuries, and organised direct physical relations over the steppes for the first time. This synchronism is promoted by a society organised to fit to this lifestyle, with new herding techniques, likely use of wagons and domesticated horses, and a protein-rich diet, whose adaptive advantages are evident from the physical record in human skeletons and territorial extensions. This is the Yamnaya complex, whose impact remains visible today in the European gene pool and apparently the propagation of Indo-European languages. This international and interdisciplinary project examines the data from 320 excavated burial mounds and c.1350 burials to calibrate these changes, also against a control sample of supposedly local and neighbouring populations. The archaeological, biological and environmental information allows large, new datasets to be built, whose systematic interrogation and modelling should reveal the formative processes behind these changes. Assessing funeral archaeology, material culture, and exchange pattern defines their culture and impact. Scientific analyses of skeletons expose relations of origin, degrees of consanguinity, diet, and histories of individual mobility over single lifetimes with new precision and replicability. They should also act as proxy datasets for environmental changes using further analytical techniques in a context of landscape evolution. Diachronic patterns within these sets should link with aspects of the internal social dynamics, such as the creation of new status positions, visible later in the Pan-European Corded Ware and Bell Beaker groups.

Host institution

HELSINGIN YLIOPISTO

Address

Yliopistonkatu 3
00014 Helsingin Yliopisto

Finland

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 681 159

Beneficiaries (5)

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HELSINGIN YLIOPISTO

Finland

EU Contribution

€ 1 681 159

UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 245 786

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 151 509

SZENT ISTVAN UNIVERSITY

Hungary

EU Contribution

€ 60 000

JOHANNES GUTENBERG-UNIVERSITAT MAINZ

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 355 755

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 788616

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 January 2019

  • End date

    31 December 2023

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 2 494 209

  • EU contribution

    € 2 494 209

Hosted by:

HELSINGIN YLIOPISTO

Finland