GSSSH Distinguished Seminar by Prof. Philipp Wolfgang Stockhammer

Author: GSSSH
Time: 16:00
Location: Founders Hall

Philipp W. Stockhammer

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Institut für Vor- und Frühgeschichtliche Archäologie und Provinzialrömische Archäologie, Munich, Germany

& Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany


 Bioarchaeological research – especially archaeogenetics – has often focused on supra-regional and long-term developments especially with regard to the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC in Eurasia. However, these current perspectives can neither explain the complexity of these supra-regional developments nor their impact on local communities.


In my lecture, I will present the results of our collaborative research project “Times of Upheaval”, which focused on the integration of a broad range of archaeological and scientific analyses within a micro-region, namely the valley of the river Lech south of present-day Augsburg in Southern Germany during the 3rd and early 2nd millennia BC. The archaeological evaluation of more than 400 burials, about 200 radiocarbon dates, about 150 isotopic (Sr, C, N) analyses and the genomic analysis of 104 individuals have generated a novel basis for writing an integrative prehistory on a local level.


We are not only able to decipher the complexity of local marital rules as well as sex- and age-based patterns of mobility and different modes of fostering, but we now finally understand the formation of burial groups on cemeteries, inheritance rules of hamlets and the relation between material objects in graves and the position of the deceased individual within the pedigree of the hamlet’s inhabitants. Moreover, the co-presence of biologically related and unrelated individuals in every farmstead implies a socially stratified complex household in the Central European Bronze Age. Using a novel approach of pedigree-based Bayesian modeling of radiocarbon dates, we reach an unprecedented precision for dating prehistoric skeletons.