Languages and migrations in pre-historic Europe – University of Copenhagen

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Languages and migrations in pre-historic Europe

Linguists, archaeologists and geneticists dig into Europe’s prehistoric past in a new, cross-disciplinary collaboration


The RoE Summer Seminar is a collaboration between the National Museum of Denmark and Roots of Europe, a research center at the University of Copenhagen devoted to tying together the linguistic, archaeological and genetic evidence of Europe’s prehistoric past, beginning with the Late Neolithic and moving into the Bronze Age.

Prehistory – defined as the time period before the emergence of written records – has traditionally been explored and described by archaeologists. Historical linguists as well have reconstructed language stages deep into prehistory, despite the lack of written records. Due to the new revolutionary methods emerging in the natural sciences – in particular the discovery of ancient DNA and strontium isotopes – archaeologists and archaeo-linguists are now able to compare and connect their findings with unprecedented precision. As a result, we have an increasingly complex and vivid idea of Europe’s Neolithic and Bronze-Age populations: their languages, migrations, mutual warfare, religion, mythology and social organization.

These are the topics to be presented and discussed by a panel of internationally leading experts.

Where and when

The seminar lasts from 7–12 August 2018, most days from 10:30 to 16:30.

The first four days (Tuesday–Friday) will take place at the National Museum of Denmark; many of the talks will relate directly to the museum’s collections.

The last two days (Saturday–Sunday) will take place at the Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics at the University of Copenhagen.

Who can attend?

All talks will be open to the public; to attend the talks at the museum, visitors must pay the museum’s entrance fee.

Participants wishing to tak part in lunches and coffee breaks and obtain free access to the museum during the seminar must sign up at the KU Webshop. The deadline is 15 July

Attending the RoE Summer Seminar as a PhD course

The Summer Seminar has been approved as a PhD course; please sign up here before 18 June.

Further details