Roots of Europe Summer Seminar at the National Museum, 7 – 12 August 2018 – Københavns Universitet

Roots of Europe > RoE Summer Seminar

Languages and migrations in pre-historic Europe

Roots of Europe Summer Seminar
at NorS and the National Museum of Denmark
7–12 August 2018

Battle-axe, Danish single-grave culture. Black diabase. Found and photographed by Poul Andersen.

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 archaeolinguists 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, from 10.30 AM–4.30 PM.

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 (extended) deadline is 1 August.

Attending the RoE Summer Seminar as a PhD course

The Summer Seminar has been approved as a PhD course; sign-up is now closed.

Unlike in previous years, the Roots of Europe does not offer a summer school; but we would like to draw your attention to the Archaeomics Summer School that takes place in the week just following the seminar at the department of GeoGenetics.

Programme, subject to change

Tuesday, 7 August

At the National Museum

10:45 – 11:45

The Indo-European languages

Thomas Olander PhD, DPhil. (University of Copenhagen)

12:00 – 12:30

Introducing The Homeland Timeline Map: Prehistoric migrations in “real time”

Mikkel Nørtoft, MA


Indo-Europeans, Aryans and Nazi mythology

Benedicte Nielsen Whitehead PhD (University of Copenhagen)

15:30 – 16:30

The genetic evidence for prehistoric migrations

Hannes Schroeder PhD (University of Copenhagen)

Wednesday, 8 August

At the National Museum

10:45 – 11.45

Indo-European society and language: 
An archaeolinguistic perspective

Prof. Birgit Anette Olsen (University of Copenhagen)

12:00 – 12:30

The chariot, the horse, the winged depas:
Once again on the journey of the Sun-god

Laura Massetti PhD (University of Copenhagen & Harvard Center for
Hellenic Studies

14:00 – 15:00 

The Indo-Europeanization of Europe

Prof. Kristian Kristiansen (University of Gothenburg)

15:30 – 16:30 

Celtic-Germanic relationships:
4000 years of  being neighbours

Adam Hyllested PhD (University of Copenhagen)

Thursday, 9 August

At the National Museum

10:45 – 11:45

Prehistoric Scandinavian disruptions

Lasse Sørensen PhD (National Museum of Denmark)

12:00 – 12:45

Bronze Age Iconography

Flemming Kaul, DPhil

14:00 – 15:00

Reflections on the introduction of Indo-European in southern Scandinavia:
The archaeological evidence

Rune Iversen PhD (University of Copenhagen)
Guus Kroonen (Universities of Copenhagen and Leiden)

15:30 – 16:30

Emergence of the Germanic languages in Northern Europe

Seán Vrieland PhD (University of Copenhagen)

Friday, 10 August

At the National Museum

10:45 – 11:45


The archaeology and linguistics of Indo-European origins and spread

Prof. David Anthony (Hartwick College)

12:00 – 12:30


The diseases of the Indo-European peoples

Matilde Serangeli PhD (University of Copenhagen)

14:00 – 15:00


Migrations in a long-term perspective

Jeanette Varberg (National Museum of Denmark)

15:30 – 16:30


The indo-European homeland problem:
Traditional methods and current problems

Prof. James P Mallory (Queen’s University of Belfast)

Saturday, 11 August

At the University of Copenhagen

The weekend sessions will be dedicated to front-line research, i.e. work in progress, allowing for plenty of discussions.
Most speakers  will announce their topics at a later time.

10:45 – 11:45


Prof. Kristian Kristiansen, University of Gothenburg

12:00 – 12:30

From Indo-European to Russian:
A study of sound change and its relative chronology

Florian Wandl, PhD student (University of Zürich)

13:30 – 14.30


Guus Kroonen PhD (Universities of Leiden and Copenhagen)

15:00 – 16:00

Linguistic Palaeontology

Prof. James P Mallory (Queen’s University of belfast)

Sunday, 12 August

At the University of Copenhagen

10:45 – 11:45


Prof. David Anthony

12:00 – 12:30

Rumselçuk Caravanserais of 13th  Century Anatolia

Else marie Johansen Cand. arch.

13:30 – 14:30      

A critique of recent developments in the archaeology of the Indo-Europeans

James Alan Johnson PhD (University of Copenhagen)

15:00 – 16:00


Panel discussion

All lecturers