What is COREX?

Which came first: Climate changes or social and economic changes? How did cultural and genetic changes influence each other? And what caused people to migrate?

“These are some of the big questions that the project will answer,” says Kristian Kristiansen, Professor in Archaeology at the University of Gothenburg, one of the COREX projects Principal Investigators (PI).

By combining novel modelling approaches with archaeology and large quantities of data and analyses – including everything from prehistoric genetic material (aDNA) to climate data – the research team aims to discover and explain the key processes behind the genetic and cultural diversity in Europe. The researchers will investigate the period from the first farmers around 6,000 years BCE, to the end of the Bronze Age around 500 years BCE.

The project has been awarded an ERC Synergy Grant by the European Research Council (ERC).

What is aDNA?

Ancient DNA (aDNA) is genetic material from ancient organisms.

Due to its high age, aDNA often has a higher degradation than modern DNA.

Cheaper research methods and better sequencing techniques have revolutionized the study of aDNA since 2009.

It is now possible to sequence aDNA material that is up to 0.4-1.5 million years old. 

Through cheaper analyses the aDNA record available in archaeology has grown considerably enabling large scale research projects such as COREX.

Pollen analysis

Pollen, which is produced by seed plants, is dispersed in the atmosphere and can become preserved in lake and soil sediments providing a record of past landscape change.

Quantifying vegetation change from pollen assemblages has been made possible by modelling techniques that account for the dispersal mechanisms and pollen production of different plants.

Extensive pollen analytical work has taken place across Europe that allows reconstruction of continental-scale landscape change over tens of thousands of years.

Within the COREX project, databases of fossil pollen records will be used to understand the relationships between landscape change and human migration.

Pollen Analysis


COREX launched!

  The ERC funded project “From CORrelations to EXplanations: towards a new European prehistory” or in short COREX (Synergy grant) was launched on the 1st of May 2021. In the project, researchers from the University Read more…