For millennia, the Balkans have been a nexus between east and west, whereas the Balkan-routes enabled cultural and economic exchange and provided for the genetic and linguistic dynamics at least since the spread of farming from Anatolia. Such a geographical position factored the diversity of genetic, cultural, and linguistic imprints left in the region at different times. Yet, a coherent picture of the processes defined in space and time ‒ the whereabouts of the demographically diverse groups of speakers of preliterate Indo-European and other languages connected to archeologically and genetically traceable movements ‒ is totally lacking. The Indo-Europeanization of the Balkans is a major enigma in comparison to many other areas of IE dispersal, and a highly controversial topic within each of the three disciplines, since none of them has methods to get the whole picture independently.

Applying the innovative 3D-input method, the project aims at spatial and temporal delineation of multiple demographically diverse arrivals of IE newcomers and their linguistic diversification and, thus, providing a three-dimensional picture of the Balkan Bronze-Age societies and their dynamics, i.e., not only when and where the people lived but also, what they looked like, what languages they spoke, what was their way of life, and what interactions they maintained.

Public Outreach

The Indo-Europeanization of the Balkans. Some new insights at the interface of Archeology, Archaeogenetics and Historical Linguistics. Talk at the Arbeitstagung of the Indogermanische Gesellschaft „Second Homelands of Indo-European“, Leiden 5.-7. September 2022


Dr. Katsiaryna Ackermann
Department of Linguistics. Balkan Research Unit / IHB / ÖAW; Language-Culture-Cognition Lab, ACDH-CH / ÖAW

Dr. Joachim Matzinger
Department of Linguistics. Balkan Research Unit / IHB / ÖAW

Dr. Mario Gavranovic
Department of Prehistory & West Asian/Northeast African Archaeology / ÖAI / ÖAW; Human Evolution & Archaeological Science (HEAS Network); University of Vienna

Prof. Dr. Chuan-Chao Wang
Director of Biological Anthropology Lab, and Professor in the Institute of Anthropology, Xiamen University, China

In Cooperation with

Prof. Dr. David Reich
Principal Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, and Senior Associate Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT