Celebrated Prehistoric Archaeologist Professor Volker Heyd Honored with "Moving Northward" Festschrift on his 60th Birthday

In honor of Professor Volker Heyd's 60th birthday, a celebratory volume has been published, titled "Moving Northward." Professor Heyd, a Prehistoric Archaeologist and the Principal Investigator of the YMPACT project, is known for his extensive work on European prehistory and particularly Yamnaya migrations.

This special Festschrift brings together 28 peer-reviewed scientific papers authored by a vibrant community of Professor Heyd's colleagues, students, and friends from multiple European countries. These contributions are organized into seven thematic chapters that collectively reflect the broad spectrum of Professor Heyd's research interests, covering subjects as diverse as cultural identity and ethnicity, linguistics, DNA and isotope chemistry, and even the nuanced moments of history laden with conflict.

Opening with critical discussions on the Yamnaya impact in prehistoric Europe and proceeding to explore the Corded Ware phenomenon, the papers also delve into human movements and migrations across Europe, emphasizing the interdisciplinary approaches of Professor Heyd. With an interdisciplinary approach, the book also includes studies on fieldwork, geosciences and provides novel perspectives on landscape and spatial analysis.

Beyond the Festschrift, Professor Heyd's research has evolved significantly over the last decade. His influence is most notable in his studies of the third millennium BC, which has led to a broader interest in early European Neolithisation, the Iron Age, and even the Viking Age. His geographical lens has widened from Central Europe to encapsulate numerous regions across the continent. His noteworthy contributions not only include pioneering work on the mobility of societies via studies of 87Sr/86Sr and δ18O isotopes but also the promotion of cross-disciplinary methods incorporating insights from chemistry, physical anthropology, genetics, and beyond.

Colleagues acclaim Professor Heyd's deep involvement in diverse archaeological contexts, his inspiring public seminars, and his active role in fostering educational and research relationships with institutions such as the University of Helsinki and others. His research collaborations have been significant in expanding the study of archaeological sciences, particularly isotopic analysis and ancient DNA studies. 

Professor Heyd's move to Helsinki, accompanied by his prestigious ERC Advanced Grant for the YMPACT project, marked a new chapter in his career, taking him to connect with yet another inspiring research community. The YMPACT project's ambitious aim to dissect the Yamnaya culture's influence has given rise to a new era of understanding concerning Europe's past genetic and cultural landscape.

As a mentor and educator, he has enriched his field with robust archaeological science courses and has played a vital part in developing scientific archaeology within Finland’s academic curriculum. His profound expertise has shaped a new generation of archaeologists, embarking on innovative research paths and exploring fresh perspectives within Finnish heritage studies.

On this momentous occasion, the international archaeological community celebrates the contributions of Professor Volker Heyd. "Moving Northward. Professor Volker Heyd´s Festschrift as he turns 60" not only stands as a testament to his influence in the field but also as a beacon of continued exploration in understanding humanity’s deep past.