Affiliation: Leiden University, NL

Keywords: Historical linguistics, Indo-European studies, Tocharian language, Central Asian Buddhism, Tarim Basin, Language contact, Population prehistory



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Michaël Peyrot was trained at Leiden University in Historical Indo-European Linguistics, specializing in an extinct Indo-European language from Northwest China: Tocharian. After obtaining his PhD degree in 2010, he moved to the University of Vienna, then, with a Marie Curie Fellowship, to the Turfanforschung of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences of Humanities, before coming back to Leiden, where he is currently heading two projects: “Tracking the Tocharians” (VIDI of the Dutch Research Council, 2016–2021) and “The Tocharian Trek” (ERC-Starting Grant, 2018–2023). His research focuses on ancient Central Asian languages and the historical and prehistorical contacts between them, integrating linguistic inferences about prehistory with insights from archaeology and ancient DNA studies.