Expected palaeoanthropological and archaeological signal from a Neolithic demographic transition on a worldwide scale

  • Jean-Pierre Bocquet-Appel CNRS, EP 2147 44 Paris, France
  • Jérôme Dubouloz CNRS, UMR 7041, “Protohistoire Européenne”, Nanterre, France
Keywords: Neolithic, demographic transition, cemeteries distribution, enclosures distribution

Abstract

A s signal of major demographic change was detected from a palaeoanthropologicaldatabase of 68 Meso-Neolithic cemeteries in Europe (reduced to 36 due to a sampling bias). The signal is characteriyed by a relatively abrupt change in the proportion of immature skeletons (aged 5-19 years), relative to all buried skeletons (5 years +). From the Meso to the Neolithic, the proportion rose from approximately 20% to 30%. This change reflects a noticeable increase in the birth rate over a duration of about 500-700 years, and is referred to as the Neolithic Demographic Transition (NDT). Another category of independent archaeological data, on enclosures (N =694), which are interpreted as a response to population growth within the social area, reveals a similar signal at the same tempo. If this is a true signal, we should expect it to be detected also in all the independent centresof agricultural invention worldwide. The NDT is at the historical root of the pre-industrial populations that would gradually spread across the Earthand which are now rapidly disappearing.

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Published
2004-12-31
How to Cite
Bocquet-Appel, J.-P., & Dubouloz, J. (2004). Expected palaeoanthropological and archaeological signal from a Neolithic demographic transition on a worldwide scale. Documenta Praehistorica, 31, 25-33. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.31.2
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Articles