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Jean M
07-10-2014, 04:36 PM
http://www.geneticarchaeology.com/research/Researchers_chart_an_ancient_baby_boom.asp


Washington State University researchers have sketched out one of the greatest baby booms in North American history, a centuries-long "growth blip" among southwestern Native Americans between 500 to 1300 A.D.

It was a time when the early features of civilization-including farming and food storage-had matured to where birth rates likely "exceeded the highest in the world today," the researchers write in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A crash followed, said Tim Kohler, WSU Regents professor of anthropology, offering a warning sign to the modern world about the dangers of overpopulation. "We can learn lessons from these people," said Kohler, who coauthored the paper with graduate student Kelsey Reese.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the study looks at a century's worth of data on thousands of human remains found at hundreds of sites across the Four Corners region of the Southwest. While many of the remains have been repatriated, the data let Kohler assemble a detailed chronology of the region's Neolithic Demographic Transition, in which stone tools reflect an agricultural transition from cutting meat to pounding grain....

The northern Southwest had as many as 40,000 people in the mid-1200s, but within 30 years it was empty, leaving a mystery that has consumed several archaeological careers, including Kohler's. Perhaps the population got too large to feed itself as climates deteriorated, but as people began to leave, it would have been hard to maintain the social unity needed for defense and new infrastructure, said Kohler.

RCO
07-10-2014, 05:08 PM
The same happened several times in the regions of the Middle East and Europe. The initial Neolithisation process was not a completely linear, regular and cumulative process, but an irregular process intermediated with booms and bursts peaks that can explain completely different demographic waves in one region.