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Jean M
09-08-2014, 10:06 PM
Another paper from the Shennan and Edinborough team on the population ups and downs in the European Neolithic. There has been quite a spate of them, but mainly on northern Europe. This one takes us further (including Bohemia, Moravia and Little Poland), though still not into southern Europe.

Adrian Timpson, Sue Colledge, Enrico Crema, Kevan Edinborough, Tim Kerig, Katie Manning, Mark G. Thomas, Stephen Shennan, Reconstructing regional population fluctuations in the European Neolithic using radiocarbon dates: a new case-study using an improved method, Journal of Archaeological Science, online 1 September 2014

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440314002982


In a previous study we presented a new method that used summed probability distributions (SPD) of radiocarbon dates as a proxy for population levels, and Monte-Carlo simulation to test the significance of the observed fluctuations in the context of uncertainty in the calibration curve and archaeological sampling. The method allowed us to identify periods of significant short-term population change, caveated with the fact that around 5% of these periods were false positives. In this study we present an improvement to the method by applying a criterion to remove these false positives from both the simulated and observed distributions, resulting in a substantial improvement to both its sensitivity and specificity. We also demonstrate that the method is extremely robust in the face of small sample sizes. Finally we apply this improved method to radiocarbon datasets from 12 European regions, covering the period 8000 to 4000 BP. As in our previous study, the results reveal a boom-bust pattern for most regions, with population levels rising rapidly after the local arrival of farming, followed by a crash to levels much lower than the peak. The prevalence of this phenomenon, combined with the dissimilarity and lack of synchronicity in the general shapes of the regional SPDs, supports the hypothesis of endogenous causes.

Jean M
09-08-2014, 10:20 PM
The Bell Beaker Blogger comments on this paper : http://bellbeakerblogger.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/neolithic-population-busts-study.html


There is, however, a massive population spike with the arrival of Maritime Bell Beakers in Bohemia and Moravia. The population of Britain more than doubles and the population of Ireland nearly quadruples with the arrival of Beakers (1.0 paper). The population of the Czech Republic almost triples and quadruples at the end of the millennium.

Putting this in context is more interesting. It's not surprising to see the population of Britain expanding during this time, as it would appear to have been the subject of ongoing Beaker immigration from everywhere (Iberia, Lower Rhine and Central Europe).

However, the Moravian and Bohemian numbers are simply jaw dropping. Not only did it defy the continental trend from the sampled areas, it was likely the baby factory that sent immigrants to other parts of Europe, such as Little Poland, Hungary and Wessex. So it wasn't just 3-4 times expansion.

Atimeres
09-21-2014, 02:06 PM
However, the Moravian and Bohemian numbers are simply jaw dropping. Not only did it defy the continental trend from the sampled areas, it was likely the baby factory that sent immigrants to other parts of Europe, such as Little Poland, Hungary and Wessex. So it wasn't just 3-4 times expansion.
This "simply jaw dropping... massive population spike" was accomplished on the basis of:
Kozlowski says that the Mesolithic population density had to range from 1-2 people per 10,000 square km.
If the amount increased to 5 people, the increase was about 300-400 percent.
From almost zero amount easily obtained shocking rise!

Jean M
09-21-2014, 03:26 PM
Kozlowski says that the Mesolithic population density had to range from 1-2 people per 10,000 square km.

That quotation is not talking about the increase in population from Mesolithic to Neolithic. It is talking about the


a massive population spike with the arrival of Maritime Bell Beakers in Bohemia and Moravia

in the Copper Age.