Population, monuments and violence in Neolithic Europe

Author(s): Stephen Shennan

Year: 2015


The EUROEVOL project has recently created reconstructions of changing regional population densities based on summed radiocarbon probability distributions for a large area of western and central Europe for the period 8000-4000 BP, covering the later Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. These have revealed a pattern of population booms and busts in many regions following the arrival of farming. The project has also gathered data on the construction dates of enclosures surrounded by ditches, banks and palisades, and on the dates of significant violence events during this period. These data will be used to try and distinguish between two hypotheses: that the enclosures are an indicator of economic prosperity and the ability to invest in production beyond subsistence or that they are associated with instability as local population densities peak and stress available resources, as suggested by Turchin.

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Cite this Record

Population, monuments and violence in Neolithic Europe. Stephen Shennan. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395366)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;