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Developing population size estimates for the Saharo-Arabian Late Pleistocene and expectations of their demographic effects

Author(s): Eleanor Scerri ; Richard Jennings

Year: 2016

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Summary

Similarities between stone tools in northeast Africa and Southwest Asia are considered to reflect either one or more of a number of processes including technological convergence in similar ecological zones, demic dispersal and cultural transfer/cultural diffusion. However, determining the likelihood of these effects is contingent upon accurate estimates of population size – a variable that is rarely discussed explicitly. In this paper, upper and lower bounds for population sizes in the northeast African Late Pleistocene are extracted from modelled net primary productivity in three time slices, at 130 thousand years ago (ka), 125ka and 115ka. These data are then used to simulate the likelihood of a number of demographic outcomes potentially affecting the similarities in the archaeological record between Late Pleistocene sites in northeast Africa and others in the Arabian Peninsula. Finally, the results are considered more broadly for understanding the out-of-Africa process.


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Developing population size estimates for the Saharo-Arabian Late Pleistocene and expectations of their demographic effects. Eleanor Scerri, Richard Jennings. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404093)


Keywords


Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America