A radiocarbon test for significant demographic events in written and oral history.
We present the results of a simulation based test for the existence and significance of two known demographic event horizons. We extend the Shennan et al. (2013) summed probability distribution frequency method to provide a value of statistical significance for the period between two defined calendar dates. Case-study one extrapolates population data from the Western historical record relating to the catastrophic European Black Death and finds a consistent statistically significant drop in population. Case-study two uses a regionally scaled database of radiocarbon dates to test for a gap in settlement recorded in the oral historical traditions of descendant Tsimshian First Nation communities from the modern Prince Rupert Harbour region of Pacific Northwest British Columbia, Canada. Strong support for this "gap hypothesis" is found.
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017) •
- Tsimshian Archaeology: 50 Years of Research and 10,000 years of History
Cite this Record
A radiocarbon test for significant demographic events in written and oral history.. Thomas Brown, Kevan Edinborough, Andrew Martindale, Kenneth Ames. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430224)
North America - NW Coast/Alaska
min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;
Abstract Id(s): 16357