Perspective

When the World’s Population Took Off: The Springboard of the Neolithic Demographic Transition

Science  29 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6042, pp. 560-561
DOI: 10.1126/science.1208880

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Via your Institution

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Abstract

During the economic transition from foraging to farming, the signal of a major demographic shift can be observed in cemetery data of world archaeological sequences. This signal is characterized by an abrupt increase in the proportion of juvenile skeletons and is interpreted as the signature of a major demographic shift in human history, known as the Neolithic Demographic Transition (NDT). This expresses an increase in the input into the age pyramids of the corresponding living populations with an estimated increase in the total fertility rate of two births per woman. The unprecedented demographic masses that the NDT rapidly brought into play make this one of the fundamental structural processes of human history.

View Full Text