Demography in Archaeology by Andrew T. Chamberlain

By Andrew T. Chamberlain

Demography in Archaeology is a assessment of present thought and approach within the reconstruction of populations from archaeological information. beginning with a precis of demographic thoughts and strategies, the publication examines ancient and ethnographic resources of demographic proof earlier than addressing the tools wherein trustworthy demographic estimates might be made up of skeletal is still, cost facts and smooth and old biomolecules. fresh debates in palaeodemography are evaluated, new statistical tools for palaeodemographic reconstruction are defined, and the inspiration that previous demographic buildings and approaches have been considerably assorted from these pertaining at the present time is critiqued. The booklet covers a large span of facts, from the evolutionary historical past of human demography to the impact of common and human-induced catastrophes on inhabitants progress and survival. this is often crucial studying for any archaeologist or anthropologist with an curiosity in bearing on the result of box and laboratory reviews to broader questions of inhabitants constitution and dynamics.

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Survivorship is a cumulative function in which the value of the function at a specified age is dependent on the values of survivorship at all preceding ages. Thus points on a survivorship curve are not independent data, a fact that has implications for the statistical comparison of survivorship patterns in different populations. 3 Stable populations In a population that is closed to inward and outward migration the age and sex distribution is determined by the population’s current and recent history of mortality and fertility.

As with mortality, natural patterns of fertility characterise human and animal populations. However, whereas mortality has the potential to affect all sectors of a population, births are confined to those individuals who are fecund. Furthermore, human fertility (to a much greater extent than mortality) is directly influenced by individual reproductive behaviour, so that parameters such as age at first marriage and deliberate birth spacing have strong effects on population fertility rates. There are several ways of quantifying the fertility rate for a population The simplest is the crude birth rate, CBR = (number of births ÷ population size) per unit time, the calculation being analogous to that used to determine the crude death rate.

Conditions of intrinsic population growth) then there will be an expansion of birth cohort size in the younger age categories and this will result in proportionately more subadult deaths. Paradoxically, the apparent effects of intrinsic population growth are a decrease in survivorship at all ages and reduced average life expectancy at birth. , 1992b), it is easily dealt with under the assumption of stable population structure. It is straightforward to convert the dx values for a stable population into the equivalent values for a stationary population if the growth rate r of the stable population is known or can be estimated over the duration of the lifespans included in the life table.

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