Paleolithic population growth pulses evidenced by small animal exploitation

Mary C. Stiner, Natalie D. Munro, Todd A. Surovell, Eitan Tchernov, Ofer Bar-Yosef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

330 Scopus citations

Abstract

Variations in small game hunting along the northern and eastern rims of the Mediterranean Sea and results from predator-prey simulation modeling indicate that human population densities increased abruptly during the late Middle Paleolithic and again during the Upper and Epi-Paleolithic periods. The demographic pulses are evidenced by increasing reliance on agile, fast- reproducing partridges, hares, and rabbits at the expense of slow- reproducing but easily caught tortoises and marine shellfish and, concurrently, climate-independent size diminution in tortoises and shellfish. The results indicate that human populations of the early Middle Paleolithic were exceptionally small and highly dispersed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-194
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume283
Issue number5399
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 8 1999

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    Stiner, M. C., Munro, N. D., Surovell, T. A., Tchernov, E., & Bar-Yosef, O. (1999). Paleolithic population growth pulses evidenced by small animal exploitation. Science, 283(5399), 190-194. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.283.5399.190