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The Neolithic Transition and the Genetics of Populations in Europe

The Neolithic Transition and the Genetics of Populations in Europe

ALBERT J. AMMERMAN
LUIGI LUCA CAVALLI-SFORZA
Copyright Date: 1984
Pages: 194
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zvqz7
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  • Book Info
    The Neolithic Transition and the Genetics of Populations in Europe
    Book Description:

    This book explores the shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture as a way of life and the implications of this neolithic transition for the genetic structure of European populations.

    Originally published in 1984.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5311-3
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. FIGURES
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. TABLES
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. PREFACE
    (pp. xiii-2)
  6. CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 3-8)

    Human evolution is now thought to extend back well over two million years, but it is only during the last ten thousand years that food production has emerged as the main way by which humans provide for their subsistence. Previously, people met their food needs by means of hunting and gathering—that is, through the exploitation of seasonally available wild animals and plants. Agriculture, therefore, is a recent development when viewed in terms of the full course of human evolution. Associated with the shift to farming as a way of life are changes in technology, demography, and social organization. In...

  7. CHAPTER 2 THE ORIGINS OF AGRICULTURE
    (pp. 9-33)

    The shift from hunting and gathering as a way of life to a reliance upon food production represents one of the major transformations in the course of human evolution. Although the origins of agriculture have long been a subject for inquiry, it is only during the last fifty years that archaeological investigations have begun to provide direct lines of evidence. For example, we now have a reasonably clear idea about when and where domesticated forms of cereals such as wheat and barley made their appearance in southwest Asia. At the same time, a fair amount of evidence is now available...

  8. CHAPTER 3 THE NEOLITHIC TRANSITION IN EUROPE
    (pp. 34-49)

    A reader turning to European prehistory for the first time must come to grips with a terminology that reflects the growth of archaeology over the last two centuries. The term “neolithic,” for example, has several related yet different meanings as we shall see. During the first half of the nineteenth century C. J. Thomsen and J.J.A. Worsaae introduced the classical “three age system”—stone age, bronze age, and iron age—as a means of organizing the collections at the National Museum of Denmark.¹ A characteristic material was used in making the implements belonging to each age. In 1865 John Lubbock...

  9. CHAPTER 4 MEASURING THE RATE OF SPREAD
    (pp. 50-62)

    Only in the last fifteen years have archaeologists begun to take a more quantitative approach to the reconstruction of the past. When we began working in collaboration in 1970, it was still quite unusual to apply quantitative methods to a research question such as the spread of early farming in Europe. Initially, we turned to the problem of measuring the actual rate of spread by using radiocarbon dates from early neolithic sites in Europe. A rate measurement, even as a rough first approximation, might provide some new insight into the processes involved in the expansion. Somewhat to our surprise, we...

  10. CHAPTER 5 THE WAVE OF ADVANCE MODEL
    (pp. 63-84)

    In trying to explain the observed spread of early farming in Europe, it is interesting to note that substantial changes in population densites often took place concurrently with the shift to agriculture. This suggests a possible connection between growth and spread. It is widely recognized that the shift from food collection to production allows a substantial increase in the number of people that can be supported in a given region or, using an ecological expression, in the region's carrying capacity.

    Turning to the ethnographic record, we find that, in spite of considerable variation, densities of hunter-gatherers are generally much lower...

  11. CHAPTER 6 THE ANALYSIS OF GENES
    (pp. 85-108)

    For the geneticist, it is not unreasonable to speculate that the origins of agriculture, perhaps more than any other cultural change, may have had major consequences for the evolution of genes and their patterns of geographic distribution. In the last chapter we saw that if agriculture spread by means of cultural diffusion, it should leave the previous gene distribution intact, whereas a completely demic diffusion would lead to the replacement of populations in Europe—and therefore their genes—with those from southwestern Asia. A mixed cultural-demic diffusion should generate a gradient (acline, using a biological term) in the direction...

  12. CHAPTER 7 SIMULATION STUDIES
    (pp. 109-132)

    In trying to work out the relationships between a model with a high degree of generality such as the wave of advance model and specific contexts, both archaeological and genetic, simulation studies can serve as a heuristic middle ground. A simulation study often draws attention to assumptions implicit yet previously unrecognized in the model and also to areas of knowledge needing further development. The increasing sophistication of computer applications has stimulated the use of simulation as a problem-solving technique. Computer simulation can substitute for mathematical theory when one is dealing with a problem or process that is too complicated to...

  13. CHAPTER 8 CONCLUSIONS
    (pp. 133-140)

    The results of our investigation encourage us to think that a bridge can be established between subjects as seemingly diverse as archaeology and genetics. We find that it is possible to interpret patterns of the geographic distribution of genes, something that has long puzzled geneticists, on the basis of events observed in the archaeological record. At the same time, insight into developments of archaeological interest, such as the origins and spread of agriculture, can be obtained by analyzing genetic data and using conceptual frameworks drawn from the study of population biology. In this chapter we would like to review some...

  14. APPENDIX
    (pp. 141-148)
  15. NOTES
    (pp. 149-160)
  16. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 161-170)
  17. INDEX
    (pp. 171-176)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 177-177)