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22 Paleodemography of Extinct Hominin Populations

Publication Date Jan 1, 2007

Abstract

Paleodemography is the study of past population structure. The demographic structure of the population is both the outcome of evolutionary processes operating on groups of individuals and the basis on which future evolutionary forces can potentially operate. This review is concerned with a critical evaluation of paleodemographic studies of the hominin lineage prior to the development of agriculture. Because of the potential this research has for the generation of data about birth spacing, mortality, lifespan, sex ratio, patterns of fertility, and maturation, the study of the demography of earlier human populations has attracted much attention. Very limited and fragmentary sample sizes, however, combined with many uncertainties about depositional patterns, have led to major J. Monge (*) Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA e-mail: jmonge@sas.upenn.edu A. Mann Department of Anthropology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA e-mail: mann@princeton.edu # Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015 W. Henke, I. Tattersall (eds.), Handbook of Paleoanthropology, DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-39979-4_22 643 difficulties in the development of generally accepted hypotheses. Because of the nature of the preservation of skeletal materials, oftentimes past population structure has been modeled on known living populations. In the remote past, for example, at the inception of the human lineage, the choice of comparative living samples from which to derive models is problematic. Are the data from chimpanzees ...

Concepts

Extinct Populations Aspect Of Population Structure USA E-mail Past Population Structure Changes In Population Size Modern Humans Department Of Anthropology Patterns Of Fertility Life History Variables Remote Past

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