The archaeological and genetic foundations of the European population during the Late Glacial: implications for ‘agricultural thinking’

Gamble, Clive, Davies, William, Pettitt, Paul, Hazelwood, Lee and Richards, Martin (2005) The archaeological and genetic foundations of the European population during the Late Glacial: implications for ‘agricultural thinking’. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 15, (2), 193-223. (doi:10.1017/S0959774305000107).


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This article presents the initial results from the S2AGES database of calibrated radiocarbon estimates from western Europe in the period 25,000–10,000 years ago. Our aim is to present a population history of this sub-continental region by providing a chronologically-secure framework for the interpretation of data from genetics and archaeology. In particular, we define five population events in this period, using dates-as-data, and examine the implications for the archaeology of Late Glacial colonization. We contrast this detailed regional approach to the larger project which we call the cognitive origins synthesis that includes historical linguistics in the reconstruction of population history. We conclude that only archaeology can currently provide the framework for population history and the evaluation of genetic data. Finally, if progress is to be made in the new interdisciplinary field of population history then both disciplines need to refrain from inappropriate agricultural thinking that fosters distorting models of European prehistory, and they should also pay less, if any, attention to historical linguistics.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1017/S0959774305000107
ISSNs: 0959-7743 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: radiocarbon dating, late glacial colonization, genetics and archaeology, S2AGES database, population history, europe
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4450 Databases
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > Archaeology
ePrint ID: 40828
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:11

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