The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Climate change and evolving human diversity in Europe during the last glacial

Climate change and evolving human diversity in Europe during the last glacial
Climate change and evolving human diversity in Europe during the last glacial
A link between climate change and human evolution during the Pleistocene has often been assumed but rarely tested. At the macro–evolutionary level Foley showed for hominids that extinction, rather than speciation, correlates with environmental change as recorded in the deep sea record. Our aim is to examine this finding at a smaller scale and with high–resolution environmental and archaeological archives. Our interest is in changing patterns of human dispersal under shifting Pleistocene climates during the last glacial period in Europe. Selecting this time frame and region allows us to observe how two hominid taxa, Neanderthals and Crô–Magnons, adapted to climatic conditions during oxygen isotope stage 3. These taxa are representative of two hominid adaptive radiations, termed terrestrial and aquatic, which exhibited different habitat preferences but similar tolerances to climatic factors. Their response to changing ecological conditions was predicated upon their ability to extend their societies in space and time. We examine this difference further using a database of all available radiocarbon determinations from western Europe in the late glacial. These data act as proxies for population history, and in particular the expansion and contraction of regional populations as climate changed rapidly. Independent assessment of these processes is obtained from the genetic history of Europeans. The results indicate that climate affects population contraction rather than expansion. We discuss the consequences for genetic and cultural diversity which led to the legacy of the Ice Age: a single hominid species, globally distributed.
0962-8436
243-254
Gamble, Clive
1cbd0b26-ddac-4dc2-9cf7-59c66d06103a
Davies, William
13a1264f-5940-4689-ba7e-d1c1ca7f313a
Pettitt, Paul
c16321c1-e3aa-4413-9963-80fac13ea4e9
Richards, Martin
4f3cc124-7e88-454a-9f8f-79c4715c2288
Gamble, Clive
1cbd0b26-ddac-4dc2-9cf7-59c66d06103a
Davies, William
13a1264f-5940-4689-ba7e-d1c1ca7f313a
Pettitt, Paul
c16321c1-e3aa-4413-9963-80fac13ea4e9
Richards, Martin
4f3cc124-7e88-454a-9f8f-79c4715c2288

Gamble, Clive, Davies, William, Pettitt, Paul and Richards, Martin (2004) Climate change and evolving human diversity in Europe during the last glacial. [in special issue: Discussion Meeting Issue ‘The evolutionary legacy of the Ice Ages’ organized by K.J. Willis, K.D. Bennett and D. Walker] Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences, 359 (1442), 243-254. (doi:10.1098/rstb.2003.1396). (PMID:15101580)

Record type: Article

Abstract

A link between climate change and human evolution during the Pleistocene has often been assumed but rarely tested. At the macro–evolutionary level Foley showed for hominids that extinction, rather than speciation, correlates with environmental change as recorded in the deep sea record. Our aim is to examine this finding at a smaller scale and with high–resolution environmental and archaeological archives. Our interest is in changing patterns of human dispersal under shifting Pleistocene climates during the last glacial period in Europe. Selecting this time frame and region allows us to observe how two hominid taxa, Neanderthals and Crô–Magnons, adapted to climatic conditions during oxygen isotope stage 3. These taxa are representative of two hominid adaptive radiations, termed terrestrial and aquatic, which exhibited different habitat preferences but similar tolerances to climatic factors. Their response to changing ecological conditions was predicated upon their ability to extend their societies in space and time. We examine this difference further using a database of all available radiocarbon determinations from western Europe in the late glacial. These data act as proxies for population history, and in particular the expansion and contraction of regional populations as climate changed rapidly. Independent assessment of these processes is obtained from the genetic history of Europeans. The results indicate that climate affects population contraction rather than expansion. We discuss the consequences for genetic and cultural diversity which led to the legacy of the Ice Age: a single hominid species, globally distributed.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 29 February 2004
Additional Information: Contribution edited by K.J. Willis, K.D. Bennett and D. Walker
Organisations: Archaeology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 391501
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/391501
ISSN: 0962-8436
PURE UUID: cd4bbafc-286f-432f-8e0d-6b0d511b80f9

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Apr 2016 14:11
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 20:37

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Clive Gamble
Author: William Davies
Author: Paul Pettitt
Author: Martin Richards

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×