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«By Nathan B. Goodale A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY WASHINGTON STATE ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

CONVERGENCE IN THE NEOLITHIC: HUMAN POPULATION GROWTH AT

THE DAWN OF AGRICULTURE

By

Nathan B. Goodale

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment

of the requirements for the degree of

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY

Department of Anthropology

May 2009

© Copyright by NATHAN B. GOODALE, 2009 All Rights Reserved © Copyright by NATHAN B. GOODALE, 2009 All Rights Reserved ii iii

CONVERGENCE IN THE NEOLITHIC: HUMAN POPULATION GROWTH AT

THE DAWN OF AGRICULTURE

Abstract By Nathan B. Goodale Ph.D.

Washington State University May 2009 Chair: William Andrefsky Jr.

Prehistorians generally agree that the origin of agriculture was associated with a transition in demography, namely that there was a substantial increase in human population defined as the Neolithic demographic transition (NDT). Researchers have focused little attention on how the origin of agriculture prompts such a shift and why

1) fertility increased and 2) why human behavior accommodated the demands to invest in more children, ultimately allowing population to grow. This dissertation is focused on understanding why this occurred.

In order to gain a better understanding why the NDT is a shift in fertility and human behavior, I develop a model of past population growth rates utilizing extensive archaeological data. Several variables are utilized as proxies of population: frequency 14 of C dates, frequency of sites occupied, total depth of deposits, and total area occupied. These variables are tracked in 50-year increments from 22,000-8,000 calibrated years ago from the Early Epipaleolithic to the end of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic periods in the southern Levantine area of the Near East.

iv Results suggest that population mimicked zero-growth throughout much of prehistory until approximately 11,200 years ago, when an apparent increase in population occurs in line with the first evidence of intensive food storage. I argue that this population growth was due to the temporal convergence of foundational elements including: foods that are associated with increased fertility, a series of technological inventions that increase processing and harvesting of those resources, a stabilization of human diet through storage technology, and a behavioral shift that incorporated younger age brackets into the labor force.

For anthropologists the origin of agriculture is one of the most discussed events in human history. However, this study is novel by contributing a new methodology to model past population growth rates. Consequently, this study is significant because it initiates a discourse on why the NDT happened when it did, and not before, ultimately providing a greater understanding of major changes in human adaptive strategies.

–  –  –

There are many people that deserve a great deal of recognition for directly or indirectly supporting me during this research project but also my career endeavors.

First I have to thank Dr. William Andrefsky Jr. my advisor during this project and my Ph.D. Your support and the opportunities that you have given me greatly enhanced my education as well as my career path. You were an excellent advisor and I look forward to collaborating with you on future research projects. Thank you for all of the time and resources that you have invested in me. I would also like to thank Dr. Tim A. Kohler and Dr. Andrew I. Duff, who graciously rounded out the Washington State University portion of the committee. Your guidance during this project provided helpful comments on this document and you both greatly influence my intellectual growth through the courses you instructed. As great example, the paper I originally wrote in Anth 537: Quantitative Methods was published in American Antiquity in April 2009. Both of you contributed greatly to my knowledge of both quantitative methods and also archaeological method and theory. A great deal of thanks goes to Dr. Gary Rollefson, also on the Pd.D. committee. You have been an inspiration to me and have greatly influenced my excitement of Near East Neolithic archaeology. I also greatly enjoyed our times sharing a bottle of wine and talking shop. While not on my formal committee, I have to thank and acknowledge Dr. Anna M. Prentiss my M.A. advisor as a major influence to my research. The passion that you hold for your research and teaching directly inspired me to become what I have today. I am so excited that we have the opportunity to continue working

–  –  –

extreme amount of gratitude for everything in my career is owed to Dr. Ian Kuijt. Ian you have taken a lowly M.A. student and given me opportunities that anyone else would only dream of. Each summer since 2000 has been an exciting intellectual ride but also a great adventure. You are an excellent advisor, colleague, and friend.

There are a few people who I have never met in person but their research was extremely influential in this project and they desrve recognition. I would like to thank and acknowledge the innovative research that Jean-Pierre Bocquet-Appel and his colleagues have conducted on the Neolithic demographic transition. BocquetAppel’s original article published in 2002 was an inspirational piece for this project.





Drs Jorge E. Chavarro, Walter C. Willett, and Patrick J. Skerrett deserve emmense credit for their work on foods associated with fertility, of which I draw upon to examine the correlates in the archaeological past.

I would also like to thank all of the crew members that participated in the Dhra’ Archaeological Project. The work at Dhra’ was a significant influence in crafting this dissertation. Thank you for all of your hard work and finding the earliest, and now best documented, use of intensive food storage in the Near East.

To others that have supported me throughout this process and contributed to my intellectual growth. I owe a great deal of gratitude and hold much respect for Dr.

Mike Lenert, Bob O’Boyle and Colin Quinn. Mike, our conversations hashing out research issues over a pint of beer greatly inspired my love of archaeology and our weekly jam sessions in the basement kept me sane through graduate school. Bob,

–  –  –

made my recent projects even more interesting. Colin, you have been an inspiration to me as a colleague and a friend. Thank you so much for being a great office mate at WSU and I am so glad that we are working on future projects together in Ireland.

This project would not have been possible without the aid of Dr. Curtis Osterhoudt of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. I still can’t figure out how we (completely unknowingly) ended up going to the same high school, and institutions for both our B.A., and our Ph.D. I think it was fate, as we have now collaborated on three research projects together. This has been a great time applying techniques used in physics to understand the archaeological record and ultimately human behavior.

Thank you so much for your willingness to hash out these problems with me and your ideas greatly contributed to this study.

A particular amount of gratitude and thanks goes to my colleagues in the Department of Anthropology at Hamilton College including George T. Jones, Charolette Beck, Bonnie Urciuoli, Chaise LaDousa, Chris Vasantkumar and Haeng-Ja Chung. Thank you for all of your support while I finished this project.

A special thank you to my parents Brett and Marilyn Goodale. I appreciate all of your support during my education and your understanding when I was so busy. I know that you are both just as relieved that this is over as I am. While to numerous to list, a big thank you goes to the rest of my family for your support and encouragement throughout this process.

–  –  –

could be possible without you in my life. Building our lives together has been an amazing endeavor and I am so proud to share it with you, Mancos, and Lodi. Thank you for always being by my side and for all of the help to finish this manuscript.

–  –  –

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS……...……………………………………………...…..VI TABLE OF CONTENTS……………………………………………………………..X LIST OF TABLES……………………………………………………………..…..XVI LIST OF FIGURES……………………………………………………………….XVII CHAPTER

1. WHEN DO HUMAN POPULATIONS GROW? CATALYSTS OF

DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE IN PREHISTORIC SOCIETIES…………1 The Origin of Agriculture and Demographic Change……………...3 Dissertation Organization…………………………………………..5

2. EVOLUTIONARY THEORY AND FOOD ACQUISITION: THE

TRANSITION FROM FORAGING TO FARMING…………………….7 Evolutionary Theory Applied to the Origins of Agriculture………..8 Optimization and Energy Budget………………………………10 Optimization and Nutrition…………………………………….16

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General Model………………………………………………....20 Summary…………………………………………………………...24

3. DEFINING, DETECTING, AND UNDERSTANDING THE NEOLITHIC

DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION…………………………………………25 Defining the Neolithic Demographic Transition…………………..26 Demographic Transition Theory and the NDT………………...26

–  –  –

Quantifying Paleodemographic Change…………………………...30 Detecting the NDT: Archaeological Attempts and Viable Data…...31 Genetic Markers and Migration………………………………..31 Paleoanthropological Markers in Cemetery Data……………...32 Methodological Means to Detect the NDT………………33 Viability of Human Osteological Data…………………..40 Population Proxy Models……………………..…….………….42 Summary…………………...………………………………………43

4. FERTILITY AND POPULATION GROWTH: CONVERGENCE AND THE

FOUNDATION OF THE NDT………………………………………………..46 The Convergence Model………………………………………..…47 Subsistence Mode and Total Fertility Rates……………………….50 Health and Nutrition………………….…………….………….52 Investigating Health……………………..….……………52 Quantity vs. Quality.……………………..….…………...55 The Science of Fertility and Food……..……………………….57 “The Fertility Diet”……………...……………………….58 The Fertility Diet and the NDT…………..………………61 Diet and Fertility in the Southern Levant…….……….....61 Storage Technology and Fertility……………………………....63 Storage and the NDT……………………..……………...63

–  –  –

Experimental Studies in Storage Technology…………....65 Sedentism, Exercise, and Fertility……………………………..67 Optimality, Child Rearing, and Economic Systems……………….72 Work Loads, Age Structure, and Subsistence Mode…………..73 Epipaleolithic through the Neolithic: A Case Study from the Near East…..…………………………………………………...77 Summary…………………………………………………………...78

5.

THE TRANSITION TO AGRICULTURE IN THE SOUTHERN LEVANT:

THE CULTURE HISTORY…………………………………………………80 Early Epipaleolithic………………………………………………..83 Middle Epipaleolithic………………………………………………86 Late Epipaleolithic…………………………………………………88 The Early Natufian……………………………………………..90 The Late Natufian……………………………………………...94 The Harifian……………………………………………………96 Pre-Pottery Neolithic A…………………………………………….96 Early Pre-Pottery Neolithic B…………………………………….106 Middle Pre-Pottery Neolithic B…………………………………..109 Late Pre-Pottery Neolithic B……………………………………...114 Pre-Pottery Neolithic C…………………………………………...117 Summary………………………………………………………….119

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AGRICULTURE…………………………………………………………121 Proxies of Population Growth…………………………………….122 14 C Date Frequency…………………………………………...122 14 C Dataset………………………………………………..125 Habitation Area in Hectares…………………………………..126 Depth of Deposits…………………………………………….128 Frequency of Sites Occupied…………………………………128 Analytical Techniques……………………………………………129 Summary……...………………………………………………130 Cross-correlation Analysis………………………………………..130 Cross-correlation Example 1………………………………….131 Cross-correlation Example 2………………………………….133 Summary………………………………………………………….138

7. THE NEOLITHIC DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION IN THE SOUTHERN

LEVANT: A POPULATION GROWTH RATE MODEL………………139 The Data…………………………………………………………..140 Decaying Exponentials and Taphonomic Bias…………………...141 Cross-Correlation Analysis: The Best Fit……………………...…145 Depth of deposits to Frequency of Occupied Sites…………...146 Frequency of Sites Occupied to the Frequency of 14C Dates…147 Site Size to the Frequency of Sites Occupied………………...148

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