The impact of population fluctuations on the spatial spread of Neolithic ceramic traditions in West Anatolia and South-East Europe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This article explores the relationship between population fluctuations and the development of similarity patterns in Neolithic ceramic assemblages from West Anatolia and south-eastern Europe. Its aim is to contribute to discussions surrounding the factors influencing material culture variation in prehistory. It compares population growth and decline rates reflected by the summed probability of radiocarbon dates to diachronic changes in the ‘Isolation-by-Distance’ (IBD) of ceramic assemblage similarities. The results indicate that there is a positive correlation between long-term population fluctuations and IBD, measured as the correlation between inter-site spatial distance and Jaccard dissimilarity of ceramic assemblages. This suggests that population levels affected the spatial extent at which information regarding ceramic production and style was transmitted.

These results are analyzed through discussing the influence of population size and density on cultural drift and on the spatial scales of cultural transmission. Population expansion is considered to have affected the spatial scales at which information was shared through networks and migration, while, population decline after 5900 BCE, as well as increasing the effects of drift, may have reduced the frequency of long-distance transmission, causing regional variation in ceramic traditions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101121
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Anthropological Archaeology
Volume57
Early online date24 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • population fluctuations
  • Neolithic
  • West Anatolia
  • South-East Europe
  • cultural transmission
  • isolation-by-distance

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