Did pre-Columbian populations of the Amazonian biome reach carrying capacity during the Late Holocene?: Amazonian pre-Columbian demography

Authors: Arroyo-Kalin, M. and Riris, P.

Journal: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Volume: 376

Issue: 1816

eISSN: 1471-2970

ISSN: 0962-8436

DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2019.0715

Abstract:

The increasingly better-known archaeological record of the Amazon basin, the Orinoco basin and the Guianas both questions the long-standing premise of a pristine tropical rainforest environment and also provides evidence for major biome-scale cultural and technological transitions prior to European colonization. Associated changes in pre-Columbian human population size and density, however, are poorly known and often estimated on the basis of unreliable assumptions and guesswork. Drawing on recent developments in the aggregate analysis of large radiocarbon databases, here we present and examine different proxies for relative population change between 1050 BC and AD 1500 within this broad region. By using a robust model testing approach, our analyses document that the growth of pre-Columbian human population over the 1700 years prior to European colonization adheres to a logistic model of demographic growth. This suggests that, at an aggregate level, these pre-Columbian populations had potentially reached carrying capacity (however high) before the onset of European colonization. Our analyses also demonstrate that this aggregate scenario shows considerable variability when projected geographically, highlighting significant gaps in archaeological knowledge yet also providing important insights into the resilience of past human food procurement strategies. By offering a new understanding of biome-wide pre-Columbian demographic trends based on empirical evidence, our analysis hopes to unfetter novel perspectives on demic expansions, language diversification trajectories and subsistence intensification processes in the Amazonian biome during the late Holocene. This article is part of the theme issue 'Cross-disciplinary approaches to prehistoric demography'.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/34584/

Source: Scopus

Did pre-Columbian populations of the Amazonian biome reach carrying capacity during the Late Holocene?

Authors: Arroyo-Kalin, M. and Riris, P.

Journal: Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci

Volume: 376

Issue: 1816

Pages: 20190715

eISSN: 1471-2970

DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2019.0715

Abstract:

The increasingly better-known archaeological record of the Amazon basin, the Orinoco basin and the Guianas both questions the long-standing premise of a pristine tropical rainforest environment and also provides evidence for major biome-scale cultural and technological transitions prior to European colonization. Associated changes in pre-Columbian human population size and density, however, are poorly known and often estimated on the basis of unreliable assumptions and guesswork. Drawing on recent developments in the aggregate analysis of large radiocarbon databases, here we present and examine different proxies for relative population change between 1050 BC and AD 1500 within this broad region. By using a robust model testing approach, our analyses document that the growth of pre-Columbian human population over the 1700 years prior to European colonization adheres to a logistic model of demographic growth. This suggests that, at an aggregate level, these pre-Columbian populations had potentially reached carrying capacity (however high) before the onset of European colonization. Our analyses also demonstrate that this aggregate scenario shows considerable variability when projected geographically, highlighting significant gaps in archaeological knowledge yet also providing important insights into the resilience of past human food procurement strategies. By offering a new understanding of biome-wide pre-Columbian demographic trends based on empirical evidence, our analysis hopes to unfetter novel perspectives on demic expansions, language diversification trajectories and subsistence intensification processes in the Amazonian biome during the late Holocene. This article is part of the theme issue 'Cross-disciplinary approaches to prehistoric demography'.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/34584/

Source: PubMed

Did pre-Columbian populations of the Amazonian biome reach carrying capacity during the Late Holocene?

Authors: Arroyo-Kalin, M. and Riris, P.

Journal: PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Volume: 376

Issue: 1816

eISSN: 1471-2970

ISSN: 0962-8436

DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2019.0715

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/34584/

Source: Web of Science (Lite)

Did pre-Columbian populations of the Amazonian biome reach carrying capacity during the Late Holocene?

Authors: Arroyo-Kalin, M. and Riris, P.

Editors: French, J., Fernandez-Lopez de Pablo, J., Lozano, S. and Silva, F.

Journal: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Publisher: The Royal Society

ISSN: 0962-8452

DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2019.0715

Abstract:

The Late Holocene archaeological record of the South American tropical lowlands (the Amazon basin, the Orinoco basin, and the Guianas) provides evidence of major biome-scale cultural and technological transitions. Accompanying changes in population size and density however, are often estimated on the basis of unreliable assumptions and guesswork. Drawing on recent developments in the aggregate analysis of large radiocarbon databases, here we present and examine multiple proxies for relative population change between 1000 BC and AD 1500. With a robust model-testing approach, we investigate both biome-wide and local palaeodemographic parameters of interest. Our analysis a) documents overall adhesion to a logistical model of demographic growth over the 1,700 years prior to European colonisation, b) detects a possible demographic ceiling in pre-Columbian times and, c) observe considerable variability when this signal is projected geographically. Our results, therefore, provide important demographic insights to reframe current understandings of Late Holocene demic expansion, language diversification, and subsistence intensification in the Amazon biome. Our simulation-based palaeodemographic approach, employing the most complete database of 14C data, stands to scaffold future enquiry into links between demographic and palaeoclimatic patterns in South America.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/34584/

Source: Manual

Did pre-Columbian populations of the Amazonian biome reach carrying capacity during the Late Holocene?

Authors: Arroyo-Kalin, M. and Riris, P.

Journal: Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences

Volume: 376

Issue: 1816

Pages: 20190715

eISSN: 1471-2970

ISSN: 0962-8436

DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2019.0715

Abstract:

The increasingly better-known archaeological record of the Amazon basin, the Orinoco basin and the Guianas both questions the long-standing premise of a pristine tropical rainforest environment and also provides evidence for major biome-scale cultural and technological transitions prior to European colonization. Associated changes in pre-Columbian human population size and density, however, are poorly known and often estimated on the basis of unreliable assumptions and guesswork. Drawing on recent developments in the aggregate analysis of large radiocarbon databases, here we present and examine different proxies for relative population change between 1050 BC and AD 1500 within this broad region. By using a robust model testing approach, our analyses document that the growth of pre-Columbian human population over the 1700 years prior to European colonization adheres to a logistic model of demographic growth. This suggests that, at an aggregate level, these pre-Columbian populations had potentially reached carrying capacity (however high) before the onset of European colonization. Our analyses also demonstrate that this aggregate scenario shows considerable variability when projected geographically, highlighting significant gaps in archaeological knowledge yet also providing important insights into the resilience of past human food procurement strategies. By offering a new understanding of biome-wide pre-Columbian demographic trends based on empirical evidence, our analysis hopes to unfetter novel perspectives on demic expansions, language diversification trajectories and subsistence intensification processes in the Amazonian biome during the late Holocene. This article is part of the theme issue 'Cross-disciplinary approaches to prehistoric demography'.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/34584/

Source: Europe PubMed Central

Did pre-Columbian populations of the Amazonian biome reach carrying capacity during the Late Holocene?

Authors: Arroyo-Kalin, M. and Riris, P.

Journal: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Volume: 376

Issue: 1816

ISSN: 0962-8452

Abstract:

The Late Holocene archaeological record of the South American tropical lowlands (the Amazon basin, the Orinoco basin, and the Guianas) provides evidence of major biome-scale cultural and technological transitions. Accompanying changes in population size and density however, are often estimated on the basis of unreliable assumptions and guesswork. Drawing on recent developments in the aggregate analysis of large radiocarbon databases, here we present and examine multiple proxies for relative population change between 1000 BC and AD 1500. With a robust model-testing approach, we investigate both biome-wide and local palaeodemographic parameters of interest. Our analysis a) documents overall adhesion to a logistical model of demographic growth over the 1,700 years prior to European colonisation, b) detects a possible demographic ceiling in pre-Columbian times and, c) observe considerable variability when this signal is projected geographically. Our results, therefore, provide important demographic insights to reframe current understandings of Late Holocene demic expansion, language diversification, and subsistence intensification in the Amazon biome. Our simulation-based palaeodemographic approach, employing the most complete database of 14C data, stands to scaffold future enquiry into links between demographic and palaeoclimatic patterns in South America.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/34584/

Source: BURO EPrints