July 28, 2009

mtDNA points to population increase in South Asia at the same time as the development of microlithic technology

The paper includes free supporting information (pdf), which focus rather on the archaeology than the mtDNA evidence.

PNAS doi:10.1073/pnas.0810842106

Population increase and environmental deterioration correspond with microlithic innovations in South Asia ca. 35,000 years ago

Michael Petraglia et al.

Abstract

Genetic studies of South Asia's population history have led to postulations of a significant and early population expansion in the subcontinent, dating to sometime in the Late Pleistocene. We evaluate this argument, based on new mtDNA analyses, and find evidence for significant demographic transition in the subcontinent, dating to 35–28 ka. We then examine the paleoenvironmental and, particularly, archaeological records for this time period and note that this putative demographic event coincides with a period of ecological and technological change in South Asia. We document the development of a new diminutive stone blade (microlithic) technology beginning at 35–30 ka, the first time that the precocity of this transition has been recognized across the subcontinent. We argue that the transition to microlithic technology may relate to changes in subsistence practices, as increasingly large and probably fragmented populations exploited resources in contracting favorable ecological zones just before the onset of full glacial conditions.

Link

3 comments:

South Central Haplo said...

your commentary may be misleading as always.

""The paper includes free supporting information (pdf), which focus rather on the archaeology than the mtDNA evidence.""

Abstract says :

We evaluate this argument, based on new mtDNA analyses, and find(archeological??)evidence for significant demographic transition in the subcontinent, dating to 35–28 ka

Dienekes said...

Your English comprehension skills need work.

eurologist said...

I wished this type of study was done for the much more relevant 60K to 40k time frame. In the end, European occupation at and before 42K to 40K cannot be explained without (population-driven) expansion from SE Asia.

More importantly, I absolutely despise oversimplifications. Population growth and sophistication correlate also because they depend on each other - particularly due to the positive feed-back effect of elders.