Modeling the Neolithic Transition in Europe. Archaeobotanical Aspect of the Expansion of Neolithic Population in Europe.
Ahmad, L. (2013). Modeling the Neolithic Transition in Europe. Archaeobotanical Aspect of the Expansion of Neolithic Population in Europe. (Thesis, Master of Science (MSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8440
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8440
Whether or not the spread of agriculture in Europe was accompanied by movements of people is a long-standing question in archaeology and anthropology, which has been frequently addressed with the help of population genetic data. The development and spread of agriculture across Europe is one of the most important events in human history. Studies have addressed questions regarding this Neolithic expansion from three perspectives – the flow of people, the flow of genes, and the flow of culture. Conclusions from these disparate approaches can be contradictory. The goal of this project is to investigate the movement of the Neolithic people across Europe with respect to Archaeobotany. Archaeological evidence, radiocarbon dates and genetic markers are consistent with the spread of farming from a source in the Near East. Data has been collected comprising pollen counts at layers within cores of sediment. Spatial coordinates are associated with each core, and the layers are separated according to a chronology. Identification of a strong and enduring signal of cereal pollen should indicate the arrival of Neolithic migrants to the area, bringing with them the practice of agriculture. I will be using a diffusion model developed by Davison et al (2006). This model takes a set of parameters and simulates the spread of a population from an original starting point, taking account of factors such as topography and geography. This model might help in the evaluation of results of the observed cereal pollen data from this study, by suggesting whether those results are sensible with respect to the underlying theory of population movement inherent in the diffusion model.
University of Waikato
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