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Science. 2011 Jul 29;333(6042):560-1. doi: 10.1126/science.1208880.

When the world's population took off: the springboard of the Neolithic Demographic Transition.

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CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research), UPR2147 and EPHE (Practical School of High Studies), 44, rue de l'Amical Mouchez, Paris 75014, France.


During the economic transition from foraging to farming, the signal of a major demographic shift can be observed in cemetery data of world archaeological sequences. This signal is characterized by an abrupt increase in the proportion of juvenile skeletons and is interpreted as the signature of a major demographic shift in human history, known as the Neolithic Demographic Transition (NDT). This expresses an increase in the input into the age pyramids of the corresponding living populations with an estimated increase in the total fertility rate of two births per woman. The unprecedented demographic masses that the NDT rapidly brought into play make this one of the fundamental structural processes of human history.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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