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

Citation data:

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN: 1091-6490, Vol: 106, Issue: 30, Page: 12261-6

Publication Year:
2009
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Repository URL:
https://ro.uow.edu.au/scipapers/3722; https://works.bepress.com/richard_roberts/68
PMID:
19620737
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0810842106
PMCID:
PMC2718386; 2718386
Author(s):
Petraglia, Michael; Clarkson, Christopher; Boivin, Nicole; Haslam, Michael; Korisettar, Ravi; Chaubey, Gyaneshwer; Ditchfield, Peter; Fuller, Dorian; James, Hannah; Jones, Sacha; Kivisild, Toomas; Koshy, Jinu; Lahr, Marta Mirazón; Metspalu, Mait; Roberts, Richard; Arnold, Lee Show More Hide
Publisher(s):
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Tags:
Multidisciplinary; Population; increase; environmental; deterioration; correspond; microlithic; innovations; South; Asia; 000; years; ago; Life Sciences; Physical Sciences and Mathematics; Social and Behavioral Sciences
article description
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.