Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
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Theme issue ‘Cross-disciplinary approaches to prehistoric demography’ compiled and edited by Jennifer C. French, Philip Riris, Javier Fernandéz-López de Pablo, Sergi Lozano and Fabio Silva

Demography impacts a wide range of aspects of human culture past and present; from our capacity to transmit genes and knowledge across generations, to the reach of our social networks and long-term impacts on the environment. Recent cross-disciplinary advances in the reconstruction and interpretation of prehistoric population histories (palaeodemography) have been transforming our understanding of past societies. This theme issue integrates the efforts of researchers working across archaeology, anthropology, genomics, palaeoecology, and evolutionary demography, combining original research alongside critical reviews, to provide a benchmark for the state-of-the-art in prehistoric demography and a statement of the future of this rapidly growing cross-disciplinary endeavour.

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INTRODUCTION

PART I: THEORY AND METHOD

Review articles
Sometimes hidden but always there: the assumptions underlying genetic inference of demographic histories
Published:30 November 2020Article ID:20190719

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0719

Review articles
Cultural evolution and prehistoric demography
Published:30 November 2020Article ID:20190713

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0713

Review articles
The past, present and future of skeletal analysis in palaeodemography
Published:30 November 2020Article ID:20190709

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0709

Review articles
Demographic uniformitarianism: the theoretical basis of prehistoric demographic research and its cross-disciplinary challenges
Published:30 November 2020Article ID:20190720

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0720

Research articles
Modifiable reporting unit problems and time series of long-term human activity
Published:30 November 2020Article ID:20190726

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0726

Research articles
Dispersals as demographic processes: testing and describing the spread of the Neolithic in the Balkans
Published:30 November 2020Article ID:20200231

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0231

Research articles
Approaching prehistoric demography: proxies, scales and scope of the Cologne Protocol in European contexts
Published:30 November 2020Article ID:20190714

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0714

Research articles
Why are population growth rate estimates of past and present hunter–gatherers so different?
Published:30 November 2020Article ID:20190708

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0708

PART II: THEMES

Research articles
Directly modelling population dynamics in the South American Arid Diagonal using 14C dates
Published:30 November 2020Article ID:20190723

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0723

Research articles
Population density and size facilitate interactive capacity and the rise of the state
Published:30 November 2020Article ID:20190725

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0725

Research articles
Demographic estimates from the Palaeolithic–Mesolithic boundary in Scandinavia: comparative benchmarks and novel insights
Published:30 November 2020Article ID:20200037

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0037

Research articles
Did pre-Columbian populations of the Amazonian biome reach carrying capacity during the Late Holocene?
Published:30 November 2020Article ID:20190715

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0715

Research articles
Late Glacial and Early Holocene human demographic responses to climatic and environmental change in Atlantic Iberia
Published:30 November 2020Article ID:20190724

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0724

Research articles
The Neolithic Demographic Transition in the Central Balkans: population dynamics reconstruction based on new radiocarbon evidence
Published:30 November 2020Article ID:20190712

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0712

Research articles
Dendrochronological dates confirm a Late Prehistoric population decline in the American Southwest derived from radiocarbon dates
Published:30 November 2020Article ID:20190718

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0718

Research articles
Carrying capacity, population density and the later Pleistocene expression of backed artefact manufacturing traditions in Africa
Published:30 November 2020Article ID:20190716

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0716

Review articles
Archaeology, demography and life history theory together can help us explain past and present population patterns
Published:30 November 2020Article ID:20190711

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2019.0711

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