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Bioarchaeology and Climate ChangeA View from South Asian Prehistory$
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Gwen Robbins Schug

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813036670

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813036670.001.0001

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(p.61) 4 Demography
Bioarchaeology and Climate Change

Clark Spencer Larsen

University Press of Florida

This chapter provides an analysis of paleodemography for three sites occupied during the Deccan Chalcolithic period (2200–700 B.C.) of India's prehistory. It begins by describing a new method for estimating fertility from subadult skeletal populations. Age-estimation methods are presented, the age structure of the Chalcolithic samples is described, and the new method is applied to reconstruct the demography of Nevasa, Daimabad, and Inamgaon. The results of this analysis, while not a perfect representation of the living populations, demonstrate that diverse demographic profiles characterized urban versus rural communities during the height of the Deccan Chalcolithic period. Fertility and mortality rates also shifted through time. Results suggest a high-pressure demographic situation developed at Inamgaon prior to its abandonment, with declining population size accompanied by high fertility and infant mortality. The chapter concludes that paleodemographic profiles must be integrated into any analysis of health in these skeletal populations.

Keywords:   archaeology, bioarchaeology, paleodemography, children, India, Nevasa, Daimabad, Inamgaon

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