The Neolithic Demographic Transition and its Consequences

  • Jean-Pierre Bocquet-Appel
  • Ofer Bar-Yosef

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XI
  2. Prehistoric Demography in a Time of Globalization

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Jean-Pierre Bocquet-Appel, Ofer Bar-Yosef
      Pages 1-10
  3. Demographic and Economic Dimensions of the NDT

  4. Settlement and Village Practices

  5. Community Size and Social Organization

  6. Population Growth and Health

  7. Back Matter
    Pages 539-542

About this book


Using cemetery data, it has been possible to identify the signature of a previously unknown demographic process associated with the transition from a hunter-gatherer to an agricultural economy.  Characterized by a dramatic increase in the birth rate, and consequently of the population growth rate, over a period of less than a millennium following the transition to agriculture, this global demographic process has been termed the Neolithic Demographic Transition (NDT). The NDT signature has so far been detected in Europe, North America, Mesoamerica and South America.

The methodological innovation which has made possible the identification of the NDT is the use of a relative chronology, fixed to the local onset of the Neolithic. That is, events are considered not in terms of their absolute calendar dates, but rather in terms of their relation to the local date of the transition to agriculture.  This volume presents and discusses the consequences and implications of the NDT on a global scale. Topics include:

  • The causes of the NDT at its onset;
  • Indicators of economic intensification as related to the NDT;
  • Settlement and village practices associated with the pace of the NDT;
  • The emergence of social practices associated with larger population concentrations;
  • The effects of increased population density on human health.


Anthropology Archaeology Demographic Transition Demography Evolution History NDT Neolithic epipalaeolithic hunter-gatherer paleolithic prehistory

Editors and affiliations

  • Jean-Pierre Bocquet-Appel
    • 1
  • Ofer Bar-Yosef
    • 2
  1. 1.National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)UPR214775014 ParisFrance
  2. 2.Department of Anthropology Peabody MuseumHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

Bibliographic information