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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The neolithic demographic transition in mesoamerica

  • Author(s): Lesure, RG
  • Martin, LS
  • Bishop, KJ
  • Jackson, B
  • Myles Chykerda, C
  • et al.

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© 2014 by The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. All rights reserved. The Neolithic demographic transition in Mesoamerica was a gradual process that unfolded over most of the Formative period (1800 BC-AD 200). An analysis of published records of over 6,700 pre-Hispanic burials, focusing on changing proportions of juveniles 5-19 years of age, suggests that fertility rates rose steadily during both the second and the first millennia BC. The gradual pace of the demographic transition was probably related to the low initial productivity of maize.

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