Topic ID #24046 - posted 10/19/2012 1:52 AM

Prehistoric Human Populations Prospered Before the Agricultural Boom, Research Suggests



Jennifer Palmer

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Prehistoric Human Populations Prospered Before the Agricultural Boom, Research Suggests

ScienceDaily (Oct. 18, 2012) — Researchers from China's Fudan University have found major prehistoric human population expansions may have begun before the Neolithic period, which probably led to the introduction of agriculture.

Major prehistoric human population expansions in three continents may have begun before the Neolithic period -- around 15-11,000 years ago in Africa, from around 13,000 years ago in Europe and around 12-8,000 years ago in the Americas.

The findings are published in Scientific Reports.

The development of agriculture facilitated extensive human population growths and activities, but whether these major expansions began before or after the Neolithic era, a period during which humans started to grow crops and domesticate animals, remains controversial. Agriculture is thought to have first developed in the Fertile Crescent of West Asia around 12-11,000 years ago, and was then developed independently over the next few thousand years in other regions.


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