The First Farmers of Europe: An Evolutionary Perspective
24 April 2018
Stephen Shennan has been invited to give two special lectures at Korean universities this week relating to his newly-published research on the first farmers of Europe.
Stephen's new volume, The First Farmers of Europe: An Evolutionary Perspective published this month by Cambridge University Press, presents the latest research on the spread of farming by archaeologists, geneticists and other archaeological scientists and shows that it resulted from a population expansion from present-day Turkey.
Using ideas from the disciplines of human behavioural ecology and cultural evolution, Stephen explains how this process took place. The expansion was not the result of 'population pressure' but of the opportunities for increased fertility by colonising new regions that farming offered. The knowledge and resources for the farming 'niche' were passed on from parents to their children. However, Stephen demonstrates that the demographic patterns associated with the spread of farming resulted in population booms and busts, not continuous expansion.