Minimum founding populations for the first peopling of Sahul

Bradshaw, Corey J.A., Ulm, Sean, Williams, Alan N., Bird, Michael I., Roberts, Richard G., Jacobs, Zenobia, Laviano, Fiona, Weyrich, Laura S., Friedrich, Tobias, Norman, Kasih, and Saltré, Frédérik (2019) Minimum founding populations for the first peopling of Sahul. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3. pp. 1057-1063.

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Abstract

The timing, context and nature of the first people to enter Sahul is still poorly understood owing to a fragmented archaeological record. However, quantifying the plausible demographic context of this founding population is essential to determine how and why the initial peopling of Sahul occurred. We developed a stochastic, age-structured model using demographic rates from hunter-gatherer societies, and relative carrying capacity hindcasted with LOVECLIM’s net primary productivity for northern Sahul. We projected these populations to determine the resilience and minimum sizes required to avoid extinction. A census founding population of between 1,300 and 1,550 individuals was necessary to maintain a quasi-extinction threshold of ≲0.1. This minimum founding population could have arrived at a single point in time, or through multiple voyages of ≥130 people over ~700–900 years. This result shows that substantial population amalgamation in Sunda and Wallacea in Marine Isotope Stages 3–4 provided the conditions for the successful, large-scale and probably planned peopling of Sahul.

Item ID: 58684
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2397-334X
Keywords: archaeology; colonisation; colonization; peopling; complexity; Aboriginal; Aboriginal population
Copyright Information: © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited 2019 Accepted version: Open Access.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Australian Government Research Training Program (AG-RTP)
Projects and Grants: ARC Centre of Excellence grant CE170100015, ARC Future Fellowship FT120100656, ARC Laureate Fellowship FL140100044, ARC Laureate Fellowship FL130100116, ARC Future Fellowship FT150100138, ARC Future Fellowship FT180100407, AG-RTP Scholarship
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2019 00:49
FoR Codes: 45 INDIGENOUS STUDIES > 4501 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history > 450101 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander archaeology @ 50%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430101 Archaeological science @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 100%
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