Testing the assumptions of the Neolithic demographic transition (NDT) through direct analysis of skeletal remains
The Neolithic Demographic Transition (NDT) is usually explained as a consequence of two primary factors: changes in nutrition that led to the gradual reduction of low-calorie food and to increase of high-calorie food; and the adoption of a sedentary way of life that led to the reduced female mobility. A possible tertiary factor is a shortened period of lactation, which could allow for a greater number of pregnancies and deliveries. At present, very little work has been done toward investigating the causes and correlates of the Neolithic Demographic Transition (NDT) through the examination of direct skeletal evidence. This project investigates a suite of physical correlates associated with dietary intake, mobility, and age at weaning in an assemblage of over 200 well-preserved Mesolithic and Neolithic skeletons from the Danube Gorges.