Human Evolution

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 193–207 | Cite as

Life and death in ancient populations: Bones of contention in paleodemography

  • D. L. Greene
  • D. P. Van Gerven
  • G. J. Armelagos


In a recent articleBocquet-Appel & Masset (1985) renew their criticism of paleodemography and criticizeVan Gerven & Armelagos' (1983) defense of paleodemographic methods. In the present analysis we respond toBocquet-Appel andMasset's criticisms ofVan Gerven andArmelagos and then address the question of whether paleodemographic methods are capable of producing plausible results based on what is known about contemporary human populations. This is done by expanding the life tables previously analysed byVan Gerven and co-workers for the Medieval Christian site of Kulubnarti in Nubia'sBatn el Hajar. The expanded results are then compared to data obtained from contemporary human populations as well as interpreted in light of Nubian culture history.

Key words

Paleodemography Nubia 


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Copyright information

© Editrice II Sedicesimo 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. L. Greene
    • 1
  • D. P. Van Gerven
    • 1
  • G. J. Armelagos
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of ColoradoBoulderU.S.A.
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstU.S.A.

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