Handbook of Palaeodemography

  • Isabelle Séguy
  • Luc Buchet

Part of the INED Population Studies book series (INPS, volume 2)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxii
  2. Isabelle Séguy, Luc Buchet
    Pages 1-9
  3. The Data of Interest

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Isabelle Séguy, Luc Buchet
      Pages 13-30
    3. Isabelle Séguy, Luc Buchet
      Pages 31-51
    4. Isabelle Séguy, Luc Buchet
      Pages 53-81
  4. Reconstructing Demographic Parameters

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 83-83
    2. Isabelle Séguy, Luc Buchet
      Pages 85-98
    3. Isabelle Séguy, Luc Buchet
      Pages 99-112
    4. Isabelle Séguy, Luc Buchet
      Pages 113-121
    5. Isabelle Séguy, Luc Buchet
      Pages 123-141
    6. Isabelle Séguy, Luc Buchet
      Pages 143-162
  5. Developing a Study Protocol

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 163-163
    2. Isabelle Séguy, Luc Buchet
      Pages 165-175
    3. Isabelle Séguy, Luc Buchet
      Pages 177-214
  6. Further Analysis

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 215-215
    2. Daniel Courgeau
      Pages 217-253
    3. Henri Caussinus, Daniel Courgeau
      Pages 255-286
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 287-329

About this book


This book examines methods for linking osteo-archaeological data with historical and environmental sources to shed light on the living conditions of past populations. Covering all time periods from prehistory to the 20th century, it aims to construct models that capture plausible demographic dynamics from highly fragmentary evidence.

Starting from the known in order to explore the unknown, this book presents a historical view of methods used in the past and present as well as proposes original ones. The paleodemographic methods presented in this handbook have been tested on anthropological and archaeological data and can easily be applied.

This manual represents a fruitful collaboration between historical demographers and anthropological archaeologists who, with the help of mathematicians and statisticians, detail research that opens an important historical dimension to the discipline. Written in a readily understandable manner, it serves as an ideal resource for those wishing to interpret ancient bones in demographic terms.


Age at death Archaeolocial remains Bioanthropology Brass method Civil age, biological age and social age Crossroad between demography and archaeology Demographic parameters Dynamics of human settlement Epistemology of the discipline Estimation by the probability vector Estimator method Exhumed skeletons General methodological principles Interpret ancient bones in demographic terms Life tables Logarithmic model Methods for estimating age and sex Mortality regimes New paleodemographic tools Osteological data Paleodemographic research Pre-industrial populations models Probabilities of dying Reconstructuring demographic parameters Retrace living conditions of past populations Statistical method for reconstructing age-at death structure

Authors and affiliations

  • Isabelle Séguy
    • 1
  • Luc Buchet
    • 2
  1. 1.Unite Histoire et Population,INEDParisFrance
  2. 2.CEPAM-UMR 7264 CNRS, UNSNiceFrance

Bibliographic information