Demography and the intensity of cultural activities: an evaluation of Funnel Beaker Societies (4200–2800 cal BC)

Hinz, Martin; Feeser, Ingo; Sjögren, Karl-Göran; Müller, Johannes (2012). Demography and the intensity of cultural activities: an evaluation of Funnel Beaker Societies (4200–2800 cal BC). Journal of archaeological science, 39(10), pp. 3331-3340. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jas.2012.05.028

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The Early and Middle Neolithic in Northern Central Europe and Southern Scandinavia is characterised by substantial changes in economic technology as well as in material culture in different periods. One of the main drivers for social development, but also for anthropogenic changes in the environment, is surely shifts in population density. To evaluate group sizes and population density we need archaeological proxies. Similar to other studies, we use 14C dates to reconstruct the intensity of prehistoric activities. A comparison of the human impact from pollen data with a quantification based on 14C dates proves a correlation which supports our appreciation of the value of sum-calibrated probabilities of radiometric measurements as a proxy for demographic developments. The large amount of usable dates in this study not only enables us to draw general conclusions on a supraregional level, but also makes it possible for us to compare the character of different areas on a regional scale. As a result, we reconstruct a significant rise in population between 4100 and 3500 cal BC and a degression around 3350–3100 cal BC, followed by a reiterated increase for the Funnel Beaker West and North Groups. On the Danish Isles, as well as in the Funnel Beaker North Eastern Group, different tendencies are observable.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of Archaeological Sciences > Pre- and Early History

UniBE Contributor:

Hinz, Martin


900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)








Martin Hinz

Date Deposited:

19 Mar 2019 10:26

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:18

Publisher DOI:





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