School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

Prehistoric Population Dynamics

The 'Neolithic revolution', involving the adoption of farming and pottery-making by previously hunter-gatherer societies, took place about 12,000 to 4,000 years ago in Europe.

Many aspects of this process remain obscure or controversial. Quantitative interpretation of archaeological evidence and mathematical modelling of the processes involved can significantly improve our understanding of the nature of the Neolithic and, eventually, of human behaviour in prehistory.

Our models are based on the equations of population dynamics (the reaction-diffusion equation), adapted to model prehistoric populations, and including environmental factors such as rivers and coastlines, soil types and climate changes.