Abrupt climate change drove early South American population decline

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Abrupt climate change drove early South American population decline Empty Abrupt climate change drove early South American population decline

Post by phildidge on Thu May 09, 2019 6:58 pm

Abrupt climate change some 8,000 years ago led to a dramatic decline in early South American populations, suggests new UCL research.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, is the first to demonstrate how widespread the decline was and the scale at which population decline took place 8,000 to 6,000 years ago.

"Archaeologists working in South America have broadly known that some 8,200 years ago, inhabited sites in various places across the continent were suddenly abandoned. In our study we wanted to connect the dots between disparate records that span the Northern Andes, through the Amazon, to the southern tip of Patagonia and all areas in between," said lead author, Dr Philip Riris (UCL Institute of Archaeology).

"Unpredictable levels of rainfall, particularly in the tropics, appear to have had a negative impact on pre-Columbian populations until 6,000 years ago, after which recovery is evident. This recovery appears to correlate with cultural practices surrounding tropical plant management and early crop cultivation, possibly acting as buffers when wild resources were less predictable," added Dr Riris.


https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190509080039.htm

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