• Publications
  • Influence
Regional population collapse followed initial agriculture booms in mid-Holocene Europe
It is shown that the introduction of agriculture into Europe was followed by a boom-and-bust pattern in the density of regional populations, and the results suggest that the demographic patterns may have arisen from endogenous causes, although this remains speculative.
Demography and Cultural Innovation: a Model and its Implications for the Emergence of Modern Human Culture
  • S. Shennan
  • Biology
    Cambridge Archaeological Journal
  • 1 April 2001
It is suggested that the model has major implications for the origins of modern human culture in the last 50,000 years, which may be seen not as the result of genetic mutations leading to improved cognitive capacities of individuals, but as a population consequence of the demographic growth and increased contact range which are evident at this time.
Late Pleistocene Demography and the Appearance of Modern Human Behavior
A population model shows that demography is a major determinant in the maintenance of cultural complexity and that variation in regional subpopulation density and/or migratory activity results in spatial structuring of cultural skill accumulation.
Random drift and culture change
It is concluded that cultural and economic choices often reflect a decision process that is value–neutral; this result has far–reaching testable implications for social–science research.
Neolithic transition in Europe: the radiocarbon record revisited
Understanding the introduction of farming and the adoption of Neolithic culture continues to be a major research objective in Europe. The authors make use of a new database of radiocarbon dates from
Population, Culture History, and the Dynamics of Culture Change1
  • S. Shennan
  • Sociology
    Current Anthropology
  • 1 December 2000
If archaeology is to succeed in explaining culture change, it must view the archaeological record from the perspective of cultural “descent with modification,” in so doing returning to many of the
Genes, Memes, and Human History: Darwinian Archaeology and Cultural Evolution
This book discusses culture as an evolutionary system, the history of social contracts and the evolution of property, and the role of group selection in the development of cultural traditions.