Synthesis between demic and cultural diffusion in the Neolithic transition
Joaquim Fort 2012 PNAS 109:18669-73 doi 10.1073/pnas.1200662109 free access
There is a long-standing controversy between 2 models of the Neolithic
- the demic model assumes that the Neolithic range expansion was mainly
due to the spread of populations,
- the cultural model considers that it was essentially due to the spread
Here we integrate the demic & cultural models in a unified framework.
We show that cultural diffusion explains ?40 % of the spread rate of the
Neolithic transition in Europe, as implied by archaeological data.
Thus, cultural diffusion cannot be neglected, but demic diffusion was the
most important mechanism in this major historical process at the
This quantitative approach can be useful also in
- regional analysis,
- the description of Neolithic transitions in other continents &
- models of many human spread phenomena.