The palaeodemography of central Portugal in the Mesolithic and Neolithic
Mary Jackes, University of Alberta
Christopher Meiklejohn, University of Winnipeg
Recent re-evaluations of the human skeletal material recovered from the Mesolithic shell middens along the Muge tributary of the Tagus River in Central Portugal have dealt with questions regarding the excavation history and the post-excavation travails of the material from these sites, which were first studied in the 1860s. The sites are of classic importance, providing large samples, but a realistic approach to their history is necessary. A method for dealing with the basic count of individuals present is provided, taking into consideration the need for comparison with material from the Neolithic cave of Casa da Moura, for which completely different mortuary practices are evident. Considering the problems of dealing with skeletal material, a limited approach of the type proposed by Angel, Masset and Bocquet-Appel is followed in order to come to conclusions about the change through the Late Mesolithic and into the Neolithic in the circumscribed set of samples.
Presented in Session 19: Paleodemography