Jennifer French

Grant Type

Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

U. College London

Grant number

Gr. 9682

Approve Date

October 4, 2018

Project Title

French, Dr. Jennifer C., U. College London, London, UK - To aid research and writing on 'Palaeolithic Europe: A Demographic and Social Prehistory' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

JENNIFER C. FRENCH, University College London, London, United Kingdom, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2018 to aid research and writing on ‘Palaeolithic Europe: A Demographic and Social Prehistory.’ Knowledge of Palaeolithic demographic variation is vital to understanding humanity’s long-term population history and the substantial socio-cultural developments that occurred during this period, including the origins of art and the colonisation of new environments. ‘Palaeolithic Europe: A Demographic and Social Prehistory’ (under contract with Cambridge University Press) weaves together archaeological, palaeoanthropological, and genetic data, alongside ethnographic data on recent foragers and demographic models of extant subsistence-level societies, to develop a demographic prehistory of European Palaeolithic populations approximately 1.8 million to 15,000 years ago. This demographic prehistory of Palaeolithic Europe comprises four stages: visitation, residency, expansion, and intensification. It is a prehistory produced by multiple species of humans, all of whom, with the sole exception of Homo sapiens, are extinct by the end of this nearly two-million-year period. It is a prehistory that is both biological and social; one in which within the physiological constraints on the processes of fertility and mortality, social relationships — particularly large-scale ones — provide the key for enduring demographic success. Most importantly, it is a prehistory concerned with the big picture of human evolution, but which is firmly grounded in the day-to-day realities of Palaeolithic people — their families, their children, the way they lived and died.