Grant TypeHunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
Institutional AffiliationU. College London
Grant numberGr. 9682
Approve DateOctober 4, 2018
Project TitleFrench, 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.