1. Fernández-López de Pablo, J., Gutiérrez-Roig, M., Gómez-Puche, M., McLaughlin, R., Silva, F. & Lozano, S. Palaeodemographic modelling supports a population bottleneck during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in Iberia. Nature Communications 10, Article number: 1872 (2019) (PDF)


Demographic change lies at the core of debates on genetic inheritance and resilience to climatechange of prehistoric hunter-gatherers. Here we analyze the radiocarbon record of Iberia to reconstruct long-term changes in population levels and test different models of demographic growth during the Last Glacial-Interglacial transition. Our best fitting demographic model is composed of three phases. First, we document a regime of exponential population increase during the Late Glacial warming period (c.16.6-12.9 kya). Second, we identify a phase of sus-tained population contraction and stagnation, beginning with the cold episode of the YoungerDryas and continuing through the first half of the Early Holocene (12.9-10.2 kya). Finally, we report a third phase of density-dependent logistic growth (10.2-8 kya), with rapid population increase followed by stabilization. Our results support a population bottleneck hypothesis during the Last Glacial-Interglacial transition, providing a demographic context to interpret major shifts of prehistoric genetic groups in south-west Europe.


2. Romano, V., Lozano, S. & Fernández-López de Pablo, J. A multilevel analtytical framework for studying cultural evolution in prehistoric hunter-gatherer societies. Biological Reviews. (PDF)


Over the past decade, a major debate has taken place on the underpinnings of cultural changes in human societies. A growing array of evidence in behavioural and evolutionary biology has revealed that social connectivity among populations and within them affects, and is affected by, culture. Yet the interplay between prehistoric hunter–gatherer social structure and cultural transmission has typically been overlooked. Interestingly, the archaeological record contains large data sets, allowing us to track cultural changes over thousands of years: they thus offer a unique opportunity to shed light on long‐term cultural transmission processes. In this review, we demonstrate how well‐developed methods for social structure analysis can increase our understanding of the selective pressures underlying cumulative culture. We propose a multilevel analytical framework that considers finer aspects of the complex social structure in which regional groups of prehistoric hunter–gatherers were embedded. We put forward predictions of cultural transmission based on local‐ and global‐level network metrics of small‐scale societies and their potential effects on cumulative culture. By bridging the gaps between network science, palaeodemography and cultural evolution, we draw attention to the use of the archaeological record to depict patterns of social interactions and transmission variability. We argue that this new framework will contribute to improving our understanding of social interaction patterns, as well as the contexts in which cultural changes occur. Ultimately, this may provide insights into the evolution of human behaviour.


3. Lozano, S. Prignano, L. Gómez-Puche, M. & Fernández-López de Pablo, J. Early Holocene Socio-Ecological Dynamics in the Iberian Peninsula: A Network Approach. In: Verhagen H., Borit M., Bravo G., Wijermans N. (eds) Advances in Social Simulation. Springer Proceedings in Complexity. Springer, ChamDOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-34127-5_27


 Late Glacial and Early Holocene environmental changes affected different domains of human demography, settlement, and subsistence patterns. The variable spatial patterning produced by the prehistoric hunter-gatherers’ archaeological record, from local bands to larger regional groups, demands new approaches for analysing the multi-scalar nature of human-environmental interactions. In this contribution, we present different aspects of a long-term research program aimed to decipher the relationship between demographic dynamics and cultural transmission in the Iberian Peninsula from the Late Magdalenian to the end of the Late Mesolithic.