Re: New world populations
27 Dec 1994 01:00:49 -0500
>A less complex theory of declines in population in the era 1200-1500
>well be that the cooling noted by some scholars as beginning in Europe in
>1200, and extending through about 1450, had many of the same effects in
>North America as in Europe. In Scotland it was noted by 1300 that where
>wheat had grown before, only oats would yield a harvest, where oats had
>been planted before only groats would produce, where groats had been the
>crop, people moved South or starved.
>If the cold had similar effects in North America, then cultures dependent
>on any particular set of foods might well be forced to move South(Apache,
>etc.?) or if they had too strong an atatchment to a place or a crop, they
>could have collapsed (Anisazi, Kaholia?). It is possible the entire
>Northern Hemisphere was effected this way.
Bendremer (1993) speculated on the same temperature fluxuation in the
Northeast as the reason for a paucity of maize during the late 13th and
early 14th centuries, nearly two hundred years after it appears in some
abundance in the same region. Population decreased, however, are only
visible in the interior regions, and are not apparent in coastal areas
where shellfish and other marine resourses were abundant. In fact,
coastal population show dramatic increases, perhaps the inlanders heading
to the shore for a clambake?