Prehistoric Australians’ Population Declined in Last Ice Age

John Ross, writing for The Australian, with another perspective on the new paper about the history of Australia’s Aboriginal population:

Australia’s prehistoric population suffered an “astounding” decline at the peak of the last ice age, with food and water shortages more than halving the number of inhabitants, a new study suggests.

Alan Williams, an archaeological consultant and PhD candidate at the Australian National University, said cool and “incredibly dry” conditions between about 21,000 and 18,000 BC had cut a swathe through the population, which at that time numbered around 20,000.

“The data suggests a decline of about 60 per cent, which is a fairly astounding number,” Mr Williams said.