Planet Earth

25
Apr

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.