In this seminar talk I will describe recent advances in palaeodemographic methods and theory, and will propose a new model for future palaeodemographic applications. Methodological advances are offering the opportunity for both estimating (by proxy) and modelling past population variables. However, current interpretative approaches impose limits on the insights that may be gained into past human narratives. To gain the greatest knowledge from palaeodemographic proxy data, I argue that demographic estimates must be integrated with cultural, environmental and biological information to explore complex and dynamic populations interactions. High resolution case studies contribute to our understanding of the human past both on a localised level and as part of more foundational concepts in palaeodemography. Further, non-conforming population responses must be accommodated in palaeodemographic models if we are to understand the diversity of demographic drivers and consequences through human history.

About the presenter

I have a Bachelor of Arts (Hons, 2015) and a PhD in Biological Anthropology (2019) from the Australian National University. I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA). In 2019 I was appointed Lecturer in Biological Anthropology in the School of Archaeology and Anthropology and in 2020 I took up a postdoctoral research position in the same school.

Through supervised research, masters and honours students, I am developing a palaeodemography and palaeoepidemiology working group with a focus on population dynamics and health in ancient Southeast Asia and the Pacific.


Please be aware that we are still operating under Covid-19 regulations during public events.  For those who will be attending, you will be asked to check in via QR code as a condition of entry. Those who are feeling unwell, who have travelled in from overseas or a Covid-19 hotspot in the last 14 days or have been in contact with Covid-19 positive persons, are asked not to attend the seminar. Hand sanitizers will be provided for attendee use at venue​.

Archaeology Working Papers: j.kariwiga@uq.edu.au for further details.


About Archaeology Working Papers

The Working Papers in Archaeology seminar series provides a forum for dissemination of archaeological research and ideas amongst UQ archaeology students and staff. All students are invited to attend the series and postgraduate students, from honours upwards, are invited to present their research. The aim is to provide opportunities for students, staff and those from outside UQ, to present and discuss their work in an informal environment. It is hoped that anyone interested in current archaeological directions, both within and outside the School and University, will be able to attend and contribute to the series.