Population growth, density and technology in the Western European Mesolithic: Lessons from analogous historical contexts
In this paper the relationship between population growth and technological development, as postulated by Oswalt (1976) and by Boserup (1981), is investigated. Its strength and causation is tested by using an objective measure of technological development, which is relevant for foraging and simple farming societies. It is proven that the functional taxonomy of subsistence equipment, as used by Oswalt, cannot be isolated from its concomitant social context. An increase in functional/social complexity is correlated with population density. Technological complexity, population density and milieu form an indivisable triangle ofinter-relationships which have the potential for joint evolutionary development. These conclusions can be applied to the Western European Mesolithic.