A massive population growth- what we like to call the ‘baby boom’ had supposedly occurred among the Native Americans around 500-1300 AD.
The results from these findings, which are now published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, point out to a time where the birth rates were probably higher than the highest in the world today.
After examining thousands of human remains from hundreds of different locations around the Southwest of US, the researchers found a comprehensive shift in the area’s demography, and found that the agriculture shifted from meat to grain.
They also found that there was a drastic fall in the population, supposedly due to the ‘baby boom’ which may have caused lack of adequate food.
“We can learn lessons from these people,” researcher Tim Kohler, from WashingtonState University, explained.
It was found that corn was grown in many locations as early as 2000 BC, and around 500 AD, the consumption started to increase.
However, at around 900 AD, the population started to fluctuate with some of the worst droughts in the area occurring in the mid-1100s.
“They didn’t slow down-birth rates were expanding right up to the depopulation,” Kohler explained. “Why not limit growth? Maybe groups needed to be big to protect their villages and fields.”
“Crude birth rates – the number of newborns per 1,000 people per year – were by then on the rise, mounting steadily until about 500 CE. The growth varied across the region,” he added.
The researchers believe that the baby boom caused the population to grow too big to feed itself, which caused people to leave, and a population of some 40,000 to go down to almost nothing.