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Winter Temperature as a Constraint to the Migration of Preindustrial Peoples

John W. M. Whiting, John A. Sodergren and Stephen M. Stigler
American Anthropologist
New Series, Vol. 84, No. 2 (Jun., 1982), pp. 279-298
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/676403
Page Count: 20
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Winter Temperature as a Constraint to the Migration of Preindustrial Peoples
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Abstract

The dispersion of preindustrial peoples is strongly related to winter temperature in two surprising respects. Based on a classification of societies by language, we introduce a statistical model for their dispersion and show that (1) the 10°C (50°F) winter temperature isotherm has been an effective constraint to migration and expansion, and (2) the dispersion of language phyla has been remarkably homogeneous in a certain temperature scale, in contrast to the marked heterogeneity in terms of geographical dispersion.

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