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Joeffry t1_j5b9wcq wrote

I don't think it has to do with lifespans exactly. I think the study suggests that the spread of native plant cultivation coincided, until 1000 years ago, with an increased likelihood that populations would die from age related causes as opposed to other causes (disease, famine, war, cataclysm, etc.).

But as populations introduced and became more dependent on maize specifically, the likelihood of dying from those non-age-related causes dramatically increased.