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Megadrought and CollapseFrom Early Agriculture to Angkor$
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Harvey Weiss

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199329199

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199329199.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 December 2021

3.2 ka BP Megadrought and the Late Bronze Age Collapse

3.2 ka BP Megadrought and the Late Bronze Age Collapse

Chapter:
(p.161) Chapter 4 3.2 ka BP Megadrought and the Late Bronze Age Collapse
Source:
Megadrought and Collapse
Author(s):

David Kaniewski

Elise Van Campo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199329199.003.0005

The collapse of Bronze Age civilizations in the Aegean, southwest Asia, and the eastern Mediterranean 3200 years ago remains a persistent riddle in Eastern Mediterranean archaeology, as both archaeologists and historians believe the event was violent, sudden, and culturally disruptive. In the first phase of this period, many cities between Pylos and Gaza were destroyed violently and often left unoccupied thereafter. The palace economy of the Aegean Region and Anatolia that characterized the Late Bronze Age was replaced by the isolated village cultures of the Dark Ages. Earthquakes, attacks of the Sea Peoples, and socio-political unrest are among the most frequently suggested causes for this phenomenon. However, while climate change has long been considered a potential prime factor in this crisis, only recent studies have pinpointed the megadrought behind the collapse. An abrupt climate shift seems to have caused, or hastened, the fall of the Late Bronze Age world by sparking political and economic turmoil, migrations, and famines. The entirety of the megadrought’s effects terminated the Late Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean.

Keywords:   3.2 ka BP climate event, Late Bronze Age civilization, Eastern Mediterranean archaeology, Neolithic, Sea Peoples, paleoclimatology

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