Climate Change Theory Support for Bronze Age Collapse

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Climate Change Theory Support for Bronze Age Collapse

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Okt. 23, 2013, 6:05pm

How often it comes down to climate change! Fascinating!

Robert Drews is probably not a happy camper.

Okt. 23, 2013, 6:06pm

I am putting this up in the History from 30,000 Feet Group as well

Okt. 23, 2013, 8:43pm

I suppose the scholarly article referenced by the ny times might contain something of interest, but I am amazed to think that anybody could be impressed by the report given by the times, which contains nothing to suggest that this new theory has any believable basis.

Okt. 23, 2013, 11:55pm

Not in and of itself, but it supports a body of scientific work that has been drawing similar conclusions. I wouldn't call it a new theory.

Bearbeitet: Okt. 24, 2013, 11:23am

As with any complex historical phenomenon, the Bronze Age Collapse was a confluence of many different factors, one of which it seems more and more likely was climate change. Other factors likely included overpopulation coupled with a drop in agricultural production (likely due in many areas to soil exhaustion, but also impacted by climate change), as well as a variety of destabilizing political forces (e.g. both in-fighting and foreign invasion, both of which would themselves be complex phenomena with a variety of influences/causes, including the aforementioned overpopulation).

Anybody who trumpets X as the single factor for historical even Y is at best naive and at worst a liar.

Okt. 24, 2013, 11:32am

>6 nathanielcampbell: Anybody who trumpets X as the single factor for historical event Y is at best naive and at worst a liar.

Remember that the next time an asteroid hits the earth! :)

I tend to enjoy historical theories that explore a specific issue or deliberately narrow perspective, but I find that they are most enlightening when laid one on top another to build up a more complex overall picture.

Okt. 24, 2013, 12:07pm

The collapse was no doubt complex, but I find it pretty interesting to see data accumulating in support of this way of looking at it. Actually, having no stake in any one explanation personally, I'm fascinated when evidence accumulates for explanation of any important event in the distant past. It's a wonder that such information lies buried, dormant, in extractable form --- that the Earth still contains its history, so to speak -- and that we have tools to uncover and decipher that information.

Okt. 30, 2013, 8:57am

Here are my thoughts on this entire issue:

Climate Change is constant
Social change is constant

The fact that the two happen simultaneously does not indicate causality. I'm certain some social change is the result of climate change but I'm equally certain that some is not. And I'm coming to believe that it will prove impossible to convincingly argue about it either way before we have multiple, numerous textual sources to support it.

My favorite is Mike Baille's discussion of a mid-6th century eruption and subsequent anomalous weather being picked up by multiple sources as a causal factor in the fall of the Roman Empire. Except the Roman Empire "fell" 60 years earlier and was in decline for another 7 years before that.

Unless we're talking about the Eastern Empire which, depending on how you look at it, "fell" either a century ot 9 centuries later.

This is not the only impact - another favorite of mine is the Avar/Mongol migrations (except the Huns migrated 2 centuries earlier) - but it's the one which is most spectacularly incorrect.

Feb. 28, 2014, 1:15pm

Thank you for the great article. I enjoy ancient history and climate studies as well as historical geology.

Mai 29, 2014, 8:09am

Sorry to bring up an old thread. But I was reading on the evidence and likely impact for climate change at the time of the collapse, and searched the LT threads to see if there had been any discussion.

Let me add this to the OP link.