Online citations, reference lists, and bibliographies.
← Back to Search

The Decline Of Late Bronze Age Civilization As A Possible Response To Climatic Change

B. Weiss
Published 1982 · Geography

Save to my Library
Download PDF
Analyze on Scholarcy Visualize in Litmaps
Share
Reduce the time it takes to create your bibliography by a factor of 10 by using the world’s favourite reference manager
Time to take this seriously.
Get Citationsy
The disintegration of Eastern Mediterranean civilization at the end of the late Bronze Age (late thirteenth and twelfth centuries B.C.) has traditionally been attributed to the irruption of new peoples into this area. However, the nearly contemporaneous decline of highly organized and powerful states in Greece, Anatolia, Egypt, and Mesopotamia warrants consideration of possible environmental causes likely to operate over sizable areas, especially since archaeological research has not succeeded in establishing the presence of newcomers at the onset of the Bronze Age disturbances.Climatic change is a particularly attractive candidate since temperature and precipitation variations persisting over relatively short times can adversely affect agricultural output. Carpenter (1966) argued that the Mycenaean decline and migrations in and from Greece in the late thirteenth century were caused by prolonged drought and not the incursion of less civilized Dorian tribes. Donley (1971) and Bryson et al. (1974) have presented evidence of a spatial drought pattern which occurred in January 1955 that might be invoked to support this thesis. Population movements in Anatolia at the same time, though not as well established, can be delimited to some degree by the distribution of Hitto-Luwian peoples in the late ninth century B.C. It is hypothesized here that a drought induced migration of Luwian peoples from Western Antolia occurred early in the twelfth century B.C., that it was associated in some fashion with the invasion of Egypt by the ‘Sea Peoples’ in the reign of Ramesses III, and that the defeated remnants of these peoples settled along the Levantine coast and filtered into North Syria and the upper Euphrates valley.It has been suggested that past climatic patterns recur in the present epoch but with a possibly different frequency. To establish that a spatial drought analogue to the above hypothesized migration can occur, temperature and precipitation records from 35 Greek, Turkish, Cypriot, and Syrian weather stations for the period 1951–1976 were examined. The Palmer drought index, an empirical method of measuring drought severity, was computed for each of these stations for the period of record. Since wheat yields tend to be highly correlated with winter precipitation for the area in question, the drought indices for the winter months were subjected to an empirical eigenvector analysis. An eigenvector (drought pattern) consistent with the postulated population movements in Anatolia occurred within the modern climatological record and was found to have been the dominant pattern in January 1972. The potential problems of eigenvector analysis in investigating problems of this type are discussed.
This paper references
10.2307/136574
Geography and History
E. Huntington (1937)
10.2307/4341455
Kizzuwatna and the Problem of Hittite Geography
E. Speiser (1942)
10.2307/40115510
History and the Homeric Iliad
D. Page (1959)
10.2307/3101608
Land behind Baghdad: A History of Settlement on the Diyala Plains
S. N. Kramer (1965)
10.1017/chol9780521086912.016
The recession of Mycenaean civilization
F. Stubbings (1965)
10.2307/502290
New Evidence on the Last Days of Ugarit
Michael C. Astour (1965)
10.2307/1849052
Discontinuity in Greek civilization
R. Carpenter (1966)
10.2307/1846674
Mycenae and the Mycenaean Age
E. L. Smithson (1966)
W. F. Albright, The Amarna Letters from Palestine. Syria, The Philistines and Phoenicia. Extrait de The Cambridge Ancient History, Revised Edition. Vol. II.
A. Parrot (1966)
4. Stubbings (F. H.). The Recession of Mycenaean Civilization (The Cambridge Ancient History, revised edition, vol. II, ch. XXVII)
J. Deshayes (1966)
10.2307/40000747
The Cambridge Ancient History. Vol. I, Ch. IV. The Evidence of Language
George Krotkoff (1967)
10.1017/CHOL9780521086912.019
Phrygia and the peoples of Anatolia in the Iron Age
R. Barnett (1967)
10.1175/1520-0450(1967)006<0791:EEOSLP>2.0.CO;2
Empirical Eigenvectors of Sea-Level Pressure, Surface Temperature and Precipitation Complexes over North America
J. Kutzbach (1967)
10.2307/3642648
Anatolian Trade with Europe and Anatolian Geography and Culture Provinces in the Late Bronze Age
J. Mellaart (1968)
10.2307/3642647
Geography and History in Western Asia Minor in the Second Millennium B.C.
J. G. Macqueen (1968)
10.2307/40000058
The sea peoples
H. Goedicke (1969)
Forecasting Wheat Production in Turkey
Arthur L. Coffing (1973)
10.2307/4199975
Assyrians and Hittites
J. Hawkins (1974)
10.1017/S0003598X00054168
Drought and the decline of Mycenae
R. A. Bryson (1974)
10.1016/0033-5894(74)90060-X
Dating climatic episodes of the Holocene
W. Wendland (1974)
10.1017/CHOL9780521086912.010
(b): CYPRUS IN THE LATE BRONZE AGE
H. Catling (1975)
10.1017/CHOL9780521086912.022
SYRIA, THE PHILISTINES, AND PHOENICIA
W. F. Albright (1975)
10.2307/503481
Climate and the History of Egypt: The Middle Kingdom
B. Bell (1975)
10.1016/0033-5894(76)90027-2
Reconstructing Past Climatic Anomalies in the North Pacific and Western North America from Tree-Ring Data
T. J. Blasing (1976)
10.1029/SP008P0958
The sun since the Bronze Age
J. Eddy (1976)
Climate: present, past and future
H. Lamb (1977)



This paper is referenced by
Bulletin of the Geological Society of Greece
Argyrios Periferakis (2020)
10.1007/978-3-030-42254-7_1
The Dead Sea and Its Deviation from Natural Conditions
R. Bookman (2020)
10.1038/s41598-020-67281-2
Persistent warm Mediterranean surface waters during the Roman period
G. Margaritelli (2020)
10.5194/bg-2020-428
Development of global temperature and pH calibrations based on bacterial 3-hydroxy fatty acids in soils
P. Véquaud (2020)
10.1007/s10113-020-01604-x
Climatic and social change during the Little Ice Age in Cappadocia Vicinity, Southern Central Anatolia, Turkey
Türkan Bayer Altın (2020)
10.11606/ISSN.2177-4218.V11I1P351-376
Mudanças climáticas e a construção de cisternas micênicas (1300 a.C.-1200 a.C.)
Gustavo Jorge Peloso Peixoto (2020)
10.1016/J.QUAINT.2018.06.012
Tephrostratigraphy of paleoclimatic archives in central Mediterranean during the Bronze Age
G. Zanchetta (2019)
10.1016/J.PHYSA.2019.04.167
Investigation of collapse of complex socio-political systems using classical stability theory
Joseph Livni (2019)
10.1038/s41598-019-47264-8
Abrupt Holocene climate shifts in coastal East Asia, including the 8.2 ka, 4.2 ka, and 2.8 ka BP events, and societal responses on the Korean peninsula
Jungjae Park (2019)
10.1007/s10113-018-01460-w
300-year drought frames Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age transition in the Near East: new palaeoecological data from Cyprus and Syria
D. Kaniewski (2019)
10.1002/wat2.1330
20,000 years of societal vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in southwest Asia
Matthew Jones (2019)
10.1130/G46491.1
Cold and dry outbreaks in the eastern Mediterranean 3200 years ago
D. Kaniewski (2019)
10.1177/0959683617715702
Soil erosion in relation to land-use changes in the sediments of Amik Lake near Antioch antique city during the last 4 kyr
M. El Ouahabi (2018)
10.1177/0959683618771473
First evidence of a lake at Ancient Phaistos (Messara Plain, South-Central Crete, Greece): Reconstructing paleoenvironments and differentiating the roles of human land-use and paleoclimate from Minoan to Roman times
M. Ghilardi (2018)
10.1353/HEL.2018.0000
“Dark Ecology” and the Works and Days
William Brockliss (2018)
10.30958/AJMS.3-2-2
The Varying Impact of Land Use and Climate in Holocene Landscape Dynamics in the Mezzogiorno
P. Wigand (2017)
10.30549/OPATHROM-10-03
The New Swedish Cyprus Expedition 2017: Excavations at Hala Sultan Tekke (The Söderberg Expedition). Preliminary results
P. Fischer (2017)
On the Move: Mobility in Southwest Anatolia and the Southeast Aegean during the Late Bronze to Early Iron Age Transition
Jana Mokrišová (2017)
10.1016/J.QUAINT.2016.11.032
Lacustrine clay mineral assemblages as a proxy for land-use and climate changes over the last 4 kyr: The Amik Lake case study, Southern Turkey
M. E. Ouahabi (2017)
10.1007/s11430-017-9118-3
Environmental and technological effects on ancient social evolution at different spatial scales
Guanghui Dong (2017)
10.11648/J.IJA.20160405.12
The Archaeology of Collapse in Azerbaijan and Eastern Anatolia at During the Iron Age
M. Mirzaei (2016)
10.5194/CP-12-1539-2016
Holocene hydrological changes in the Rhône River (NW Mediterranean) asrecorded in the marine mud belt
M. Bassetti (2016)
10.5194/CP-12-2161-2016
Sedimentary archives of climate and sea-level changes during the Holocene in the Rhône prodelta (NW Mediterranean Sea)
A. Fanget (2016)
10.1177/0959683615609745
Thousand-year history of northeastern Europe exploration in the context of climatic change: Medieval to early modern times
V. Klimenko (2016)
10.1016/J.ANCENE.2016.02.002
Extreme wet conditions coincident with Bronze Age abandonment of upland areas in Britain
C. Turney (2016)
10.1016/J.JASREP.2016.06.050
Agricultural adaptation to highland climate in Iron Age Anatolia
John M. Marston (2016)
10.3764/AJA.120.1.0099
Crisis in Context: The End of the Late Bronze Age in the Eastern Mediterranean
A. B. Knapp (2016)
10.1177/0959683615622555
Mid- to late-Holocene coastal vegetation patterns in Northern Levant (Tell Sukas, Syria): Olive tree cultivation history and climatic change
P. Sorrel (2016)
10.1016/J.QUASCIREV.2015.07.023
Eastern Mediterranean hydroclimate over the late glacial and Holocene, reconstructed from the sediments of Nar lake, central Turkey, using stable isotopes and carbonate mineralogy
J. Dean (2015)
10.2458/azu_rc.57.18555
Vegetation and Climate Changes during the Bronze and Iron Ages (∼3600–600 BCE) in the Southern Levant Based on Palynological Records
D. Langgut (2015)
10.1007/s11852-015-0409-5
Implications of climate change on the groundwater flow regime and geochemistry of the Nile Delta, Egypt
Mohamed H. Geriesh (2015)
10.3354/CR01268
Projected river discharge in the Euphrates-Tigris Basin from a hydrological discharge model forced with RCM and GCM outputs
Deniz Bozkurt (2015)
See more
Semantic Scholar Logo Some data provided by SemanticScholar