High-resolution Bronze Age palaeoenvironmental change in the eastern Mediterranean: exploring the links between climate and societies.

Hazell, Calian, Pound, Matthew and Hocking, Emma (2022) High-resolution Bronze Age palaeoenvironmental change in the eastern Mediterranean: exploring the links between climate and societies. Palynology. pp. 1-20. ISSN 0191-6122 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/01916122.2022.2067259

Abstract

Bronze Age archaeological records from the eastern Mediterranean identify two periods of widespread so-called societal “collapse” between ca. 4.50 – ca. 4.20 cal ka BP and ca. 3.50 – ca. 2.80 cal ka BP respectively, which have been linked to a number of proposed causes, including climate change. However, the role of climate change in the “collapse” of eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age societies has been questioned due to the resolution of climate proxy records. In this paper we present a regional synthesis of the highest resolution palaeoclimate records and compare these to archaeological evidence. By recalibrating radiocarbon dates onto a consistent timescale and using pollen, oxygen and carbon isotopes from both marine and terrestrial deposits, we reconstruct aridity at a 50-year resolution. Our results challenge a simple “climate destroyed society” hypothesis. Instead, we find a more complex record of changing aridity and societal response and provide a nuanced perspective on climate versus non-climate causes of Bronze Age societal “collapse” events. Our results have implications for the generation of palaeoclimate records aimed at exploring links between climate and societal change, emphasising the need for high resolution records proximal to archaeological sites.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: The authors disclose receipt of the following financial support for the research of this article: This work was supported by the Northumbria University Researcher Development Fund; and the Council for British Research in the Levant (Team-based Fieldwork Research Award).
Uncontrolled Keywords: pollen, stable isotopes, Mediterranean, archaeology, synthesis, societal collapse
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
L700 Human and Social Geography
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
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Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2022 11:26
Last Modified: 26 May 2022 13:30
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/48922

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