Pollen Study Indicates the Collapse of the LBA

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Pollen Study Indicates the Collapse of the LBA

Postby Minimalist » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:15 am

was due to regional drought.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/23/world/middleeast/pollen-study-points-to-culprit-in-bronze-era-mystery.html?_r=2&

Experts have long pondered the cause of the crisis that led to the Late Bronze Age collapse of civilization, and now believe that by studying grains of fossilized pollen they have uncovered the cause.

In a study published Monday in Tel Aviv: Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, researchers say it was drought that led to the collapse in the ancient southern Levant.
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Re: Pollen Study Indicates the Collapse of the LBA

Postby kbs2244 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:34 am

I don’t know about this.
A 150 year drought is a long time.

But it was relatively local and there was some pretty long range trading going on at that time.

As long as they had something to trade in return food could have been imported.
The US has been shipping soy beans to China for decades.
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Re: Pollen Study Indicates the Collapse of the LBA

Postby Cognito » Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:00 pm

Hmmm ... they did get this partially correct. However, instead of a 150 year long, unbroken drought it probably happened in like a roller coaster - good years followed by bad years, so on and so forth.

The Hittite empire received the bulk of its grain from Assyria and, in the decades leading up to 1200bce the Assyrian grain crops failed due to drought. We know that the Hittite empire collapsed due to internal, civil strife. I suspect that when much of the Hittite-controlled areas couldn't be fed due to supply disruptions, people dispersed, including to the south. At this time the Sea Peoples were over-running the Levant by sea while there was also a considerable migration south overland apparently including, by the way, people from the Ukraine and Caucasus areas.

Major Near East kingdoms? The Hittites were toast, Mycenae disappeared, the Kassite Empire fell to Elam, but Egypt survived the turmoil. However, Egypt experienced a severe, 7-year drought beginning in 1159bce that considerably weakened the Twentieth Dynasty.

The only winners in all of this chaos were the resurgent Phoenicians who spread their trade networks throughout the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic.
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Re: Pollen Study Indicates the Collapse of the LBA

Postby Minimalist » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:02 pm

However, Egypt experienced a severe, 7-year drought


Egypt also experienced a 1,000 year death spiral to oblivion that only ended at Actium.
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Re: Pollen Study Indicates the Collapse of the LBA

Postby Cognito » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:22 pm

Egypt also experienced a 1,000 year death spiral to oblivion that only ended at Actium.

You are correct. Rameses III died about 1155bce and it was downhill from there. He had already lost Canaan to the Sea Peoples (i.e. Philistines) and in his latter years he presided over a crushing economic and military decline.
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Re: Pollen Study Indicates the Collapse of the LBA

Postby Minimalist » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:51 pm

Egypt in the first millennium may have set the record for being overrun by different conquerors!
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Re: Pollen Study Indicates the Collapse of the LBA

Postby Cognito » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:02 pm

Egypt in the first millennium may have set the record for being overrun by different conquerors!

And for good reason. Whoever controlled the Nile delta controlled the granary of the Mediterranean. Regardless of droughts, the Nile still flowed consistently year-round and the farmers in the region were able to irrigate on a relatively large scale.

Even the Hyksos had figured out the above hundreds of years earlier. The value of Egypt was the Nile delta and its food production capability. That's why their capital was at Avaris. Keep the Egyptians at bay, but control the delta. Otherwise, when the people starve, the king loses his head.



*Note to Conqueror:

When attacking Egypt: sack the temples for booty, kill the soldiers and violate the city-women, but leave the farmers alone. They feed your army.
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Re: Pollen Study Indicates the Collapse of the LBA

Postby kbs2244 » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:04 pm

Did the Egyptians ever use irrigation vs. just depending on the annual spring floods?
I am thinking of ditches with a dam system to direct water flow, etc.
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Re: Pollen Study Indicates the Collapse of the LBA

Postby Cognito » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:25 pm

Did the Egyptians ever use irrigation vs. just depending on the annual spring floods?
I am thinking of ditches with a dam system to direct water flow, etc.

Yes, definitely. Dams were erected along the Nile (traces of them have been found by archaeologists), but it is more difficult to control flooding in that area due to the narrow confluence. It is my understanding that the Nile delta was being irrigated with channels, etc. by the time that Sumerian irrigation was established.

The Mongols actively destroyed the irrigation systems in the Tigris-Euphrates area between 1258-1260AD; I don't know what happened to the ancient Egyptian systems. Since the Nile delta is subject to silt buildup as well as subsidence, finding remains could be near impossible.
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Re: Pollen Study Indicates the Collapse of the LBA

Postby Minimalist » Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:49 pm

kbs2244 wrote:Did the Egyptians ever use irrigation vs. just depending on the annual spring floods?
I am thinking of ditches with a dam system to direct water flow, etc.



They still do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadoof
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