The Impact of Rapid Climate Change on Prehistoric Societies during the Holocene in the Eastern Mediterranean
Keywords:Rapid Climate Change, Holocene, GISP2, Dead Sea Level, Levantine Moist Period, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age, domestication
AbstractIn this paper we explore the impact of Rapid Climate Change (RCC) on prehistoric communities in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Early and Middle Holocene. Our focus is on the social implications of the four major climate cold anomalies that have recently been identified as key time-windows for global RCC (Mayewski et al. 2004). These cooling anomalies are well-dated, with Greenland ice-core resolution, due to synchronicity between warm/cold foraminifera ratios in Mediterranean core LC21 as a proxy for surface water temperature, and Greenland GISP2 non sea-salt (nss) [K+] ions as a proxy for the intensification of the Siberian High and for polar air outbreaks in the northeast Mediterranean (Rohling et al. 2002). Building on these synchronisms, the GISP2 agemodel supplies the following precise time-intervals for archaeological RCC research: (i) 8.6–8.0 ka, (ii) 6.0–5.2 ka, (iii) 4.2–4.0 ka and (iv) 3.1–2.9 ka calBP. For each of these RCC time intervals, based on detailed 14C-based chronological studies, we investigate contemporaneous cultural developments. From our studies it follows that RCC-related climatic deterioration is a major factor underlying social change, although always at work within a wide spectrum of social, cultural, economic and religious factors.
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How to Cite
Weninger, B., Clare, L., Rohling, E., Bar-Yosef, O., Böhner, U., Budja, M., Bundschuh, M., Feurdean, A., Gebe, H. G., Jöris, O., Linstädter, J., Mayewski, P., Mühlenbruch, T., Reingruber, A., Rollefson, G., Schyle, D., Thissen, L., Todorova, H., & Zielhofer, C. (2009). The Impact of Rapid Climate Change on Prehistoric Societies during the Holocene in the Eastern Mediterranean. Documenta Praehistorica, 36, 7–59. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.36.2
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