Did climate change cause a Bronze Age crisis?
But even as people created the world’s first cities and governments, the world continued to get warmer. This may have been caused partly by farming itself. Maybe the farmers cut down too many trees that had been taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
Earlier climate changes
Overview of climate change
Old Kingdom Egypt
Bronze Age timeline
What happened to the cities?
By about 2000 BC, it was so warm that even in the river valleys, there really wasn’t enough water to keep the civilization going. In some places, like the Indus valley in Pakistan, people gradually abandoned their cities. Probably a lot of people starved to death, and the rest moved up into the hills where it was cooler and rained more.
First Intermediate Period
The Yamnaya leave home
In Egypt, this warming may have caused the First Intermediate Period. The same changes may have encouraged the Yamnaya or Indo-Europeans to leave Central Asia and invade West Asia, Europe, and eventually Egypt and India.
A second Bronze Age climate crisis
Around 1200 BC, at the end of the Bronze Age, there was another drought, and Egypt’s government collapsed again.
Third Intermediate Period
Who were the Hittites?
Shang Dynasty China
This drought also seems to have ended the Hittite kingdom and driven the Mycenaeans out of Greece, to invade Israel as the Philistines (This is where the Bible stories of David and Goliath and Samson and Delilah come from). The same drought may have ended the Shang Dynasty in China, too.
Did you find out what you wanted to know about climate change collapse? Let us know in the comments, or go on to the Little Ice Age.
Leave A Comment