Climate, Water, and Crises in the Southwest Asian Bronze Age

in Nature and Culture
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Evidence on river flow levels and other forms of climate indicators suggest significant variation in climate and water availability within the Bronze Age period. Intermittent deterioration in climate appears to have contributed to periodic crises (toward the ends of the fourth, third, and second millennia, as well as in the middle of the second millennium) manifested throughout the Near East. These periodic crises are associated variably with hinterland pressures on urban centers, governmental collapse, and, to a lesser extent, economic contraction. Climate was probably not the primary driver of these times of troubles, but climatic deterioration systematically made things worse.