Documenta Praehistorica XXXVI

Neolithic Studies 16


Bernhard Weninger, Lee Clare, Eelco Rohling, Ofer Bar-Yosef , Utz Böhner, Mihael Budja, Manfred Bundschuh, Angelica Feurdean, Hans Georg Gebe, Olaf Jöris, Jörg Linstädter, Paul Mayewski, Tobias Mühlenbruch, Agathe Reingruber, Gary Rollefson, Daniel Schyle, Laurens Thissen, Henrieta Todorova, Christoph Zielhofer

The Impact of Rapid Climate Change on Prehistoric Societies during the Holocene in the Eastern Mediterranean

7-59

DOI: 10.4312/dp.36.2

Abstract

In 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.

Izvleček

V članku obravnavamo vpliv hitre klimatske spremembe (HKS) na prazgodovinske skupnosti v vzhodnem Sredozemlju v zgodnjem in srednjem holocenu. Naš fokus je usmerjen v socialne posledice, ki so jih povzročile štiri glavne klimatske anomalije. Ohladitve so bile identificirane nedavno in označene kot ključne časovne niše za globalne HKS (Mayewski et al. 2004). Ohladitve so dobro datirane z ledeno vrtino na Grenlandiji, s sinhronostjo razmerij toplo/hladno med foraminiferami kot indikatorji temperature morja na površini v globokomorski vrtini LC21 vzhodnem Sredozemlju in z ne-morskimi solnimi (nms) [K+] ioni kot indikatorji intenzivnosti Sibirskega anticiklona in prodora polarnega zraka v severovzhodno Sredozemlje. GISP2 časovni model gradi na teh sinhronizmih in zagotavlja precizne ≠asovne intervale za arheoološke raziskave HKS: (i) 8.6–8.0 ka, (ii) 6.0–5.2 ka, (iii) 4.2–4.0 ka in (iv) 3.1–2.9 ka calBP. S pomočjo 14C kronoloških analiz kulturnih sekvenc smo vzpostavili kronološke korelacije z vsakim intervalom HKS in opazovali kulturne dinamike. Ugotovili smo, da so klimatske spremembe in poslabšanja povzročitelji socialnih sprememb, seveda v povezavi z drugimi kulturnimi, ekonomskimi in religijskimi dejavniki.

Keywords

Rapid Climate Change; Holocene; GISP2; Dead Sea Level; Levantine Moist Period; Neolithic; Chalcolithic; Bronze Age; domestication

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© Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana 2009