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Archaeologists reveal human resilience to climate change in ancient Turkey



Archaeologists reveal human resilience to climate change in ancient Turkey

Microscope image of iron age oak twigs from called Tayinat in Hatay, Turkey. Image credit: Brita Lorentzen

A study of two recorded periods of climate change in the Greater Middle East between 4,500 and 3,000 years ago revealed that although climate change was seen in a larger area, local evidence showed resilience and even evidence of the flourishing of ancient societies.


A new study conducted by archaeologists from the University of Toronto and Cornell University in Tell Tayinat, southeastern Turkey, shows that human response to climate change is variable and must be tested using extensive and accurate data collected locally. This research highlights how challenges and collapses in certain areas match the resilience and opportunities in others.

The research results are published today in Number one Contributions to discussions on human response to climate change are welcome, thereby expanding the sparse chronological framework in the northern part of the region, historically known as the Levant, which extends the length of the eastern edge of the Mediterranean.

“Studies have shown that the early occupation in the Bronze Age of Tainat was a long and compelling event. Although this seems to coincide with the extreme drought 4200 years ago, it is actually the culmination of a process that started earlier. “Said Tim Harrison, professor and head of the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Toronto, and head of the Tayinat Archaeological Project. “There is no evidence that climate events have a significant impact on the local area because there is no evidence that crops are under drought stress.”

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Archaeologists reveal human resilience to climate change in ancient Turkey

Early Bronze Age excavation (field 1) in Hatay, Turkey tells Tayinat’s view.Image source: Tayinat Archaeological Project

“On the contrary, these changes are more likely to be the result of local politics and spatial reorganization.”

In the ancient Middle East, the middle and late periods of the Early Bronze Age (3000-2000 BC) and the Late Bronze Age (1600-1200 BC) were key periods of early interconnection between settlements in the region. The earliest city and state association. But these systems are not always sustainable, and both periods ended in the collapse of civilization/settlement, the reasons for which have caused widespread debate.

The entire region lacks a detailed schedule of social activities, and there is a huge gap in understanding the link between climate change and social responses. The collapse of the political or economic system is indeed part of the social response, but the collapse is rarely complete.

Using radiocarbon dating and analysis of archaeological samples collected from Tell Tayinat, the location was reoccupied after two particularly noteworthy climate change events 4,200 years and 3,200 years ago. The Nair team established a robust timeline for the two key periods in the history of the ancient Middle East for Tenanat.

Archaeologists reveal human resilience to climate change in ancient Turkey

Microscope image of Bronze Age ash wood samples from Tell Tayinat, Hatay, Turkey. Image credit: Brita Lorentzen

“The absolute chronology of these periods has been a controversial topic for many years. This research provides an important new data set that can help solve many problems,” Godwin Smith Professor of Classical Archaeology, Department of Classical Literature Sturt Manning said. Served in the Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences and was also the main author of the study.

“The detailed chronological analysis obtained in this study can provide a more substantive explanation of the local and regional response to the proposed climate change from the perspective of archaeological evidence, thereby clarifying how humans respond to environmental pressures and changes.”

Researchers say that the chronological framework of the early Iron Age suggests that Tayinat’s migration was prosperous after the 3,200-year-old event after the drought rebuilt 3200 years ago.

Harrison said: “Tainat people may have settled to maximize arable land, and crop evidence shows that people continue to grow a lot of water-needing crops, which shows that it is contending with the situation in arid areas.” Nat’s Iron Age represents a large degree of social resilience in times of climate stress.”


Archaeologists found a 3000-year-old female statue at the gate of a Turkish castle


More information:
Sturt W. Manning and others, “After the Extraordinary Drought and Collapse in the North Levant: The Chronology of Tell Tayinat and Two Historical Turning Points”, which occurred after 4.2 ka BP and 3.2 ka BP, respectively. One number pass (2020). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0240799

Provided by the University of Toronto

Citation: Archaeologists reveal human resilience to climate change in ancient Turkey (2020, October 30), from https://phys.org/news/2020-10-archaeologists-reveal-human-resilience-climate .html retrieved until October 30, 2020

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