web analytics
January 27, 2015 / 7 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Dramatic Kinneret Discovery: Climate Crisis Ruined Ancient Empires

If the effects of “global warming” today are going to be anything like those of the 3,200-year-old drought and cold wave that, according to research in the Kinneret, existed in the Middle East, watch out.
Researchers of the Kinneret have concluded that a climate crisis 3,200 years ago brought about the collapse of regional empires.

Researchers of the Kinneret have concluded that a climate crisis 3,200 years ago brought about the collapse of regional empires.
Photo Credit: Yaakov Naumi/Flash90

A study of fossil pollen particles in sediments extracted from the bottom of the Sea of Galilee has revealed evidence of a climate crisis that traumatized the Near East from the middle of the 13th to the late 12th century BCE. The crisis brought about the collapse of the great empires of the Bronze Age.

“In a short period of time, the entire world of the Bronze Age crumbled,” explains Tel Aviv University archaeologist Prof. Finkelstein. “The Hittite empire, Egypt of the Pharaohs, the Mycenaean culture in Greece, the copper producing kingdom located on the island of Cyprus, the great trade emporium of Ugarit on the Syrian coast and the Canaanite city-states under Egyptian hegemony – all disappeared and only after a while were replaced by the territorial kingdoms of the Iron Age, including Israel and Judah.”

The researchers drilled through 300 meters of water in the heart of the Sea of Galilee and retrieved a core of sediments 20 meters long from the bottom of the lake. The goal was to extract from the sediments fossil pollen grains.

“Pollen is the most enduring organic material in nature,” explains Finkelstein’s colleague Dr. Dafna Langgut, who carried out the actual work of sampling. “Pollen was driven to the Sea of Galilee by wind and river-streams, was deposited in the lake and was embedded in the under-water sediments. New sediments that are added annually create anaerobic conditions which help preserve the pollen particles. These particles tell us about the vegetation that grew in the vicinity of the lake in the past and therefore testify to the climatic conditions in the region.”

The chronological framework of the sediment core was established by radiocarbon dating organic materials that were preserved in the sediments. The counting and the identification of the pollen grains revealed a period of severe droughts between ca. 1250 and 1100 BCE. A core of sediments from the western shore of the Dead Sea – also studied by the research group – provided similar results.

“The advantage of our study, compared to pollen investigations carried out at other locations in the Near East, is in the unprecedented resolution of a sample about every 40 years,” says Prof. Finkelstein. “Pollen is usually sampled in a resolution of several hundreds of years, and this is indeed logical when one is interested in prehistoric matters and glacial and inter-glacial cycles. Since we were interested in historical periods, we had to sample in denser resolution; otherwise a crisis such as the one at the end of the Bronze Age would have escaped our attention.”

Another novelty in the current research is in the chronological correlation between the pollen results and two other records of the past. At the end of the Bronze Age many Eastern Mediterranean cities were assaulted and destroyed by fire. The dates of these events indeed fall between ca. 1250-1100 BCE. The same holds true for ancient Near Eastern written documents that testify to severe droughts and famine in exactly the same period. Such documents are known from across the entire region – from the Hittite capital in Anatolia in the north, via Ugarit on the Syrian coast and Aphek in Israel to Egypt in the south.

Reduction in precipitation in the “green” areas of the Near East should not be expected to cause the collapse of great empires.

So what had happened?

Prof. Ronny Ellenblum of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem studied written documents that describe similar conditions – of severe droughts and famine – in the 10th‒11th centuries CE. He showed that in the northern parts of the Near East, such as northern Iran and Anatolia, shrinkage in precipitation was accompanied by devastating cold spells that destroyed crops. Langgut, Finkelstein and Litt propose a similar process for the end of the Bronze Age: Severe cold spells destroyed the crops in the northern parts of the ancient Near East and shrinkage in precipitation damaged agricultural output in the eastern steppe parts of the region.

This brought about the droughts and famine so well-described in the ancient texts, and motivated “large groups of people to start moving to the south in search of food,” says Egyptologist Shirly Ben-Dor Evian of the Department of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Dramatic Kinneret Discovery: Climate Crisis Ruined Ancient Empires”

  1. Steve Brown says:

    It was their use of polluting SUVs that caused these ancient empires to crumble.

    Will we never learn ?

  2. Mike Beckett says:

    Sound more like the climate change during Ahab and Jezebel to me. Wish chronologists would get their archeological finding aligned correctly. Thank God we have got Velikovski, Courville, and Ages of Darkness to point to a corrected chronology for this period of ancient history. I think they were conservative in their adjustments to this period of findings.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well, that's what they get for not equipping their camels and horses with catalytic converters. They couldn't even pass the emissions check for methane. Goodness, those people were negligent. Thank goodness they didn't grow kidney beans there, they would have fried the planet.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF soldiers during a training session in the snow covered mountains of Hermon.
Mount Hermon Ski Resort Reopens After Rocket Attack
Latest News Stories

The two rockets fired from Syria that exploded in Israel’s Golan Heights at 1 PM today signifies a new peak in tensions being felt in Israel’s northern borders.

BBC Big Questions

BBC: “Our one big question this morning: Is the time coming to lay the Holocaust to rest?”

IDF soldiers during a training session in the snow covered mountains of Hermon.

Visitors are invited to return to Mount Hermon Ski Resort after a double rocket attack sent officials to evacuate hundreds of people earlier in the day.

Ban Ki-moon walks through a Hamas terror tunnel from Gaza to Israel last year.

As usual, there is a big gap between what Arab countries promise and what they deliver.

An IDF soldier at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem. Tuesday, January 27th is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On January 27, 1945 the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was liberated by Soviet forces.

The “Ugly Israeli” has taken its form in six idiot thugs who beat a Druze student, who served in the IDF, because he was speaking Arabic. A Jerusalem court was told the gang of Jews attacked the music student at the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem. The victim, identified as Tommy Hasson, served in the […]

President Obama is sending Jack Lew, the first Orthodox Jewish Treasury Secretary to the commemoration. Secretary Lew will be leading a delegation of State Department officials and Auschwitz survivors.

Two missiles exploded in the northern Golan Heights Tuesday afternoon, and the IDF has returned artillery fire into Syrian territory. The army is trying to determine where the missiles landed. It is not known if the missiles were misfired or were aimed at Israel. Unconfirmed reports said four rockets were launched at Israel. Sirens sounded […]

If two inches of snow is enough to shut down New York, what happens when two feet fall?

The Israeli economy is on the way to becoming owned by foreigners.

Israel’s president met in NY with the parents of lone soldiers who died during Operation Protective Edge

Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms have fallen off the Internet worldwide.

Fifteen Auschwitz survivors, aged 80-94, returned this morning, Monday January 26, to the infamous death camp, Auschwitz, some for the first time.

Yair Lapid has announced his Yesh Atid list for the upcoming elections….

God has not cooperated with the Boycott Israel movement.

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff
Picture of terror victim with tallis and tefillin.

Eulogies for the fourth Jewish victims at the attack on a kosher deli in Paris last week were held in Bnei Brak Tuesday.

Preserving Israel's Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration of Independence is the first document reflecting Jewish sovereignty since the time of the Hashmonean kingdom.

Aliyah was up by 32 percent compared with 2013.

Just in time for the United Nations Security Council to think twice about recognizing the PA.

The South Carolina senator is another Republican thinking about running to succeed Obama

A faster-beating heart as a result of fear of terror increase the risk of heart disease, researchers report.

Arab media report Syria downed an Israeli drone over Quneitra, near the border between the two countries.

Excavations also turned up hidden tunnels dug by Jewish rebels in the period of the Bar Kokhba Revolt.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/dramatic-kinneret-discovery-climate-crisis-ruined-ancient-empires/2013/10/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: