Event: The Late Bronze Age Collapse in the Eastern Mediterranean: Paleoenvironmental, Archaeological, and Textual Evidence

Date & Time

November 13, 2017 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Contact Information

Matthew Swanson


Fowler A222

Event Type

Other Event

Event Details

Speaker: Dafna Langgut

Cores obtained from the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee were used to reconstruct past climate conditions in the Levantine region during the Bronze and Iron Ages. The records were studied in high resolution for their lithological and palynological patterns. Their chronological framework is based on radiocarbon dating of short-lived organic material. The detailed paleoclimate reconstruction points to a dramatic dry event in the later phase of the Late Bronze Age, around the middle of the 13th century BCE. This pronounced dry phase lasted about 120 to 150 years, and was followed by much wetter climate conditions during the Iron Age I. The increasing humidity enabled the expanding of agricultural activities in the area (e.g., cereals, olive). The Iron Age II was characterized by a slight decrease in humidity. This new high resolution paleoclimate reconstruction helps to better understand the so-called “Crisis Years” in the eastern Mediterranean, as well as quick recovery in the Iron I, including the emergence of new entities in the highlands regions of the Levant. It also shed light on the economic strategies of the region’s ancient settlers (e.g., agriculture, grazing).