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The impact of rapid climate change on prehistoric societies during the Holocene in the Eastern Mediterranean

Weninger, Bernhard, Clare, Lee, Rohling, Eelco, Bar-Yosef, Ofer, Boehner, Utz, Budja, Mihael, Bundschuh, Manfred, Feurdean, Angelica, Gebe, Hans Georg, Joeris, Olaf, Lindstaedter, Jörg, Mayewski, Paul, Muehlenbruch, Tobias, Reingruber, Agathe, Rollefson, Gary, Schyle, Daniel, Thissen, Laurens, Todorova, Henrieta and Zielhofer, Christoph (2009) The impact of rapid climate change on prehistoric societies during the Holocene in the Eastern Mediterranean Documenta Praehistorica, 36, pp. 7-59. (doi:10.4312/dp.36.2).

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In this paper we explore the impact of Rapid Climate Change (RCC) on prehistoric com- munities in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Early and Middle Holocene. Our focus is on the so- cial 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 Medi- terranean 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 age- model 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 so- cial change, although always at work within a wide spectrum of social, cultural, economic and reli- gious factors.

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Published date: 2009
Additional Information: (Neolithic Studies 16)


Local EPrints ID: 73088
ISSN: 1854-2492
PURE UUID: 0b71669f-fa7e-46f7-bd50-60331b4ca586
ORCID for Eelco Rohling: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 01 Mar 2010
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 23:51

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Author: Bernhard Weninger
Author: Lee Clare
Author: Eelco Rohling ORCID iD
Author: Ofer Bar-Yosef
Author: Utz Boehner
Author: Mihael Budja
Author: Manfred Bundschuh
Author: Angelica Feurdean
Author: Hans Georg Gebe
Author: Olaf Joeris
Author: Jörg Lindstaedter
Author: Paul Mayewski
Author: Tobias Muehlenbruch
Author: Agathe Reingruber
Author: Gary Rollefson
Author: Daniel Schyle
Author: Laurens Thissen
Author: Henrieta Todorova
Author: Christoph Zielhofer

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