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Title: Rapid climate change did not cause population collapse at the end of the European Bronze Age
Authors: Armit, I
Swindles, GT
Becker, K
Plunkett, G
Blaauw, M
First Published: 17-Nov-2014
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
Citation: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2014, 111 (48), pp. 17045-17049
Abstract: The impact of rapid climate change on contemporary human populations is of global concern. To contextualize our understanding of human responses to rapid climate change it is necessary to examine the archeological record during past climate transitions. One episode of abrupt climate change has been correlated with societal collapse at the end of the northwestern European Bronze Age. We apply new methods to interrogate archeological and paleoclimate data for this transition in Ireland at a higher level of precision than has previously been possible. We analyze archeological (14)C dates to demonstrate dramatic population collapse and present high-precision proxy climate data, analyzed through Bayesian methods, to provide evidence for a rapid climatic transition at ca. 750 calibrated years B.C. Our results demonstrate that this climatic downturn did not initiate population collapse and highlight the nondeterministic nature of human responses to past climate change.
DOI Link: 10.1073/pnas.1408028111
eISSN: 1091-6490
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2014, National Academy of Sciences . Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Archaeology and Ancient History

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