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The collapse of Bronze Age civilisation

Brian G Turner

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Quite true! But I don't see any consideration for climate cycles in these couple of books at all, even though climate change is a major component of each. It's like reading about the history of the Roman Empire, without ever referencing anything about the city of Rome itself (not least changes in Emperor and imperial policy)!

Back to the Bronze Age collapse - I find it interesting that Egypt seems to have suffered the least, especially as it was dependent on the flow of the Nile, which has such a huge drainage basin. That may have helped ensure Egypt remained agriculturally productive enough to stave off famine in the event of a prolonged Mediterranean drought, with the biggest blow being from the interruption of trade.

I thoroughly recommend Robin Lane Fox's Travelling Heros: Greeks and their Myths in the Epic Age of Homer
Cheers for the heads-up - I remember reading and enjoying his book on Alexander the Great.
 
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svalbard

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Back to the Bronze Age collapse - I find it interesting that Egypt seems to have suffered the least, especially as it was dependent on the flow of the Nile, which has such a huge drainage basin. That may have helped ensure Egypt remained agriculturally productive enough to stave off famine in the event of a prolonged Mediterranean drought, with the biggest blow being from the interruption of trade.
Or maybe there is some truth to the Biblical story of Joseph.
 

Venusian Broon

Defending the SF genre with terminal intensity
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Back to the Bronze Age collapse - I find it interesting that Egypt seems to have suffered the least, especially as it was dependent on the flow of the Nile, which has such a huge drainage basin. That may have helped ensure Egypt remained agriculturally productive enough to stave off famine in the event of a prolonged Mediterranean drought, with the biggest blow being from the interruption of trade.
Yeah, it's hard for us to think how dependent they were on the flooding of the Nile. And yes, the natural flow of the Nile might not have been not correlated to other climate conditions in other parts of the world. So a drought in the far north may not have impacted it. Of course there were times when the rains in Sudan/Ethiopia failed and there would be terrible famines in Egypt, but they had no idea it was connected to climatic conditions!

Also, I remember reading that Egyptians found their relationship with the Nile so powerful that when they went North and conquered more mountainous regions in the Middle East, their soldiery couldn't (enjoy?) drink the cold, fresh mountain streams of water, but had to warm it up in pans to make it more like Nile water!

Cheers for the heads-up - I remember reading and enjoying his book on Alexander the Great.
Yeah, I loved that book too. He was also a consultant for Oliver Stones' film Alexander. And you can see a lot of that book in the film, I think. He's also one of Alexanders companions, in one scene, in the Gaugamela battle scenes.

p.s. I don't care what anyone thinks, but I really adore that film. Stone put a lot of effort into it to make it as accurate as possible (within the confines of having an english speaking cast etc... :)) , with what we know about Alexander the Great. The battle of Gaugamela as portrayed, is, IMO, at the moment, as close as we're going to get to what ancient warfare really looked like.
 

svalbard

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Brilliant movie and you can tell Robin Lane Fox had an input. As far as I know he asked for no payment apart from appearing in the movie. Delighted to see someone else actually enjoyed the film.
 

Venusian Broon

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Brilliant movie and you can tell Robin Lane Fox had an input. As far as I know he asked for no payment apart from appearing in the movie. Delighted to see someone else actually enjoyed the film.
I loved the detail that he deliberately cast a lot of northern/Scottish/Irish actors for the Macedonian roles, because at the time the Macedonians were seen as rough northern quasi-barbarian hillfolk by the Greeks.
 

svalbard

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Yes. I thought it was a great move. I also think Val Kilmer as Philip put in a career best performance.
 

Robert Zwilling

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Breakdown by slow gradual water damage. It doesn't need to flood to leave lasting damage to the infrastructure. People are more likely to be hurt or killed by falling branches than lightning. We all grew up reminded of the lightning but I don't remember anyone telling me to be aware of falling branches.

Seems like climate change as a reason for ending a civilization is more likely to be drought than flood. Drought that happens in specific regions can impact food production but with today's transportation set up, crops can easily be secured from new locations. Older building styles using more natural materials and smaller constructions might have been more flexible in handling this kind of excessively wet weather.

The problems from the wet weather I've been noticing is the damage done by excessive rainfalls over short periods of time is not being completely repaired. Globally speaking I think the amount of the unrepaired damage is steadily increasing each month. The storms at the end of June beginning of July along the mid and northeast US did substantial damage in limited locations. Houses damaged by trees and flooding. When the rainfall exceeds a certain amount in the vicinity of the New York Grand Central Railroad station the runoff comes out of the ceiling below ground level. One can only wonder about the convoluted route the water must be taking to come out of the ceiling so as to make it look like it is pouring heavy rain inside the station. It's usually just comes down in one spot, don't know if it is the same spot each time, but it has to be causing some kind of damage along the route it takes.

This past week I noticed on several roads the branches are hanging lower from wind damage from the storms last week. Not low enough to be cut down but low enough so you can see them hanging down. Heavy rainfall in the capital this morning caused roads to flood disrupting traffic because the run off was rising too fast. Each month the runoff rate is steadily increasing, it is not randomly increasing or decreasing as would naturally happen. Fortunately the down pours, while heavier more often, don't last longer than 20 minutes. Even the rate of inch or two an hour is okay if it only lasts 20 minutes. When you get caught in a band that gives that rate for an hour or longer you start to run into problems. The modern developed land and structure alignment was never designed to handle that kind of rainfall on a regular basis. Most houses are not built for the straight line winds and prolonged downpours that are now embedded in most storms. If those hardline storm anomalies keep expanding in size things will only get worse as some of the damage continues to go unrepaired. The end result is continual slow motion damage to the entire infrastructure.

A stretch of the highway was recently widened and the scenic hillsides formerly filled with seemingly random rock, tree, bush, and gully formations were all cut down, smoothed out, contoured and beautifully landscaped. Looks nice until one of those heavy rainfalls comes and the entire roadway becomes a shallow stream as the overflow runoff is focused on the roadway with no where else to flow. After it runs off down the road everything is fine again. Maybe that's how it was designed with fingers crossed that it wouldn't need to depend on the downward slope that is naturally there.
 
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