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Settlement Fluctuations and Environmental Changes in Israel's Coastal Plain During the

Summary: Settlement Fluctuations and Environmental
Changes in Israel's Coastal Plain During the
Early Bronze Age
Avraham Faust1
and Yosef Ashkenazy2
The possibility of a decline of settlement in the coastal plain during the urban phases of the Early
Bronze Age has been noted in passing by many researchers, but as these were usually working
on a local or regional scale, the evidence has not yet been addressed systematically. In the
present paper, we seek to quantify the extent of this decline, and attempt to explain it, by linking
the archaeological data to climatic evidence which seems to point to environmental change at that
time. In particular this took the form of increased precipitation which would have intensified
existing drainage problems leading to increased flooding and the transformation of arable land
into unhealthy marshland, which would have encouraged a decline in human settlement activity.
We propose that these processes are responsible for the fact that the `urban revolution' of the
Early Bronze Age (characterized by large, densely occupied, fortified and relatively complex
settlements) appears to have by-passed much of the coastal plain, where such developments are
not attested before the 2nd millennium BC.
Keywords: urbanization, environmental change, Early Bronze Age, Israel, coastal plain
The Early Bronze Age of the Southern Levant has been


Source: Ashkenazy, Yossi "Yosef" - Department of Solar Energy and Environmental Physics, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research,Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


Collections: Physics; Environmental Management and Restoration Technologies