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Excess in precipitation as a cause for settlement decline along the Israeli coastal plain during the third millennium BC
 

Summary: Excess in precipitation as a cause for settlement decline along the Israeli
coastal plain during the third millennium BC
Avraham Faust a,, Yosef Ashkenazy b,1
a
Institute of Archaeology, Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel
b
Department of Solar Energy and Environmental Physics, The J. Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev,
Sede Boqer Campus, 84990, Israel
Received 3 September 2006
Available online 16 April 2007
Abstract
Although the relations between climate and settlement are not straightforward, there is a general agreement that arid conditions are less
favorable for human settlement in the semiarid Near East than humid conditions. Here we show that humid conditions resulted in the abandonment
of settlements along the Israeli coastal plain. We first present archaeological evidence for a drastic decline in settlement along the Israeli coast
during most of the third millennium BC (Early Bronze Age II­III). Then, based on archaeological and climatic evidence, we link this decline to an
environmental change occurring at that time. We propose that increased precipitation intensified the already existing drainage problems and
resulted in flooding, which led to the transformation of arable land into marshes and to the spread of diseases, gradually causing settlement decline
and abandonment.
© 2007 University of Washington. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Early Bronze; Archaeology; Environment; Israel; Coast; Settlement; Precipitation

  

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