Holocene climate variability in the Near East and its impacts on the history of civilization
Max Engel &
Helmut Brückner

, par Annick Fenet

Vendredi 17 décembre 2021, 16h-19h
Conférence en visioconférence, dans le cadre du séminaire « Géographie historique et géoarchéologie » (6/12)

Lien vers la visioconférence
ID de réunion : 997 7080 3742 / Code secret : AOROC2021


Max Engel (Heidelberg University)

Helmut Brückner (univ. de Cologne)

Holocene climate variability in the Near East and its impacts on the history of civilization

Résumé / abstract :

Mesopotamia gave rise to the first urban-type societies with complex political hierarchies. Its rich history full of important cultural achievements was accompanied by fundamental environmental changes over the Holocene. While geo-bio-archives from the broader region reflect some variability in climate histories, there is a clear consensus on a more humid climate regime during the Early Holocene, promoting early rain-fed agricultural practices in Northern Mesopotamia, underpinning the foundation of initial urbanisation. In the southern basin, decreasing rainfall and higher competition for natural resources at a somewhat later stage in combination with the development of irrigation techniques and the transgression of the sea seem to have contributed to the formation of complex societies at sites such as Eridu, Ur, and Uruk, where landscape dynamics are well preserved in the stratigraphic record. At a more local scale, we present original sediment-core data from the tell of Uruk that provides crucial evidence for reconstructing the regional palaeoenvironmental changes, in particular regarding the transgression of the sea. In this context, we review the most important narratives of the biblical flood myth (Genesis Flood, Great Deluge) from the wider region based on the presented geoscientific evidence.

Responsable : Anca Dan