By Tim Radford
Archaeologists claim to have unearthed evidence in Ireland that it was the rising power of iron, not climate change, that brought about the collapse of many ancient civilizations.
LONDON, 22 November, 2014 − Climate change – so often and so recently coupled with the decline of early civilizations in the Near East, the Indus Valley and the Mediterranean – may not have ushered in the collapse of the late Bronze Age after all.
A new study suggests that Bronze Age cultures everywhere collapsed not because of sustained drought or flooding, but because of technological change. The gradual spread of iron foundries and smithies, they say, undermined the economic strengths of those centres with monopolies on the production of, and trade in, copper and tin − the elements in the alloy bronze. >>
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