Archaeologists and historians have long debated the cause of the “Bronze Age Collapse,” or the period when multiple, distinct ancient civilizations all collapsed one after the other around 3,200 years ago.
Research published in the journal PLOS One suggests that a 300-year-long drought may have been the cause of the collapse of multiple cultures of the Bronze Age, including those of ancient Greece.
During the time preceding the period, vast civilizations of the Bronze Age in the Mediterranean, Levant, and North Africa—including the Hittites in Anatolia and the Mycenaeans in Greece—were either destroyed or significantly weakened.
Causes of the Bronze Age Collapse
The period was marked by destruction of trade routes between civilizations, a loss of literacy, invasions by mysterious “Sea People,” and the loss of some of the Mediterranean’s most important cities—many of which were never inhabited again.
The cause behind this massive fall of civilizations has been hotly debated for decades. Some argue that environmental factors, such as earthquakes and tsunamis, are to blame for the Bronze Age Collapse, while others believe that economic factors played a larger role.