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    Default Bronze Age collapse due to drought

    Faced With Drought, the Pharaohs Tried (and Failed) to Adapt

    Ancient Egyptian leaders increased their empire’s grain production and crossbred cattle for resilience in an early effort to ward off climate disaster, a study shows.

    By Livia Albeck-Ripka

    More than 3,000 years ago the queen of the Hittites, who lived in what is now Turkey, sent a clay tablet to Ramses II, the Egyptian pharaoh, with an S O S: “I have no grain in my lands.”

    Previously, the two kingdoms had been at war. Now a severe drought was carving a path of destruction through the ancient Levant, killing crops, cattle and people.

    But the Egyptians, unlike the Hittites, had anticipated a crisis and planned ahead for a food shortage, researchers at Tel Aviv University say. And in an attempt to stabilize their borders, the pharoahs appear to have mounted a relief effort, sending grain to their former enemies.

    In a study published in this year’s edition of the journal Egypt and the Levant, the researchers pieced together ancient evidence — including flint and bone records from the fallen city of Megiddo, fossilized pollen data from the Sea of Galilee and ancient cattle DNA — to shed light on how Bronze Age Egyptians used careful planning and policies to adapt to a drought that lasted from around 1250 B.C. to 1100 B.C., while their ancient counterparts appeared to be less well prepared.

    Even with preparation, however, the Egyptian empire ultimately collapsed. But the study shows how recognizing and preparing for climate disaster can make societies more resilient.

    Late Bronze Age collapse

    Question: Supposed the collapse was due to drought, how would these ancient civilisations have impacted world history if this drought had not happened?

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