The Christian Science Monitor

Out of history’s trash heap, clues to climate’s role in ancient collapse

Dumpster diving archaeologists in Israel may have uncovered a connection between climate change and the decline of a once bustling Byzantine settlement.

Researchers studying an ancient garbage dump in Israel’s Negev Desert found evidence that shifts in climate in the mid-sixth century may have played a role in the downfall of the urban settlement of Elusa.

Scholars have long pondered the role of climate change in the rise and fall of empires. Such research has taken on renewed significance as modern day societies grapple with climatic shifts.

Over the years researchers’ perspectives on how closely to link environmental factors to societal outcomes have shifted. Scientists today are

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