Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Collapse of the Earliest Civilization in the Western Hemisphere

This interesting article was mentioned in Nature’s journal club column this week.

Sandweiss, Daniel H., Ruth Shady Solís, Michael E. Moseley, David K. Keefer, and Charles R. Ortloff (2009). Environmental Change and Economic Development in Coastal Peru between 5,800 and 3,600 Years Ago. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences vol. 106, no. 5, pp. 1359-1363.

The basic argument seems to be that a “severe cycle of natural disasters—earthquakes, El Niño flooding, beach ridge formation, and sand dune incursion—at ca. 3,800 B.P." led to the collapse of the earliest civilization in the New World, which developed along the north central coast of Peru between 5,000 and 6,000 B.P.

No comments:

Post a Comment