Settlement fluctuations and environmental changes in Israel's coastal plain during the early Bronze Age Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract The possibility of a decline of settlement in the coastal plain during the urban phases of the Early Bronze Age has been noted in passing by many researchers, but as these were usually working on a local or regional scale, the evidence has not yet been addressed systematically. In the present paper, we seek to quantify the extent of this decline, and attempt to explain it, by linking the archaeological data to climatic evidence which seems to point to environmental change at that time. In particular this took the form of increased precipitation which would have intensified existing drainage problems leading to increased flooding and the transformation of arable land into unhealthy marshland, which would have encouraged a decline in human settlement activity. We propose that these processes are responsible for the fact that the 'urban revolution' of the Early Bronze Age (characterized by large, densely occupied, fortified and relatively complex settlements) appears to have by-passed much of the co...

publication date

  • January 1, 2009

published in