Climate Change Linked to Rise and Fall of Ancient American Indian Cultures

Climate Change Linked to Rise and Fall of Ancient American Indian Cultures


Larry Benson, emeritus scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey and Adjunct Curator of Anthropology at the University of Colorado, is giving a lecture on “Climate Change as a Possible Mechanism Linking in Time the Rise and Fall of the Mississippian Cahokians and the Southwestern Anasazi” for the Ohio State University’s Department of Anthropology.

Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Time: 10:30 AM
Place: The Ohio State University Columbus Campus
Room: 0048 Scott Laboratory

Benson will present “tree-ring based reconstructions of precipitation” to ague that “megadroughts” caused these two great American Indian civilizations to collapse at nearly the same time.

The repercussions of the fall of Cahokia certainly would have been felt in Ohio. Indeed, when the population around Cahokia began a severe decline at around A.D. 1300 Mississippian cultural traits began appearing at Ohio sites, such as SunWatch Village. Perhaps this was a result of refugees from Cahokia moving eastward into the Ohio valley.

This should be a fascinating discussion on the role that climate change might play in the rise and fall of civilizations.

Posted February 23, 2015
Topics: Archaeology

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