The Collapse of Some Ancient Societies Due to Unsustainable Mining Development

Abstract : The literature explaining social collapse mainly focuses on factors such as wars, climate change or disease, as exemplified by numerous examples of collapses which have occurred during the Late Bronze Age in the Near East and in the South-eastern Mediterranean region. This paper aims at demonstrating that collapse can also have economic reasons. Indeed, collapse may be the outcome of an economic growth process which is inherently unsustainable. More precisely, we claim that several ancient societies collapsed because the form of economic development which they relied on eventually proved to be unable to sustain their standard of living. It is believed that the Únĕtice societies – central European Early Bronze Age - were among those that collapsed for that reason. A simple model is presented to demonstrate that, in this agricultural economy, the introduction of bronze mining and metallurgy led to unsustainable development and its subsequent collapse.
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Clement Allan Tisdell, Serge Svizzero. The Collapse of Some Ancient Societies Due to Unsustainable Mining Development. 2015. ⟨hal-02152043⟩

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