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Environmental Roots of the Late Bronze Age Crisis

Figure 5

Proxy-based paleoclimate series for the last 5000 years.

The vertical stripes represent the timing of the 3200 cal yr BP drought event. (a) Pollen-derived climatic proxy from Hala Sultan Tekke, Cyprus, expressed as PCA-Axis1. Negative scores correspond to higher humidity whereas positive scores indicate dry periods; (b) Pollen-derived climatic proxy from Tell Tweini, Syria, expressed as PCA-Axis1. Positive scores correspond to higher humidity whereas negative scores indicate dry periods [11]; (c) Time-series (5000 BP to present by step of 100 years) of annual precipitation (anomalies from the present in mm/yr) averaged on Southeastern Mediterranean region (longitude 20°E−50°E, latitude 30°N-45°N); the data are reconstructed from pollen data extracted from the European Pollen Database; (d) fluctuations in Nile floods, indicated by lake level variations of Lake Qarun (Fayum depression, Egypt) inferred from paleoshorelines and lake sediments [73]; (e) reconstruction of annual precipitation based on botanical-climatological transfer functions applied to pollen data from Ain Gedi sediments (Dead Sea shore) [15]; (f) Abundance of Cyperaceae pollen, a marker of fresh water input, in a sediment core from Burullus Lagoon in the north-central Nile Delta [14]. Interval of high (low) Cyperaceae pollen percentages are interpreted in terms of increased (decreased) Nile flow; (g) fluctuations of the δ18O speleothem scores from Soreq Cave, Israel, for the last 3600 years [70]. A lower ratio indicates an increase in humidity; (h) fluctuations of the δ18O G. ruber scores from the core GA-112, Ashdod Coast, Israel [68][69]. A lower ratio indicates an increase in humidity; (i) Estimated rainfall regimes at Tell Breda, Syria, obtained by correcting mean annual precipitation at Qameshli [71]; (j) Estimated rainfall regimes at Ras El-Ain, Syria, obtained by correcting mean annual precipitation at Qameshli [71].

Figure 5

doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0071004.g005