jueves, 4 de julio de 2013

Abrupt Civilization Change (III)

mientras acopiamos información y observaciones de primera mano sobre los acontecimientos en el próximo oriente, sobre todo Egipto, Israel, Siria, Libano e Irán, sigo reproduciendo estos textos sobre Cambios Abruptos de Civilización que aún me parecen pertinentes en el momento actual

remember that thou are dust”...but dust with a memory

Igor Parra

Abrupt Civilization Change does result in overt material destruction for many people, in many cases. When cities become deserted or destroyed by men and/or by climate hazards these hardships might cause many people to emigrate, to leave their family homes in an attempt to keep ahead of starvation and the looting and burning of their houses. In short, what the Bible tells us about the destruction that comes behind Apocalypses is what many of us, in the western Judeo-Christian tradition, experience and associate as similar to the damage that Abrupt Civilization Change brings.
As we have pointed out before: there are many historic examples of so-called Abrupt Change which are neither rapid nor catastrophic, but rather smooth evolutionary changes in social structures that  sometimes relate to climatic changes.  We can assume that real Abrupt Change happens when particular circumstances such as social upheavel combined with climate change, produces sudden, complete destruction of some civilizations.
It is not very long since the methodological condition raised by us allows us to regard Abrupt as a rapid temporal change.  However, there are dramatic Abrupt Civilization Changes well documented by Archaeology and found throughout History which show the disappearance of material remains of a Civilization collapsing over a prolonged interval of time.  Therefore although sometimes we do observe sudden total destruction, there will be those who remember how things were before the Abrupt Civilization Change occurred and do not cut it off from the memory of men.  Moreover, there are periods and places where such total destruction over a relatively short period of time for a Civilization, is followed by resettlement of the destroyed places.
In 2005 I had the opportunity to visit such a place in Syria: the city of Ebla.  It was a very impressive Civilization, a four thousand year old library, with some 20 000 cuneiform tablets, was uncovered from oblivion and silence, on the site of the old city. 
The city was totally destroyed, by the family of the King Sargon of Akad, around 4250 years ago, but life continued in the form of urban settlements that followed upon the same place, during several thousand of years after the first destruction, or Abrupt Civilization Change that dissolved the Eblaite Civilization. That change provoked by Sargon´s family in Ebla had all the conditions required by us today, to list it as an Abrupt Civilization Change: it was very abrupt, because in less than a year complete destruction of the city and of the political and social system was implemented manu military; that is by huge military force.  Archaeologists and Palaeoclimatologists are still looking for evidence to link this brutal attack against Ebla with some abrupt climatic change that might have been happening in Mesopotamia at this time.  I think they will find some evidence to prove that climate had a big part to play in the dissolution of the Eblaite Civilization.  
Later we are going to deal with these mechanisms, but right here this example is instrumental to show us that, on the one hand, life does not end after  Abrupt Civilization Change, and, on the other hand, that, in some cases, Abrupt Climate Change seems to be related to some Civilization Change, not only because of the physical consequences of the Climate Change but, most interestingly, because of the reaction of some Civilizations against other Civilizations during such critical Abrupt short intervals of time.