The Egyptians of the Old Kingdom were able to build the Pyramids of Giza and its great Sphinx, which continue to stand as a simple example of tenacity and skill in architecture.
But nevertheless, the fall of the Old Kingdom of Egypt could have been helped by a problem that we suffer today: drought.
Researchers at St. Andrews University have confirmed that a very severe drought period that occurred approximately 4,200 years ago could have contributed to the disappearance of the Old Empire.
Using radio waves for seismic studies, along with carbon dating of a 100-meter section of sediment in the bed of Lake Tana, Ethiopia, the team was able to look back thousands of years, discovering how water levels in the lake they had varied in the last 17,000 years, showing periods of abundant water but also very severe droughts.
Dr. Richard Bates, a science teacher at St. Andrews, said his studies had confirmed that the ancient civilization, Ancient Egypt (Often referred to as the Age of the Pyramids), may have experienced a prolonged period of drought, just as severe as we find in some parts of Africa today.
“Part of this research was oriented by the fact of what we could find in the sediment of the lake, helping us to understand what happened in that period of drought, which lasted the last 90 years, until the end of the Old Kingdom, being what really caused your demise”. “There were great riots, and anarchy arose as a result of it”, He indicated.
Historical records suggest that the region was affected by a drought that spanned several decades, forcing people to take extreme measures, including, as we find in some texts, eating their own children. This drought has been confirmed with information collected by the St. Andrews team, together with colleagues from the University of Aberystwyth.
The Dr. Bates assured that "with this, the end of a particularly long period of pharaohs was coming, with a very good record that law and order were breaking down”.
“Most of what happened was the result of external pressures and in this case it was due to the failure of the agricultural system on which a large part of society depended, resulting in anarchy.”.
But Bates said he has found evidence of droughts much harsher than current or even Ancient Egypt. " "That was significant, but it wasn't actually the worst in the last 100,000 years.”.
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