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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tree rings could reveal secrets about ancient life

Tree rings reveal clues about ancient Rome life

A new study shows that tree rings could shows us more about the rise and fall of ancient European civilizations, such as Rome.

Scientists studied thousands of wooden artifacts that span over the last 2500 years. By doing this they determined general weather patterns over the last 2500 years.

They then compared the results with historical records and can now draw better conclusions about how climate change impacted early European life.
“Looking back on 2,500 years, there are examples where climate change impacted human history," co-author Ulf Buntgen, a paleoclimatologist at the Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape, told Science. (Source)
"Wet and warm summers occurred during periods of Roman and medieval prosperity. Increased climate variability from 250-600 AD coincided with the demise of the western Roman empire and the turmoil of the migration period," the team reported. (Source)
"Distinct drying in the 3rd Century paralleled a period of serious crisis in the western Roman empire marked by barbarian invasion, political turmoil and economic dislocation in several provinces of Gaul." (Source)

I find this fascinating and I look forward to reading more about such studies.


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