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A lost empire that ruled Mesopotamia for 200 years was offset by a cataclysmic series of dust storms that caused drought and famine, a study of fossil corals depicted

The lost empire that ruled Mesopotamia for 200 years was eradicated by cataclysmic dust storms that caused drought and famine & # 39;

  • The Akkadian empire had ruled over Mesopotamia from 24-22 century BC
  • However, the settlements of the empire were abandoned around 4,200 years ago
  • Researchers analyzed corals to reconstruct the climate at the time of collapse
  • Instead of the usual winter rains, a long and windy drought damaged crops
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A lost empire that ruled Mesopotamia for 200 years was offset by a catastrophic series of winter storms that caused drought and famine, a study has discovered.

The collapse of the empire was helped by a long, cold winter, researchers found by reconstructing the past climate with the help of coral plates.

The first unified domain in Mesopotamia, the Akkadian empire flourished with the development of irrigation and lasted from the 24th to the 22nd century BC.

However, archaeologists have discovered that the empire seemed to disappear about 4,200 years ago – leaving the surrounding region around 300 years old.

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Previous studies had suggested that the empire probably collapsed as a product of drought, agricultural failure, and civil unrest – but the exact cause of this was uncertain.

A lost empire that ruled Mesopotamia for 200 years was offset by a cataclysmic series of dust storms that caused drought and famine, a study of fossil corals depicted

A lost empire that ruled Mesopotamia for 200 years was offset by a cataclysmic series of dust storms that caused drought and famine, a study of fossil corals depicted

The first unified domain in Mesopotamia, the Akkadian empire flourished with the development of irrigation and lasted from the 24th to the 22nd century BC. On the photo an impression of an artist of the founder of the Akkadian empire, Sargon the Great, who leads his army in northern Syria

The first unified domain in Mesopotamia, the Akkadian empire flourished with the development of irrigation and lasted from the 24th to the 22nd century BC. On the photo an impression of an artist of the founder of the Akkadian empire, Sargon the Great, who leads his army in northern Syria

The first unified domain in Mesopotamia, the Akkadian empire flourished with the development of irrigation and lasted from the 24th to the 22nd century BC. On the photo an impression of an artist of the founder of the Akkadian empire, Sargon the Great, who leads his army in northern Syria

Geologist Tsuyoshi Watanabe of Japan's Hokkaido University and colleagues have reconstructed what the climate would have looked like at Tell Leilan – an archaeological site in northeastern Syria that was at the heart of the Akkadian empire.

To do this, they analyzed the composition of six stony corals – from the genus Porites – from the Gulf of Oman, against the wind of Tell Leilan, dating from 4,100 years ago.

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Findings from fossil corals, the age of which was determined by carbon dating, were then compared with modern coral and weather data.

The team discovered that around the time of the fall of the empire, the region did not receive the usual amount of rain during the winter season.

Instead, Leilan and his environment were currently exposed to intense and sudden dry spells – in contrast to the relatively normal conditions before and after.

The prolonged dry and windy season is said to have experienced frequent dust storms – known locally as shamals.

Today, shamals can last 3 to 5 days, with wind speeds of up to 43 miles per hour (70 kilometers per hour).

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The attack of these dust storms – coupled with the lack of rainfall – would have seriously affected agricultural crops, the researchers say.

This would have led to famine and social instability – both factors that archaeologists have previously associated with the collapse of the Akkadian empire.

The collapse of the empire was helped by a long, cold winter, researchers found by reconstructing the past climate with the help of coral plates. In the photo a member of the research team investigates a fossil coral near the archaeological site of Tell Leilan

The collapse of the empire was helped by a long, cold winter, researchers found by reconstructing the past climate with the help of coral plates. In the photo a member of the research team investigates a fossil coral near the archaeological site of Tell Leilan

The collapse of the empire was helped by a long, cold winter, researchers found by reconstructing the past climate with the help of coral plates. In the photo a member of the research team investigates a fossil coral near the archaeological site of Tell Leilan

Geologist Tsuyoshi Watanabe of Japan's Hokkaido University and colleagues have reconstructed what the climate would have looked like at Tell Leilan - an archaeological site in northeastern Syria that was at the heart of the Akkadian empire

Geologist Tsuyoshi Watanabe of Japan's Hokkaido University and colleagues have reconstructed what the climate would have looked like at Tell Leilan - an archaeological site in northeastern Syria that was at the heart of the Akkadian empire

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Geologist Tsuyoshi Watanabe of Japan's Hokkaido University and colleagues have reconstructed what the climate would have looked like at Tell Leilan – an archaeological site in northeastern Syria that was at the heart of the Akkadian empire

The Akkadian empire seemed to disappear about 4,200 years ago - leaving the surrounding region around 300 years old. Depicted, a stone head from the Akkadian empire, to be seen here in the National Museum in Baghdad

The Akkadian empire seemed to disappear about 4,200 years ago - leaving the surrounding region around 300 years old. Depicted, a stone head from the Akkadian empire, to be seen here in the National Museum in Baghdad

The Akkadian empire seemed to disappear about 4,200 years ago – leaving the surrounding region around 300 years old. Depicted, a stone head from the Akkadian empire, to be seen here in the National Museum in Baghdad

& # 39; The official sign of the collapse of the Akkadian empire is the invasion of Mesopotamia by other populations, & # 39; began Dr. Watanabe.

However, he added: & # 39; Our fossil monsters are windows in time showing that variations in the climate have contributed significantly to the decline of the empire. & # 39;

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& # 39; Further interdisciplinary research will help improve our understanding of connections between climate change and human societies in the past, & # 39; added Dr. Watanabe.

The full findings of the study were published in the journal Geology.

THE AKCADIAN IMPERIAL

Akkadia was & # 39; the world's first empire.

It was founded in Mesopotamia about 4,300 years ago after its ruler, Sargon of Akkad, united a series of independent city states.

The influence of Akkadia stretched along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers from what is now southern Iraq to Syria and Turkey.

The Akkad empire during the reign of Narâm-Sîn (2254-2218 BC)

The Akkad empire during the reign of Narâm-Sîn (2254-2218 BC)

The Akkad empire during the reign of Narâm-Sîn (2254-2218 BC)

The north-south expanse of the empire meant that it covered areas with different climates ranging from fertile lands in the north that were heavily dependent on rainfall (one of the & # 39; bread baskets & # 39; of Asia) to irrigation alluvial plains in the south. .

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