The Collapse of Some Ancient Societies Due to Unsustainable Mining Development (A Draft)

The literature explaining social collapse mainly focuses on factors such as wars, climate change or disease, as exemplified by numerous examples of collapses which have occurred during the Late Bronze Age in the Near East and in the South-eastern Mediterranean region. This paper aims at demonstrating that collapse can also have economic reasons. Indeed, collapse may be the outcome of an economic growth process which is inherently unsustainable. More precisely, we claim that several ancient societies collapsed because the form of economic development which they relied on eventually proved to be unable to sustain their standard of living. It is believed that the Únĕtice societies – central European Early Bronze Age - were among those that collapsed for that reason. A simple model is presented to demonstrate that, in this agricultural economy, the introduction of bronze mining and metallurgy led to unsustainable development and its subsequent collapse.


Issue Date:
Apr 27 2015
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
DOI and Other Identifiers:
ISSN: 1444-8890 (Other)
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/202543
Total Pages:
14
JEL Codes:
N53; Q33; O13; E30
Series Statement:
Economic Theory, Applications and Issues
72




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-26

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