Toronto – an ancient climate disaster and its extended worldwide impact was a major factor in the eventual thriving civilization of ancient indigenous Pueblo societies in North America, according to one New Study in the Journal of Antiquity,
In 536 AD, a massive volcanic eruption in Iceland resulted in a climate catastrophe across large parts of Europe and Asia, followed by the ensuing volcanic winter that scorched the sun, lowered temperatures and caused crops to fail.
A second eruption in 541 AD extended the crisis, possibly for decades.
The eruptions and the resulting fallout prompted the medieval scholar to describe it as “One of the worst periods to be alive, if not the worst year.,
In the upcoming February 2022 issue of Antiquity Journal, researchers from the University of California Los Angeles and Colorado State University are studying how indigenous peoples in North America were affected by environmental changes resulting from volcanic eruptions.
Focusing on Ancestral Pueblo societies in what is now the northern region of the US southwest, the study shows that volcanic eruptions resulted in periods of dramatic cold in the region, leading to migrations from affected areas Because the crops failed.
Examination of tree trunks from throughout the southwestern US suggests that cold and dry conditions inhibited plant growth after the eruptions, and archaeological data suggest that the region had been exposed to the abandonment of long-standing traditions. There has been a decline in housing and construction with evidence.
Indigenous peoples at that time lived in small and scattered settlements based on family ties. However, the climate crisis has broken existing social structures, the study says.
In the post-crisis period, which saw population booms in much of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah during the 7th century, researchers believe this reflects a post-eruption recovery, causing A new lifestyle is born.
The construction of settlements with large communal buildings using new crops, new technology and evidence of a shared social and political ideology laid the foundation for early villages.
The resulting, reconstituted Ancestral Pueblo societies would eventually form famous sites such as Chaco Canyon, a major cultural center from AD 800 to 1150.
Archaeologists are trying to figure out the reason why ancient Pueblo groups shifted from small, family-centered villages to a larger one, which at the time contained the largest buildings on the continent.
The new study says the change was partly a result of the climate crisis affecting indigenous society and led to its restructuring.
“Human societies are capable of restructuring to cope with unprecedented climate disruptions,” said lead study author RJ Sinensky in a release, “about 1,500 years ago the ancestral Puebloan farmers who lived in the arid regions of what is now the southwestern United States, They were resourceful and resilient in responding to the most extreme global temperature anomaly to have occurred within the past 2,500 years.”
Descendants of the ancient Pueblo people still live in the northern region of the southwest of the Americas.