World Without End: Environmental Disaster and the Collapse of Empires

World Without End: Environmental Disaster and the Collapse of Empires

by Ian Whyte


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World Without End: Environmental Disaster and the Collapse of Empires by Ian Whyte

This book looks at environmental change from different periods of history to reveal its impact on societies and how they either coped successfully or failed to respond adequately to its demands. Examples discussed include the eruption of Santorini in Mycenaean Greece, the rise and fall of the Mayas, deforestation of the mediterranean in Roman times, the extinction of big game in North America, and the eruption of Thera and its impact on Minoan civilization. Later examples include sea level change, tourism in the Alps, the dessication of the Aral Sea, and the Three Gorges Dam.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781845110550
Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
Publication date: 06/10/2008
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Ian Whyte is Professor of Historical Geography at the University of Lancaster, UK.

Table of Contents

Environmental Change in Perspective: the Last 10,000 Years
• Environmental Systems and Processes: Some Basic Principles
• Hunters and Hunter-gatherers
• The extinction of big game species in North America at the start of the holocene
• Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and forests in Britain
• Early Agricultural Societies
• The origins and spread of agriculture in the Near East and Europe
• The abandonment of the British uplands during the later Bronze Age
• The eruption of Thera and its impact on Minoan civilization
• Early Civilizations and Empires
• The effects of agriculture in the Tigris-Euphrates basin: the first towns and civilizations
• The collapse of the Maya civilization
• The 'ruined' landscapes of the mediterranean: environmental deterioration in classical and later times
• Medieval and Early-modern Societies
• Viking-age Iceland and Greenland: medieval societies at the margins
• The little Ice Age and its impact in Europe
• The colonisation of the Atlantic and Caribbean islands
• Modern Developed Societies
• Tourism in the Alps
• Drought on the American great plains
• Trees, woodland and identity in the British landscape
• The Modern Less-developed World
• Sea-level change and vulnerable coastal areas
• The dessication of the Aral sea
• Hard engineering: the Three Gorges Dam in China
• Postscript: Environmental Change and the Future

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