- CONSTRUCTING THE JIGSAW PUZZLE OF PALAEO-CLIMATES: The climatological and historical background -- Global and regional climate systems -- Time series of proxy-data to decipher climates of the past -- THE NEAR EAST: A BRIDGE FROM THE GARDEN OF EDEN TO THE FIELDS OF TOIL: The password 'climate change' -- The establishment of agricultural villages-the pre-pottery Neolithic-(6000-8000 B.C.E.) -- THE GREAT TRANSITION-FROM FARMING VILLAGES TO URBAN CENTERS: The fluctuations of climate -- The first technological revolution-the pottery neolithic period -- The metallurgical revolution-the chalcolithic period -- From copper to bronze-the beginning of the early bronze age -- THE URBAN REVOLUTION AND THE DAWN OF HISTORY: The first cities and a new order -- The climate background-when cities drowned and the desert bloomed -- The early bronze age in the Levant and Anatolia -- The great civilizations -- DARK AGE, RENAISSANCE, AND DECAY: The Crisis Years-The Climate Evidence -- The Archaeological and historical evidence about the intermediate bronze Age -- The 'winning of the south'-the migration southward -- The crisis years in Egypt -- The late bronze age, ca. 1500 to 1200 B.C.E. -- and MIGRATIONS AND SETTLINGS: The end of the age of bronze and the beginning of a new world -- Impact of climate on the events at the end of the second millennium B.C.E -- The wave pattern of migrations and the "sea peoples" -- A glance at ugarit -- The aramaeans and the 'wandering of the israelites' -- The formative years of the israelite nation -- THE AGE OF IRON AND EMPIRES: The aramaeans occupy center stage -- The empires of Assyria and Babylon-a brief and brutal performance -- The Persian Empire and the First unification of the ancient near east -- Hellenism dominates the near east and unites east and west -- Under the boot of Rome and the beginning of Christianity -- The Arabs and Islam emerge from the desert -- CRUSADERS, MAMLUKS, AND OTTOMANS ON THE EVE OF THE ERA OF INDUSTRY: The crusaders' interlude -- The slaves who became sultans-Mamluks, Mongols and Turks -- The Ottoman Centuries: peace and stagnation.
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