Not Cleopatra. Mystery of the collapse of Ancient Egypt

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A team of researchers from different countries have solved the mystery of the decline of 40 centuries a prosperous civilization.

The prosperity of Ancient Egypt depended on the Nile. However, the river was led by unpredictable and recurrent drought led to the decline of the state.

An international group Uchenye from the US and Europe, with the support of Yale University found the cause of the fall of Ancient Egypt. Their findings are published in the journal Nature Communications.


Dependence on the Nile

In Ancient Egypt, which lasted for 40 centuries, when a flood in the floodplain of the Nile was strong enough, its valley was one of the most fertile and rich places throughout the ancient world.

Throughout all these centuries Egypt, stretching for six thousand kilometers to the North-East of Africa, was celebrated for its architectural, scientific, medical, and literary achievements.

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Egypt depended on the flooding of the Nile

All of the ancient Egyptian city was built in the valley of this river. From the annual flooding of the Nile depended on the life of the ancient Egyptians, their economy, culture and religion. Muddy waters, rich in minerals and organic matter, irrigated agricultural land.

After gathering water valley residents have started sowing cereals, for example barley. Along the banks grew the papyrus from which made the chief writing material of ancient times.

Sometimes the water level in the Nile did not rise enough to provide the valley with moisture, leading to food shortages, hunger, a growing concern among residents.

Recurring droughts forced the family to sell the land because of poor crop did not allow them to pay taxes.

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Krestyanami on the Nile / Getty

However, in the 30’s BC, Egypt became involved in the political struggle in Ancient Rome, in the 31st year, the Egyptian fleet was defeated, the last Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra of the Ptolemaic dynasty, committed suicide, and Egypt became another Roman province.


Cleopatra killed volcanoes

As researchers found, during the decline of the Empire Ptolemy volcanoes in Ethiopia have led to the lack of Nile floods.

Sulphurous gases and particles of ash rose into the stratosphere and reflect sunlight. This led to a cooling of the atmosphere, less abundant precipitation, and, consequently, insufficient flooding of the Nile.

The researchers analyzed data of observations of the water level in the Nile, which were conducted with the year 622 of our era, the Islamic air-conditioned on Roda island in Cairo until the construction of the Aswan dam in 1970, changed the water regime of the river.

The indicators were compared with periods of volcanic activity, which are known according to the study of ice cores. It turned out that during major eruptions, the floods were weaker.

To get information about earlier periods of drought, the researchers turned to the records of the ancient Egyptian historians.

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The Flooding Of The Nile / Getty

So, with the eruption in 209 year BC was followed by a riot, in the course of which, as noted in the documents of the time, “most peasant farmers were killed and all the earth had dried up”.

And in the reign of Cleopatra of the Nile had not flooded for two consecutive years, which resulted in a hunger and regular riots. According to researchers, the defeat of the famous Queen was the result of what happened a decade earlier eruption somewhere in the tropics.

Systematic drought in Egypt have led to riots, illness, inflation, administrative corruption, decrease in the number of rural population, migrations and growth in the number of abandoned lands.

The death of Cleopatra, the last ruling Ptolemy, and the final transition of Egypt to Ancient Rome followed a period of crop failure, hunger, sale of lands, plague and depopulation of rural areas.

These disasters were probably associated with major volcanic eruption in 44 BC, the third power for the last 2.5 thousand years.

Thus the war with the Romans was merely the final chord of the reign of Ptolemy, not its cause.

Volcanoes explained another mystery

During the Eastern campaign in 246-245 the BC Ptolemy III Euergetes, as he wrote the Roman historian Justin, “was not revoked due to unrest in Egypt, would become the ruler of all the possessions of the Seleucids”.

A few years before pochop was issued Konopsky decree, which States that “once is not enough, the river overflowed and the whole country was in despair from what happened.”

“It changed the whole history of the Middle East,” – said the historian Joseph manning, one of the authors of the work.

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Probably the reason for this Sashi also become a volcanic eruption.

In addition, historical documents confirm that on the background of the eruptions in Egypt increased the number of acts of sales of land to other families.

Eruption in 168, 164, 161 years before our era, according to scientists, associated with the actual defeat of Hellenistic Egypt in the Sixth Syrian war, the study says.

The war with the Romans was merely the final chord of the reign of Ptolemy.

According to the materials: