Archaeology & History
Disappearance of advanced Chinese civilization finally solved
By T.K. Randall
November 30, 2021 · 13 comments
The Liangzhu culture struggled with extreme weather events. Image Credit: Pixabay / Simon
Scientists have determined what caused the Liangzhu civilization to collapse around 4,300 years ago.
One of the long-lost wonders of the Neolithic Age, the Liangzhu culture first arose around 5,300 years ago in eastern China before going on to become a marvel of its time - a people adept at building sophisticated hydraulic engineering solutions enabling the construction of canals, damns and reservoirs that kept both the people and its crops watered throughout the year.
Liangzhu City, in particular, represented the pinnacle of their civilization's achievements, yet sometime around 4,300 years ago, the Liangzhu civilization collapsed and the city was abandoned.
Exactly what happened to cause this has remained a topic of debate among archaeologists for years, with some sort of flooding event being generally considered the most likely possibility.
Now a new study has all-but confirmed this hypothesis - indicating that the Liangzhu people had faced a period of intense rain and flooding so extreme that it made it impossible for them to remain there.
By studying minerals and deposits at the site of the city, geologist Christoph Spotl from the University of Innsbruck in Austria, and colleagues, found evidence of extremely high precipitation lasting years.
"Massive monsoon rains probably led to such severe flooding of the Yangtze and its branches that even the sophisticated dams and canals could no longer withstand these masses of water, destroying Liangzhu City and forcing people to flee," he said.
The resulting devastation ultimately led to the collapse of their entire civilization.
Source: Science Alert
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