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Archaeology & History

Disappearance of advanced Chinese civilization finally solved

By T.K. Randall
November 30, 2021 · Comment icon 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 | Comments (13)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Tom1200 2 years ago
Impossible.  Climates didn't change until James Watt invented carbon dioxide in 1776.  Greta said so, and Boris agreed. So where the article talks about pre-historic mega-droughts, mega-rains and mega-floods, those are probably just typos.  And where it specifically states 'climate change' back in 2000 BC they obviously mean 'anything but climate change'.  Another typo.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Tom1200 2 years ago
How many civilisations have been trashed by war and conquest?  Diseases?  Mass suicide on the say-so of a charismatic charlatan?  Squished by dinosaurs?  I'd be interested to see a breakdown and analysis related to this.  But first we would have to agree definitions of what comprises a civilisation, and how we determine when it really has vanished.  I suspect both these would be rather subjective and swayed by our prior views.  I suspect you're correct, and climate change is a far greater factor than most people realise, but as to whether we can agree 'most' - I'd like to see the data. ... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by HandsomeGorilla 2 years ago
I'm not implying that Carlson is an utmost authority, he just puts forth a few hypotheses that have never been accepted until recently. as always, science is the study of currently observational data; it's ever evolving and I never pretend that any source or reference I post is any be-all, end-all and it's obviously still all a bit fringe, but I'm very anxious to see what we uncover in coming years 
Comment icon #7 Posted by qxcontinuum 2 years ago
So it is the same flood described by so many other civilization and The Bible...
Comment icon #8 Posted by ercbreeze 2 years ago
Most probably Corona Virus wiped them out!     
Comment icon #9 Posted by Essan 2 years ago
Given it was caused by monsoon rains in China, what do you think? Such localised floods have always occurred and continue to do so.  Some may even have in time been enshrined in folklore.  
Comment icon #10 Posted by Torviking 2 years ago
Your all missing the point here. They did not listen to great ancestor of Thunberg, so became industrialised and did not apologise for it.
Comment icon #11 Posted by jaylemurph 2 years ago
Zero. There was 65 million years between any dinosaur and any human.  Next rhetorical question? —Jaylemurph
Comment icon #12 Posted by jaylemurph 2 years ago
It’s almost like humans always build big cities next to large bodies of water and are therefore legitimately preoccupied with flooding… But, no. Let’s pin it shared fiction, instead. —Jaylemurph 
Comment icon #13 Posted by Tom1200 2 years ago
Well, if we're going to give sensible answers let's make them accurate as well.  Does/did Homo habilis count as human?  If so the margin comes down to a mere 62.2 million years, give or take.

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