Dec 8, 2008 | 1
Would-be emperors be warned: your empire is likely to crumble if the rains fail. Climate's role in the rise and fall of China's imperial dynasties has been established by the record in an ancient stalagmite, and now a similar record from a cave near Jerusalem adds climate change to the list of woes that forced a Roman and Byzantine retreat from the region by A.D. 700.
"Whether this is what weakened the Byzantines or not isn't known, but it is an interesting correlation," geologist John Valley at the University of Wisconsin–Madison said in a statement about the record found in a stalagmite from Soreq Cave. "These things were certainly going on at the same time that those historic changes occurred."
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