Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Garbage disposal fail in Byzantine-era Elusa

MATERIAL CULTURE: Ancient Garbage Heaps Show Fading Byzantine Empire Was 'Plagued' By Disease and Climate Change (Mindy Weisberger, Live Science).
The researchers discovered that trash disposal — once a well-organized and reliable service in outpost cities like Elusa — ceased around the middle of the sixth century, about 100 years prior to the empire's collapse. At that time, a climate event known as the Late Antique Little Ice Age was taking hold in the Northern Hemisphere, and an epidemic known as the Justinian plague raged through the Roman Empire, eventually killing over 100 million people.
If your trash-disposal system collapses, you know your civilization is in trouble.

The research was just published yesterday. Follow the link for a link to the technical article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Eluza (Halutza) excavation was also in the news recently with the discovery of a Greek inscription that confirmed the identification of the site.

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