The collapse of complex societies is a recurring theme in archaeological and historical scholarship. Zooarchaeological investigation, conventionally applied in recent studies to detect environmental degradation resulting in resource stress, is employed here to study the social conditions leading to the decline of the powerful Bronze Age city of Hazor, located in the northern Jordan Valley, Israel. The results of the analysis of faunal remains from the lower city show that the exclusion of its residents from ideological use of animals and their impoverishment by elite livestock expropriation preceded other material manifestations of sociopolitical decline in the city. The results are encouraging in respect to the prospective value of zooarchaeology for investigating collapse not directly caused by subsistence failures.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the Israel Science Foundation (Grants 1417/07 and 52/10 ) and the Rothschild Yad-Hanadiv Foundation for their generous support. Our thanks also go to Prof. Guy Bar-Oz for offering comments on the manuscript.
- Late Bronze Age
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Human Factors and Ergonomics