Evidence for Climate Change During the 3rd – 5th Century CE: The microvertebrate evidence from Tel Huqoq, Israel

Author(s): Ashley Brown; Miriam Belmaker

Year: 2015


The 3rd-5th century CE Levant is known as a time period in which climatic conditions of the southern region were wetter than today. The climatic system of the northern Levant differs from the south, which raises the question of whether or not there was climate change in the north.

At present there is no paleoecological data within the northern Galilee. Thus, obtaining paleoecological data is vital for understanding how climate may have affected the local social and economic sphere.

The archaeological site, Tel Huqoq (Northern Galilee), a 3rd-5th century CE village and synagogue, serves as a case study. Microvertebrates, derived from Barn Owl pellets, were used as a proxy for climate change.

Preliminary results suggest the local area surrounding Tel Huqoq experienced higher levels of moisture than that of today; indicated by the presence of the species: Crocidura leucodon (Bicolored White-toothed shrew), Crocidura russula (Lesser White-toothed shrew), Apodemus sylvaticus (Common Field Mouse), and Apodemus mystacinus (Broad-toothed Field Mouse).

These results support data obtained from the Dead Sea lake levels, which indicate a rise in moist conditions around the 4th-5th century CE; suggesting a widespread occurrence of climate change within the Levant between the 3rd-5th century CE.

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Cite this Record

Evidence for Climate Change During the 3rd – 5th Century CE: The microvertebrate evidence from Tel Huqoq, Israel. Ashley Brown, Miriam Belmaker. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397970)

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Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;