Input Shortages and the Lack of Sustainability of Bronze Production by the Únĕtice

After a long period of prosperity, the Únĕtice (2300-1600 BC) – a central European Early Bronze Age culture –collapsed without obvious reason. Thus, the academic literature has favored multiple explanations but without providing much evidence of the latter. Our aim is to provide an empirically grounded explanation consistent with the features of this culture. We claim that the 1600 BC collapse could be the result of simultaneous shortages of two main inputs of the bronze production process, namely tin and fuel. Periodical tin shortages are possible because Únĕtician were using tin alluvial deposits. Moreover, the production of bronze requires huge quantities of wood and charcoal used as fuel, leading to deforestation. Evidence of deforestation around 1600 BC is provided.

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Working or Discussion Paper
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ISSN: 1327-8231 (Other)
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JEL Codes:
N53; O1; Q32; Q4; Q53
Series Statement:
Economics, Ecology and the Environment

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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