Publication Details

Dosseto, A. & Francke, A. (2019). Trees, the ancient Macedonians, and the world's first environmental disaster. The Conversation, 31 May 1-5.

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The Conversation


It's a simple enough equation: good soil is the key to good food. And good soil starts with trees. Alexander the Great conquered a vast empire that extended from Greece all the way to India. However, his ancestors' fortune was a mixed bag. A new series of studies show the ancient Macedonians may have been struck by one of the earliest environmental disasters linked to human activity. Ancient sediment records sealed in lakes for thousands of years reveals how logging may have affected erosion, which ultimately destroyed the capacity of the ancient Macedonians to grow food.