4.2-kiloyear event

Severe climatic event starting around 2200 BC Global distribution of the 4.2 kiloyear event. The hatched areas were affected by wet conditions or flooding, and the dotted areas by drought or dust storms.

The 4.2-kiloyear BP aridification event was one of the most severe climatic events of the Holocene epoch. It defines the beginning of the current Meghalayan age in the Holocene epoch.

Starting around 2200:BC, it probably lasted the entire 22nd century BC. It has been hypothesised to have caused the collapse of the Old Kingdom in Egypt as well as the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia, and the Liangzhu culture in the lower Yangtze River area. The drought may also have initiated the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilisation, with some of its population moving southeastward to follow the movement of their desired habitat, as well as the migration of Indo-European-speaking people into India.

Some scientists disagree with that conclusion, citing evidence that the event was not a global drought and did not happen in a clear timeline.



Central Greenland reconstructed temperature. Unlike the 8.2-kiloyear event, the 4.2-kiloyear event has no prominent signal in the Gisp2 ice core that has an onset at 4.2 ka BP.

A phase of intense aridity about 4.2 ka BP is recorded across North Africa, the Middle East, the Red Sea, the Arabian Peninsula... ...read more

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