It has been a mystery, why ancient civilizations leave their magnificent cities after building it so much efforts. Anthropologists have always been stunned, why ancient cities and empires collapse. Cities like Anasazi and Cahokia , Moche and Tiwanaku, Mycenean , Crete, Great Zimbabwe, Angkor Wat, Harappa and the Indus Valley cities, all were lost in the dust of time. One such example is is Greenland, Norse society, collapsed and decreased socially, politically and economically in size and power despite the surviving for 450 years.
It has always been mystery for historians, why some cities disappeared from the face of earth leaving grand castles and palaces behind, while cities like Jerusalem survived in the middle of desert, despite the turmoil of 7000 years. Past carries a strange mystery, we feel enthralled towards it. One big reason is that, we can associate any myth with the past. It is often speculated that these abandon cities came to such bleak end due to the destruction of environmental resources.
These people were dependent on these resources, yet unknowingly they kept on destroying these resources and ended up in a collective suicide. Ancient Societies Downfall Factors The author has described four major factors for the downfall of a society, which are environmental destruction, climatic change, hostile neighbours and the society’s reaction to the environment. However its not solely environment, which can cause the downfall of a nation. One such example is the economic collapse of Soviet Union and the military collapse of Carthage in 146 BC.
In the case of destruction of environmental resources, a society can survive if it is destroying its environment slowly, unless the climate becomes unbearable. There can be multiple reasons such as: a society becomes weak not only militarily, but environmentally as well. The immediate cause could be a military conquest, but the decisive factors will more than one, which weakens the society and ends up as a military defeat. The prehistoric Polynesian expanded and explored till 1200 BC.
These people lacked modern knowledge and metal tools and they were masters of the sea and canoe. They wasted their energies on building big statues, which were a matter of prestige and respect for their chief, downfall was but natural. The Pitcairn were too many people in too small space, yet extremely unorganized. As the population grew, the started to fight and, leading to famine, political chaos and environmental damage and ended them as nation. Why Viking Failed The Greenland Norse passed within 450 years; while the Vinland colony met disaster within a decade.
There have been four basic reasons for this downfall: ocean distances; resistance of non-Viking men, agriculture dependence and environmental fragility. The Orkneys Island is located on the northern tip of Britain. The Vikings conquered the indigenous people and used the islands as a base for raiding the British and Irish islands and became a rich and powerful society. The Vinland colony failed, because the Greenland was too small and poor in providing them the basic resources, such as timber and iron to support them. This lack of timber meant fewer ships and lesser exploration.
They were also under populated and were no match for hordes of countless Indians. The most important reason for the failure of the Vinland colony within a short period of 10 years was its isolation, while the Norse Greenland closer to Norway and not under any threat for first 450 years. Vinland settlers may have survived, had they sustained their population to resist enemies and spread over to the nearby islands and continents. They never indulged in trade, even when were at the brink of starvation, but it didn’t happen due to the lack of cultural taboos and restrictions.
Had Vikings learned from or traded with the Inuit, they may have survived, but perhaps the cultural obstacles didn’t allow all this to happen. Norse had bias against “primitive pagans”. When it comes to meeting a stranger, they were confounded, weather to eradicate, rob, trade or confiscate land or follow the shoot and flee policy. Norse were stubborn and also refused to learn from the Inuit, lacking in military pro as well, the result was natural to disappear. Anthropologists often describe the end of the Norse society as a mystery, but there were visible reasons behind this decline.
The major five causes were: Norse impact on the environment, climatic change, lack of friendly contact with Norway, increased hostility with Inuit, and the culturally conservative outlook, all added to the fateful demise. They may have gone, but Norse did manage to survive for 450 years in the harshest conditions. Conclusion Often societies fail, because they are unable to recognize a problem, especially if it is slow. With each passing year the problems worsens and ultimately it arrives sooner than expected giving a surprise to the members of a society.
The worse thing is that the problem is there, but people are unwilling to solve it due to clash of interests (like global warming). In the modern corporate world, companies look for short-term interests and end up in creating environmental disasters for the whole world, but in the end it’s the people voice, which counts. If people are vigilant, such situation will never arise. Man has progressed technologically, but it’s the people willingness for long-term thinking to think for themselves before its too late.