Now if you type the phrase “first empire in history” into Google, it will show you the answer is the Akkadian Empire. The Akkad Empire is located in the ancient Mesopotamia region, now the Near East. It existed more than 4,000 years ago, uniting independent, unified cities of both Akkadian and Sumerian people under King Sargon’s rule after winning the battle of Uruk.

Sargon, the first king who ruled the Akkad Empire.
According to history books, in the 22nd century BC, after about 180 years of existence, the Akkad empire collapsed. The people here began to live in the dark period no one ruled after the man of the Gut, the Sumerian people came from the Zagros mountains attacking the plains.

There is also a flow of thinking that, not only the Gut attack, but a natural disaster named “4,200 drought years ago” made Akkad people unable to cultivate. Lack of food and water, the first empire of human history collapsed. Recently, scientists studied the change of chemicals that created stalagmites inside the Gol-e-Zard cave, behind the mountain of Damavand confirmed that the Akkad empire collapsed in large part. multiplied by climate change.


During the heyday, the Akkad Empire stretched along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. It is a vast land. Now the Akkad empire covers from southern Iraq, through Syria to Turkey. This land has a very high diversity of climates, from the land that relies on the rain in the north (dubbed the bread bar of Asia), to the rich land thanks to the alluvial deposits in the south. At this time, Babylon was just a small city under the control of the Akkad empire.

Thanks to its abundance, the southern region was used by the Akkad government to grow cereals to feed the army and distribute it to other cities. Then more than a century after being formed, the Akkad empire suddenly collapsed, accompanied by constant war. This period is recorded in the ancient text called “Akkad Curse”: “… the farmland does not grow seeds, the flooded fields have no fish, the garden does not produce wine, and the the cloud has no rain. ”


Akkad Empire territory more than 4,000 years ago.
The reason for the collapse of this empire is still the subject of controversy among historians, archaeologists and scientists. One of the most conspicuous ways to look at the problem is Yale University’s Harvey Weiss, based on Ellsworth Huntington’s opinion: The Akkad people are affected by a severe drought. weighted, making the entire northern territory of this empire without rain, unable to />

Weiss argued for his opinion with evidence, that in the northern part of Syria, the Akkad people left home about 4,200 years ago, relying on not finding traces of pottery and other archaeological evidence. in this area after the drought struck. The fertile soil is replaced by the dust that the wind blows, a typical phenomenon of drought. Examining the undersea sediment in the Gulf of Oman and the Red Sea also shows that the same layer of dust has been blown to the sea, perfecting the archaeologist’s argument.

Akkadian female statue, located at the museum of the Chicago Institute of Oriental Studies,
However, many other researchers approaching Harvey Weiss’ perspective are more cautious because this evidence is not really sufficient to turn drought into a direct cause of the collapse of Mesopotamia.

Fortunately, data from stalagmites inside the Gol-e-Zard cave in Iran have strengthened the basis for this statement. Although located a few hundred miles from the inherent territory of the Akkad empire, the cave is in the right direction. The results showed that 90% of the sand blown into the cave came from the deserts of Syria and Iraq.

Entrance to the Gol-e-Zard rock cave, Iran.
The collected desert dust has a much higher magnesium content than the limestone that forms the sediments inside the Gol-e-Zard cave. Scientists evaluate the amount of dust in each period precisely based on the amount of magnesium in the stalagmites they studied, using the uranium-thorium dating technique. As a result, they recognized two serious drought periods in the Near East, which took place 4,510 and 4,260 years ago. In the first phase, the drought took place for 110 years, but in the second stage, the whole land had to go through 290 years without any rain.

Return to history. The people of the Akkad Empire’s territory migrated massively south to live, and encountered the resistance of the people here. A 180km-long wall called “Repeller of the Amorites” erected between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to control immigrants, is nothing more than a twentieth-century strategy. Several hundred years later, also here, a new empire rose and survived several hundred years, named Babylon.

Babylon castle walls and the temple of Bel, an ancient god of Mesopotamia.
And so we can come to the conclusion that, unlike many empires collapsing because of war, plague, Akkad, the first empire of humanity collapsed because of the dangers that people over 4,000 years later still have. face: Climate change.​

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