Short-term Cataclysmic Events in Premodern Complex Societies

Lee Mordechai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper surveys a group of natural hazards such as droughts, earthquakes, epidemics, locusts, transient weather events, and volcanos, conceiving of all of them as belonging to a broader category of short-term cataclysmic events (SCEs). Although the event types differ in their primary effects, their secondary and tertiary effects disrupt premodern human societies in similar ways. The main types of SCEs are further examined in light of the three main groups of sources – historical, archaeological and climate proxies – together with references and examples.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)323-333
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Disasters
  • Epidemics
  • Famine
  • Natural hazards
  • Resilience


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