THE COLLAPSE OF THE ÚNĚTICE CULTURE: ECONOMIC EXPLANATION BASED ON THE “DUTCH DISEASE”
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Most explanations of social collapse highlight the ecological strain or the role of economic stratification but they hardly try to establish a link between the origins of prosperity and the causes of collapse. Our purpose is to establish such link, i.e. to provide an explanation of collapse based on the origin of prosperity. For cultures of the Bronze Age, the prosperity came from metalworking, i.e. initially from a mining boom and then to the subsequent activities (bronze production) it allowed. In such context, the collapse can be the result of an economic crisis known in modern economic analysis as the “Dutch Disease”, a term that broadly refers to the harmful consequences of large increases in a country’s income. Such explanation is particularly well suited to spell out the collapse of a Central European Early Bronze Age culture, the Únětice culture (2300-1600 B.C.).
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