Arctic ice brings an understanding of ancient Europe’s economy

GREENLAND’S icy mountains are not an obvious place to search for an archive of economic history, but a study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that they provide one. Joseph McConnell of the Desert Research Institute, in Reno, Nevada, and his colleagues have tracked economic activity in Europe and the Mediterranean over the centuries by measuring variations in the amount of lead in a core of Greenlandic ice. Lead is a good proxy for economic activity because it is a by-product of silvermaking (lead and silver often occur in the same ore, known as galena), and therefore of the money supply. Extracting silver from galena involves boiling off the lead. Winds from Europe carried to Greenland enough lead pollution from this process for it to be preserved in the layers of snow that, compacted, form the island’s ice cap. Although the lead concentration in the core that Dr McConnell looked at shows many peaks and troughs, some...

Uncovering Roman History With Ice Cores and Lead

Scientists today are searching for the "Golden Spike," evidence for the presence of man that will show up even hundreds of thousands of years from now. Such a marker would officially kick off ...

Wed 16 May 18 from Discover Magazine

Lead pollution in Greenland ice shows rise and fall of ancient European civilizations

To learn about the rise and fall of ancient European civilizations, researchers sometimes find clues in unlikely places: deep inside of the Greenland ice sheet, for example.

Mon 14 May 18 from

Lead pollution in Greenland ice shows rise and fall of ancient European civilizations, Wed 16 May 18 from SpaceDaily

Ice cores may have tracked ancient Rome’s boom and bust

Traces of lead pinpoint economic activity, but doubts about contamination have been raised

Mon 21 May 18 from CandEN

Greenland ice cores track Roman lead pollution in year-by-year detail

Studying the ice cores may help reconstruct fluctuations in the ancient economy.

Tue 15 May 18 from Arstechnica

The rise and fall of the Roman Empire is exposed in lead pollution trapped in Greenland ice samples

Scientists, archaeologists and economists led by the Desert Research Institute (DRI) in Nevada used these ice samples to measure and date European lead emissions.

Tue 15 May 18 from Daily Mail

Scientists see rise and fall of civilizations in Greenland ice sheet

The more money you used, the emissions you produced, and that can be traced back -- back to Greenland.

Mon 14 May 18 from ZME Science

Secrets in the ice: Pollution in Greenland reveals rise and fall of ancient European civilizations

Traces of lead pollution buried deep in the Greenland ice are being uncovered, revealing the rise and fall of ancient European civilizations.        

Mon 14 May 18 from USA today

Greenland Ice Cores Show the Rise and Fall of Rome– in Lead Isotopes

NewsA massive accounting of ice cores taken from deep inside the ice of Greenland show the boom and bust times of antiquity, especially the rise and fall of Rome, according to a new study.Staff ...

Wed 16 May 18 from Laboratory Equipment


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