During the Bronze Age, Mesopotamia witnessed several climate crises. Ultimately, they stimulated the development of stable forms of the state, scientists have found out.
Serious climate crises have led to the formation of stable forms of government. Such conclusions were reached by scientists from the University of Bologna (Italy) and Eberhard Karls from the University of Tübingen (Germany). The research results are published by the journal PNAS.
In their work, scientists studied the impact of climate shocks in Mesopotamia between 3100 and 1750 BC. Two scientists looked at these issues through an economic lens and adopted a game theory approach to the first detailed database on climate and institutional evolution of the forty-four most important states of Mesopotamia.
Recall that game theory is a mathematical method for studying optimal strategies in games. A game is understood as a process in which two or more parties participate, fighting for the realization of their interests.
A severe and prolonged drought has pushed landowning elites to grant political and property rights to other sectors of society. Those people who had the skills and tools to prevent the damage caused by climate change. The elites did this to convince the non-elite that a significant portion of the harvest would be distributed to those in need. For their part, non-elites promoted institutional change by adopting a culture of cooperation. The goal is to convince the elite to cooperate in the future.
Three severe droughts seem to support these assumptions. In the last stages of the urban revolution (3800–3300 BC), people coordinated efforts to build the first artificial canals. Then, during the protodynastic period (3100–2550 BC), the Palatine military fostered cooperation among farmers, providing them with protection and resources to draft into the army.