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More than 3,200 years ago, life was abuzz in and around what is now this modern-day Israeli metropolis on the shimmering Mediterranean shore.
Yet within 150 years, according to experts, the old world lay in ruins.
Experts have long pondered the cause of the crisis that led to the collapse of civilization in the Late Bronze Age, and now believe that by studying grains of fossilized pollen they have uncovered the cause.
In a study published Monday in Tel Aviv: Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, researchers say it was drought that led to the collapse in the ancient southern Levant.