How did a volcano affect life in the Bronze Age?

Primary History article

By Alf Wilkinson, published 20th February 2021

Recent discoveries have greatly altered our view of life in the Bronze Age. Must Farm, for example, was built in the Cambridgeshire Fens around 1000 BCE.

Sometime around 1159 BCE (no-one is quite sure when) Hekla, a volcano in Iceland (a country no-one yet knew existed) erupted, throwing millions of tons of volcanic ash and dust into the atmosphere. Hekla is one of the largest volcanoes in Iceland and has erupted over 30 times that we know of. It gives little warning of an eruption – activity appears only 30–90 minutes before an eruption. Medieval people called it the Gateway to Hell! Volcanic ash covered the whole of Iceland to a depth of several inches...

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