Harald is an avid reader of ancient and modern history. There is a clear link between resources and the viability and stability of civilisations (Zang et al., 2007). Tainter (1988) analysed the stability of nations, defining collapse as when an empire, nation, chiefdom or tribe experiences a “significant loss of an established level of socio-political complexity.” It manifests itself in decreases in vertical stratification, less occupational specialisation, centralisation and information as well as simpler trade flows, poorer literacy, decreased artistic achievement, shrinking territorial extent and less investment in the “epiphenomena of civilisation” (palaces, granaries, temples, etc.). Tainter...

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