|By the late Bronze Age, deforestation led to serious erosion that left many slopes bare and rocky. Nowadays we consider this typical of the lands surrounding the Mediterranean. Some areas have been deforested several times over thousands of years, and the degraded soils that remain cannot retain moisture.||Between 1300 B.C. and 1200 B.C. Cyprus became a center of copper smelting due to demand from other states in the eastern Mediterranean. To make a 60 pound block of copper required six tons of charcoal for fuel, made from about 120 pine trees covering nearly four acres of land. The smelting of copper alone caused the deforestation of four or five square miles of trees each year, and the island of Cyprus is not very large.|
The same patterns of forest use and, in many cases, forest destruction, have continued right into recent times. As populations became even greater, more and more wood was used, and the problems associated with forest use also expanded. In Europe and North America, more and more people were trying to make use of fewer and fewer trees.
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[humans & forests: A.D.]
[wood & forest products] [erosion] [water]
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