The west colonnade hall of the Temple of Isis. The construction of the temple started during the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus and was completed by his successor Ptolemy III Euergetes, Egypt, Ptolemaic dynasty. | Werner Forman/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Climate-Changing Volcanic Eruptions May Have Helped Topple Cleopatra

Volcanic eruptions around the world may have interrupted agricultural production along the Nile, setting off the social unrest that preceded the collapse of the Ptolemaic dynasty.

This piece of papyrus from the mid-3rd century BC describes a period of famine in Egypt that occurred when the Nile River failed to flood for several years in a row. It was collected from the Egyptian city of Edfu. | Department of Papyrology, Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw