The northern extremity of Mesopotamia, also known as the Hilly Flanks of the Fertile Crescent, witnessed a series of major sociopolitical and economic transformations during the Bronze Age, which led to the emergence of specialized pastoralism in the third millennium BC. This research focuses on the application of Macrophysical Climate Modeling (MCM) to eastern and southeastern Anatolia and correlates the results with the Early Bronze Age (ca. 3000-2000 BC) settlement patterns of the region. Changes in settlement systems throughout the Early Bronze Age are assessed from the perspective of heterarchic social organization and how various forms of pastoralism might have been used as adaptation to aridity. The significance of this research is that using the MCM the paleoclimatic backdrop is established for such adaptations, which may be used to study the long-term dynamics of human environment relations. (c) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.