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In recent years there has been increasing interest in a short interval of abrupt climatic change commonly called the “8.2 ka calBP [Hudson Bay] event”. This study aims at a comprehensive review of available palaeoclimate data from the early Holocene and climate perturbations in the 9th to 7th millennium, at increasing awareness of a longer-lived Rapid Climate Change [RCC] interval [8,600-8,000 calBP], its mechanism and repeated occurrence, at developing a complex theoretical approach for assessing the biophysical and social vulnerability of prehistoric communities to RCC and other forms of climate and environmental perturbations, at reviewing all available radiocarbon dates in order to determine which sites or settlement phases coincided with RCC, at applying the developed theoretical approach to the archaeological record, and at promoting climatic change as a significant factor in Neolithic culture diversification and innovation processes and the dispersal of Neolithic lifeways into adjacent regions. In the Levant, the beginning of RCC coincided with the onset of Pottery Neolithic Yarmoukian, its end with younger PN Jericho IX, in Anatolia with the beginnings of Late Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic respectively.