Is it possible that climate change could have kick-started the end of antiquity and heralded the beginning of the Dark Ages? New scientific insights point to the impact of the eruption of the Ilopango Volcano in Central America. The eruption was violent and propelled ash into the stratosphere. As a result, the sun struggled to break through the ash. The following 10 years were extraordinarily cold, and this was the beginning of a time period marked by famine, war, and an almost complete loss of cultural heritage. Part of the "How Climate Made History" series.