This paper explores how our thinking about the collapse of the Roman Empire in Gaul and more broadly is changing thanks to new evidence.  Beyond the well-known contribution of archaeology, scientific investigations are producing a surprising amount of new data about this period that can illuminate the process of collapse. After an example of new climate data from fourth-century Gaul, the paper will highlight some important contributions of computer science, biomolecular archaeology, and paleoclimatology. It will briefly consider aspects of thinking about collapse more broadly: the role of the random, non-linearity, and the advantage of thinking about populations rather than “main tendencies” or some kind of central trend; it will conclude with a few more general questions about societal collapse.