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1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Eric Cline, PhD).

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  • 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Eric Cline, PhD).

    From about 1500 BC to 1200 BC, the Mediterranean region played host to a complex cosmopolitan and globalized world-system. It may have been this very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age. When the end came, the civilized and international world of the Mediterranean regions came to a dramatic halt in a vast area stretching from Greece and Italy in the west to Egypt, Canaan, and Mesopotamia in the east. Large empires and small kingdoms collapsed rapidly. With their end came the world’s first recorded Dark Ages. It was not until centuries later that a new cultural renaissance emerged in Greece and the other affected areas, setting the stage for the evolution of Western society as we know it today. Professor Eric H. Cline of The George Washington University will explore why the Bronze Age came to an end and whether the collapse of those ancient civilizations might hold some warnings for our current society.
    "In modern war... you will die like a dog for no good reason."
    Ernest Hemingway.

  • #2
    Civilization? Great idea! Uh, when we gonna get one?
    Hyperwar: World War II on the World Wide Web
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    World War II Resources
    The best place in the world to "work".


    • #3
      Extra context, his Wiki page;

      PDF of his book of this title;

      About his book on the subject, QUOTE:
      In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end.
      Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C., which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, along with writing systems, technology, and monumental architecture. But the Sea Peoples alone could not have caused such widespread breakdown. How did it happen?

      In this major new account of the causes of this "First Dark Ages," Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries.

      A compelling combination of narrative and the latest scholarship, 1177 B.C. sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and ultimately destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age--and that set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece.


      • #4
        Here's something I came across years ago which might be an interesting factor, if not a major cause of the collapse;
        Comets and the Bronze Age Collapse

        by Bob Kobres

        During a close approach to a massive object like our planet a comet would be gravitationally disrupted (Phaethon's disentegrating chariot) independent fragments would then further break to pieces as they entered Earth's atmosphere. This debris, of various shapes and sizes, would scatter widely along the path of the fall, each piece harboring energy in proportion to its mass. The "footprint" of this event could have included some of: southern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Near East, and Northern Africa. Damage, however, would not be uniform throughout this area. If the disintegrating objects were traveling south of east, as the Phaethon story implies, the more massive fragments would travel farther and release their greater energy, explosively, lower in the atmosphere toward the southeast end of the elliptical area directly affected by the fall. In other words, the Near East would be more heavily damaged than southern Europe. A survey scaling intensity of site destruction might reflect this aspect, i.e., vitrification of soil and building materials might occur below lower altitude multi-megaton blasts.

        Secondary effects of a large impact event would include: a spottily enhanced C-14 environment, making this means of dating unreliable to confirm or refute simultaneous destruction of disparate sites; a large production of oxides of nitrogen yielding dangerous ozone depletion, perhaps giving a survival advantage to darker skinned people in the aftermath, particularly in equatorial regions; acidic precipitation from the above-mentioned atmospheric chemistry; and, in the higher latitudes, impact winter, caused by suspended dust and soot.

        All of these phenomena would leave evidence which careful field work could reveal. Some indicators may already be evident, such as the abandonment of many long settled sites, a large southward movement of people from the higher latitudes, and a steep, long-term (1159-1140 B.C.) decline in the annual growth of Irish bog oak that stands out in the 7,272 year long dendrochronological record, based on this species of tree. [Baillie and Munro (1988)]



        • #5
          Underscoring the case for celestial events not being factored when perhaps they should;
          What caused a 10-year winter starting in 536?

          A winter that lasts years isn't just a problem in Game of Thrones. Roughly 1500 years ago, our world was turned upsidedown by a winter that witnesses say "never ended." Now there is scientific evidence that there really was a decade of winter.
          Scholars writing in Europe and Asia at the time reported that the year 536 and the years following were bitterly cold. They described conditions that reminded them of an eclipse, and claim that the sun remained "small," with ice frosting up crops even in summer. That year and the decade following were also times of great famine, plague and war — possibly connected to the devastating harvests that left many people hungry, angry, and wandering in search of more fertile lands.
          But now a geologist named Dallas Abbott has a new theory. Perhaps Halley's comet broke up on its trip past the sun, and ejected some large pieces onto Earth. Those events, combined with a thicker-than-usual tail of debris, could have caused the weather disruptions that people say they experienced in 536 and the years that followed.

          Last edited by G David Bock; 05 Dec 18, 16:28.


          • #6
            This could readily fit in a couple other threads, but this one is close to a similar topic, so ...

            Cosmic Airburst May Have Wiped Out Part of the Middle East 3,700 Years Ago
            Some 3,700 years ago, a meteor or comet exploded over the Middle East, wiping out human life across a swath of land called Middle Ghor, north of the Dead Sea, say archaeologists who have found evidence of the cosmic airburst.

            The airburst "in an instant, devastated approximately 500 km2 [about 200 square miles] immediately north of the Dead Sea, not only wiping out 100 percent of the [cities] and towns, but also stripping agricultural soils from once-fertile fields and covering the eastern Middle Ghor with a super-heated brine of Dead Sea anhydride salts pushed over the landscape by the event's frontal shock waves," the researchers wrote in the abstract for a paper that was presented at the American Schools of Oriental Research annual meeting held in Denver Nov. 14 to 17. Anhydride salts are a mix of salt and sulfates.

            "Based upon the archaeological evidence, it took at least 600 years to recover sufficiently from the soil destruction and contamination before civilization could again become established in the eastern Middle Ghor," they wrote. Among the places destroyed was Tall el-Hammam, an ancient city that covered 89 acres (36 hectares) of land. [Wipe Out: History's Most Mysterious Extinctions]
            Unusual pottery

            Among the evidence that the scientists uncovered for the airburst are 3,700-year-old pieces of pottery from Tall el-Hammam that have an unusual appearance. The surface of the pottery had been vitrified (turned to glass). The temperature was also so high that pieces of zircon within the pottery turned into gas — something that requires a temperature of more than 7,230 degrees Fahrenheit (4,000 degrees Celsius), said Phillip Silvia, a field archaeologist and supervisor with the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project. However, the heat, while powerful, did not last long enough to burn through entire pottery pieces, leaving parts of the pottery beneath the surface relatively unscathed.
            The only naturally occurring event capable of causing such an unusual pattern of destruction, Silvia said, is a cosmic airburst — something that has occurred occasionally throughout Earth's history, such as the explosion in 1908 at Tunguska in Siberia.
            The fact that only 200 square miles of land was destroyed indicates that the airburst occurred at a low altitude, possibly not more than 3,280 feet (1 km) above the ground said Silvia. In comparison, the Tunguska airburst heavily damaged 830 square miles, or 2,150 square kilometers of land.


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