1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed

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Princeton University Press, Mar 23, 2014 - History - 264 pages

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.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - deusvitae - LibraryThing

An overview of the Late Bronze Age (LBA) and an extended analysis of the reasons for its collapse. The author uses 1177 BCE as his fixed point, the year in which the Sea Peoples invaded Egypt for a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - quondame - LibraryThing

This provides a review of thinking and the archeological finds the thinking is based on about the end of the large empires shortly before the end of the bronze age. The date 1177BC is when the ... Read full review

Contents

Chapter
14
A Perfect Storm of Calamities?
139
Epilogue
171
Dramatis Personae
177
Bibliography
201
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About the author (2014)

Eric H. Cline is professor of classics and anthropology and director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at George Washington University. An active archaeologist, he has excavated and surveyed in Greece, Crete, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, and Jordan. His many books include From Eden to Exile: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Bible and The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction.

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