To the Collapse
July 18, 2013 10:42 AM Subscribe
To imagine the scale, picture this: almost every city in Western Europe and North America destroyed. Not reduced, not scaled down. People-don't-live-here-anymore-just-ruins destroyed.Between about 1200 and 1150 BC, civilization in the northeastern quadrant of the Mediterranean collapsed. Mycenae and the other Iliad-era Greek city-kingdoms; the Hittite Empire; the Levantine possessions of New Kingdom Egypt—cultures which had flourished for five hundred years fell and dispersed within a single lifetime, their palaces razed, their every city toppled, burned, and abandoned.
What caused the Bronze Age Collapse and the subsequent centuries-long dark age? Consensus vacillates between emphases on external invaders (like the enigmatic Sea Peoples) and on technological disruption (the proliferation of cheap iron weapons; the invention of the long sword; the decline of chariot-centric warfare). Natural disaster and climate change might also have triggered or hurried the fall. (And this gentleman would like a word with you about comets.)
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