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GEORGE E. MYLONAS LECTURE IN CLASSICAL ART AND ARCHAEOLOGY 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed
For more than three hundred years during the Late Bronze Age, the Mediterranean region played host to a complex international world in which Egyptians, Mycenaeans, Minoans, Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Cypriots, and Canaanites all interacted, creating a cosmopolitan and globalized world-system such as has only rarely been seen before the current day. Blame for the end of the Late Bronze Age is usually laid squarely at the feet of the so-called Sea Peoples, it is more likely that a concatenation of events, both human and natural — including earthquake storms, droughts, rebellions, and systems collapse — coalesced to create a “perfect storm” that brought the age to an end. In this illustrated lecture, Professor Eric H. Cline will explore why the Bronze Age came to an end and whether its collapse might hold some warnings for our current society.