Northwestern Events Calendar

Apr
21
2022

Eric Cline: 1177 BC: Revisiting the Late Bronze Age Collapse

Cover of Eric Cline's 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed

When: Thursday, April 21, 2022
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Central

Where: Online
Webcast Link

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Elizabeth Upenieks   (847) 491-7597

Group: Department of Classics

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings

Description:

For more than three hundred years during the Late Bronze Age, from about 1500 BC to 1200 BC, 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. When the end came, as it did after centuries of cultural and technological evolution, large empires and small kingdoms collapsed rapidly, leading to what some call the world’s first recorded Dark Ages. Blame is usually laid squarely at the feet of the so-called Sea Peoples, known to us from the records of the Egyptian pharaohs Merneptah and Ramses III, but it is much more likely that a concatenation of events, both human and natural, coalesced to create a “perfect storm” that brought the age to an end. Since 2014, when the first edition of 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed appeared, more data relevant to the potential causes of the Collapse have become available. The new information includes additional texts from Ugarit in north Syria; DNA analyses of burials found in the Philistine city of Ashkelon; and new studies of lake sediments, stalagmites in caves, and coring from lakes and lagoons in regions stretching from Italy and Greece to Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Iran. Studying such an ancient catastrophe remains relevant to us today, for we are not as far removed from those days as one might think; the COVID-19 pandemic has just exposed a vulnerability of modern societies to one of the forces of nature and should remind us of the fragility of our own world.

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