Late Bronze Age Melt Down!

Our next lecture and sadly the last of the current season is on Monday 12th July.

[Fear not. A new and exciting series is being put together for our next season, starting in September.]

“Sea Peoples” at Medinet Habu

Eric Cline: 1177 BC – Egypt and the Late Bronze Age Collapse.

1177 BC was year that saw the collapse of once flourishing civilisations across the Mediterranean region – and Egypt did not escape the devastation. New studies of lake sediments, stalagmites in caves, and coring from lakes and lagoons, in regions stretching from Italy and Greece to Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Iran, all point ever more conclusively to the occurrence of a megadrought that impacted much of the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean beginning ca. 1200 BC and lasting between 150 and 300 years. The notion is inescapable that we would do well to heed what happened to the flourishing kingdoms of the Aegean, Egypt, and the Eastern Mediterranean during the Collapse at the end of the Bronze Age, 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.

Eric H. Cline is Professor of Classics, History, and Anthropology, the former Chair of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and the current Director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at George Washington University, in Washington DC. A National Geographic Explorer, NEH Public Scholar, Getty Scholar, and Fulbright Scholar with degrees from Dartmouth, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania. Eric is an active field archaeologist with more than 30 seasons of excavation and survey experience in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus, Greece, Crete, and the United States, including ten seasons at Megiddo (1994-2014), where he served as co-director before retiring from the project in 2014, and another ten seasons at Tel Kabri, where he currently serves as Co-Director. Eric is the author or editor of 20 books and nearly 100 articles; translations of his books have appeared in nineteen different languages.

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