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1177 B.c.: The Year Civilization Collapsed - More Echoes For The Present?

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/1177-B-C-Civilization-Collapsed-Turning/dp/0691140898/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406059836&sr=1-1&keywords=1177+b.c.+the+year+civilization+collapsed

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.

I'm currently reading this, an interesting premise that our current situation may mirror probably the first recorded "globalized" societies. Our current situation maybe what happens to societies that they fail and evolve. The question is are we in one of these destructive transition periods or merely just a economic blip.

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/1177-B-C-Civilization-Collapsed-Turning/dp/0691140898/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406059836&sr=1-1&keywords=1177+b.c.+the+year+civilization+collapsed

I'm currently reading this, an interesting premise that our current situation may mirror probably the first recorded "globalized" societies. Our current situation maybe what happens to societies that they fail and evolve. The question is are we in one of these destructive transition periods or merely just a economic blip.

Whenever I hear about the latest sweeping theory on the end of the Bronze Age I am reminded of the conversation between the novelist Gore Vidal and the historian M I Finley, the author of the World Of Odysseus.The two men had been discussing the work of another academic expert on the ancient world. When Vidal asked how reliable was the man's work Finley replied that he was the best in the field but that "he made most of it up just like the rest of us".

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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Tricky for 'istorians of ancient history when primary sources of the sort which would be essential for studying later periods are mostly non existent or very limited in number.

For the Bronze Age there is the problem that the chronology of the archaeology is problematic and contemporary written sources almost non existent. These grand theories are often based on the most tenuous of evidence.

It is worth bearing in mind that even for such a well attested figure of Classical Antiquity such as Hannibal there are almost no contemporary sources with even Polybius writing over 40 years after the Battle of Zama. Moreover despite the fact Hannibal's armies supposedly rampaged up and down Italy for years in the Second Punic War there is almost no archaeology to attest to the the fact that the Carthaginians were ever there. In fact most of the archaeological finds that do relate to the war such as those found at Baecula relate to Spain not Italy.

Edited by stormymonday_2011

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Tricky for 'istorians of ancient history when primary sources of the sort which would be essential for studying later periods are mostly non existent or very limited in number.

Yep it would be interesting to see how much of our data is still accessible in 3500 years time. It would be great to read what future historians say about our period and how far off the mark they are.

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Monday I was reading The Rational Optimist when I came across a paragraph that ran something like as follows - sorry its not a direct quote as the book is at home and I'm in the office, " The rich bid up property prices and rents while the poor bid down wages. The inevitable result was nobody could afford the rents."

The dates for all of this is not 1980 to 2015 as you might expect but between 1150 AD and 1300 AD. Plus-ca-change?

During this period property prices went up massively and wages more than halved, such was the dislocation that the Church provided for those that had property by taking the property on the death of the person in exchange for looking after them in old age. You could not sell the property for what was 'worth' as nobody had any money to buy it. The Church could afford to play the long game and ended up owning vast tracts of land, the repercussions of which are still being felt in insurance for chancellery repairs on house buyers today.

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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.

Let's get one thing straight, the Bronze age was not remotely "multicultural" in the modern sense. Quite the opposite, that is a contemporary insanity.

Nevertheless there does seem to be a common theme in civilization collapse and that is when they become islands of specialization in an integrated trading bloc, much like modern Globalization. They then become very vulnerable to systematic shock, one component fails and the rest spiral out of control. We should worry a lot more than we do about this possibility.

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Let's get one thing straight, the Bronze age was not remotely "multicultural" in the modern sense. Quite the opposite, that is a contemporary insanity.

Nevertheless there does seem to be a common theme in civilization collapse and that is when they become islands of specialization in an integrated trading bloc, much like modern Globalization. They then become very vulnerable to systematic shock, one component fails and the rest spiral out of control. We should worry a lot more than we do about this possibility.

I think the multicultural BS is from the publisher rather than the author, trying to sell the book to a contemporary audience. I'm about 2/3 through it and the author is quite clear that these cities / cultures fell but the exact reasons are unknown but the archaeological records do show that goods where moving about from area to area.

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