The American Research Center in Eygpt

LECTURE: 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed

LECTURE: 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed

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LECTURE: 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed

Date: Friday, September 20, 2013, 6:30 p.m.

Chapter: Washington, D.C.

Presenter: Eric Cline, George Washington University

Location: Benjamin T. Rome Auditorium of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 1619 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. Free meter parking starts at 6:30 p.m.

Lecture is free and open to the public. Wine & Cheese Reception: 6:30-7:00 p.m. ($5.00/person is requested). Lectures start: 7:00 p.m.

Meet-the-Speaker Dinner: 8:15 pm RSVP Important ($5.00/person required to defray cost of speaker's dinner) at the Beacon Hill Restaurant, 1615 Rhode Island Ave. NW (across the street from the lecture venue).

Please invite guests, as the ARCE 2013-14 goal for all Chapters is for each member to encourage a friend or colleague to join.

Visit the ARCE-DC chapter website for more information and to register for this lecture.

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. It may have been this very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age. When the end came, as it did after centuries of cultural and technological evolution, the civilized and international world of the Mediterranean regions came to a dramatic halt in a vast area stretching from Greece and Italy in the west to Egypt, Canaan, and Mesopotamia in the east. Large empires and small kingdoms, that had taken centuries to evolve, collapsed rapidly. With their end came the world’s first recorded Dark Ages. It was not until centuries later that a new cultural renaissance emerged in Greece and the other affected areas, setting the stage for the evolution of Western society as we know it today. Blame for the end of the Late Bronze Age 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. However, as was the case with the fall of the Roman Empire, the end of the Bronze Age empires in this region was not the result of a single invasion, but of multiple causes. The Sea Peoples may well have been responsible for some of the destruction that occurred at the end of the Late Bronze Age, but it is much 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. This illustrated lecture is based upon a forthcoming book by the same title that will be published by Princeton University Press in February 2014.

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