The Bronze Age Collapse

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss The Bronze Age Collapse, the name given by many historians to what appears to have been a sudden, uncontrolled destruction of dominant civilizations around 1200 BC in the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean and Anatolia. Among other areas, there were great changes in Minoan Crete, Egypt, the Hittite Empire, Mycenaean Greece and Syria. The reasons for the changes, and the extent of those changes, are open to debate and include droughts, rebellions, the breakdown of trade as copper became less desirable, earthquakes, invasions, volcanoes and the mysterious Sea Peoples.

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  • John Bennet 2 episodes
    Director of the British School at Athens and Professor of Aegean Archaeology at the University of Sheffield
  • Linda Hulin No other episodes
    Fellow of Harris Manchester College and Research Officer at the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology at the University of Oxford
  • Simon Stoddart No other episodes
    Fellow of Magdalene College and Reader in Prehistory at the University of Cambridge

Reading list

  • The Making of the Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean from the Beginning to the Emergence of the Classical World
    Cyprian Broodbank (Thames & Hudson, 2013) Google Books →
  • The Kingdom of the Hittites
    Trevor Bryce (Oxford University Press, 2005) Google Books →
  • The World of The Neo-Hittite Kingdoms: A Political and Military History
    Trevor Bryce (Oxford University Press, 2012) Google Books →
  • The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean
    Eric H. Cline (ed.) (Oxford University Press, 2010) Google Books →
  • 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed
    Eric H. Cline (Princeton University Press, 2014) Google Books →
  • Ramesses III: The Life and Times of Egypt's Last Hero
    Eric H. Cline and David O'Connor (eds) (University of Michigan Press, 2012) Google Books →
  • Ancient Greece: From the Mycenaean Palaces to the Age of Homer
    Sigrid Deger-Jalkotzy and Irene S. Lemos (eds) (Edinburgh University Press, 2006) Google Books →
  • Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
    Jared M. Diamond (Penguin, 2006) Google Books →
  • The Oxford Handbook of the European Bronze Age
    A. F. Harding and H. Fokkens (eds.) (Oxford University Press, 2013) Google Books →
  • European Societies in the Bronze Age
    A. F. Harding (Cambridge University Press, 2000) Google Books →
  • The Philistines and Other "Sea Peoples" in Text and Archaeology
    Ann E. Killebrew and Gunnar Lehmann (eds) (Society of Biblical Literature, 2013) Google Books →
  • Development and Decline in the Mediterranean Bronze Age
    C. Mathers, and S. K. F. Stoddart (eds.) (John Collis Publication, 1994) Google Books →
  • Questioning Collapse: Human Resilience, Ecological Vulnerability and the Aftermath of Empire
    Patricia McAnany and Norman Yoffee (eds) (Cambridge University Press, 2010) Google Books →
  • The Amarna Letters
    William L. Moran (ed.) (John Hopkins University Press, 1992) Google Books →
  • The Eastern Mediterranean in the Age of Ramesses II
    Marc Van de Mieroop (Blackwell, 2007) Google Books →
  • Brotherhood of Kings: How International Relations Shaped the Ancient Near East
    Amanda H. Podany (Oxford University Press, 2010) Google Books →
  • Seagoing Ships and Seamanship in the Bronze Age Levant
    Shelley Wachsmann (Texas A&M University Press, 1998) Google Books →
  • The City of Ugarit at Tell Ras Shamra
    Marguerite Yon (Eisenbrauns, 2001) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 930.1 (Archaeology of ancient civilizations)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In the 12th century BC, there was a dramatic change in the kingdoms and empires of the Mediterranean, a series of events known as the Bronze Age Collapse.