Demise of the Late Bronze Age

Tel Hazor City Gates Solomon, tel Hazor, North of Galilee, Archaeology

Tel Hazor City Gates Solomon, tel Hazor, North of Galilee

Yesterday having looked at the Bronze Age period and Hazor, today we look at the great empires and mighty kingdoms of the ancient world — the Egyptians, Mycenaeans, Minoans, Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Cypriots and Canaanites — which all suddenly collapsed.

Hazor

Hazor remains of a 3000-year-old city.

This happened because a “perfect storm of calamities” — earthquakes, droughts and rebellions. From about 1000 BCE the greater availability and use of another metal than bronze, iron, brought the Bronze age also to an end, bringing the Iron Age.

For more than 300 years during the Late Bronze Age, the Mediterranean region played host to a complex international world in which large empires and small kingdoms all interacted, creating a cosmopolitan and globalized world-system such as has only rarely been seen before the current day.

In the area of the Aegean Sea in the periods, respectively, about 7000–3000 BCE and about 3000–1000 BCE  Stone and Bronze Age civilizations arose and flourished. It was there in the area consisting of Crete, the Cyclades and some other islands, and the Greek mainland, including the Peloponnese, central Greece, and Thessaly that we could find the first high civilization on European soil, with stately palaces, fine craftsmanship, and writing, developed on the island of Crete. Later, the peoples of the mainland adapted the Cretan civilization to form their own, much as the Romans adapted the civilization of later Greece. 

In the late 10th century BCE Assyria had emerged as the most powerful state in the known world at the time, coming to dominate the Ancient Near East, East Mediterranean, Asia Minor, Caucasus, and parts of the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa, eclipsing and conquering rivals such as Babylonia, Elam, Persia, Urartu, Lydia, the Medes, Phrygians, Cimmerians, Israel, Judah, Phoenicia, Chaldea, Canaan, the Kushite Empire, the Arabs, and Egypt. {“Assyrian Eponym List” +Tadmor, H. (1994). The Inscriptions of Tiglath-Pileser III, King of Assyria, p.29}

From 935 BCE Assyria began to reorganise and once more expanded outwards, leading to the Neo-Assyrian Empire or Iron Age Mesopotamian empire (911-605 BCE),the Assyrians having their early techniques of imperial rule perfected.

The palace economy of the Aegean region and Anatolia that characterised the Late Bronze Age disintegrated, transforming into the small isolated village cultures of the Greek Dark Ages.

Often for the end of the Late Bronze Age one looks at the so-called Sea Peoples, known to us from the records of the Egyptian pharaohs Merneptah and Ramses III. However, 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 as said above, earthquake, storms, droughts, rebellions, and systems collapse — coalesced to create a “perfect storm” that brought the age to an end.

Like we could see in later centuries there were rises of empires and when those wanted to too big or went for internationalisation it was that greed for having more land that brought it to become uncontrollable and falling again into pieces.

Map of Europe, with colored lines denoting migration routes

Invasions of the Roman Empire Time AD 375–568 Migration Period[1][a] Place Europe and Northern Africa Event Tribes invading the declining Roman Empire

It may have been this very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age and ushered in the world’s first recorded Dark Ages, when Europe sow some serious migration in its early medieval period of western European history — specifically, the time (476–800 ce) when there was no Roman (or Holy Roman) emperor in the West or, more generally, the period between about 500 and 1000, which was marked by frequent warfare and a virtual disappearance of urban life.
Germanic tribes and the Huns moved around within Europe in the middle of the first millennium CE bringing a first Völkerwanderung or Migration Period.

The Mycenaen civilisation of Crete and of mainland Greece having developed from the Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) their unity scattered when invaders, possibly from Anatolia, moved into the Cyclades and the southern part of the mainland c. 2200.
Thereafter the Mecenaean culture lagged behind, but was greatly influenced by, the  more highly developed Minoan culture.

Phrygians, Cimmerians and Lydians arrived in Asia Minor, and a new Hurrian polity of Urartu was formed in eastern Asia Minor and the southern Caucasus, where the Colchians (Georgians) also emerged.

Later invasions — such as the Viking, the Norman, the Hungarian, the Moorish, the Turkic, and the Mongol — also had significant effects (especially in North Africa, the Iberian Peninsula, Anatolia and Central and Eastern Europe); however, they are usually considered outside the scope of the Migration Period.

All stability seemed gone and over, though at scattered places we could find stability and continuity rapidly replaced by stability and continuity at a lower level of complexity and integration. Strangely enough it looked like no culture was taken over, though in West Europe we could see that heathen practices found their way to integrate in local traditions, where later the Roman Catholic church made use to infiltrate those rituals and traditions in their services and way of life. The lack of further schooling or a good education made that certain people could empower others easily and could reduce access to knowledge even in such a way that some knowledge got lost in an absolute sense.

Because of the migrations and wars several written documents deteriorated or were destroyed before they were copied, and so have been lost to history. There were certain people so eager to have all knowledge and power they did not mind to keep the populace stupid or fatuous. Justinian was by no means the first man to close down the schools of his political or religious opponents. In 170 BCE Pharaoh Ptolemy VII Psychon had already expelled all the scholars from Alexandria, prompting many to travel to Greece in search of a living.

Imaginary debate between Averroes (1126–1198 AD) and Porphyry (234–c. 305 AD). Monfredo de Monte Imperiali Liber de herbis, 14th century.

The Athenian Academy, originally founded by Plato in the early fourth century BC, was closed by the invading Romans in the 2nd century BCE. By the sixth century CE, the re-founded Academy was a neo-Platonic foundation espousing the mystical doctrines of Plotinus and Proclus (411 – 485).  The Neoplatonic philosopher Porphyry, one of the alumnae of that academy, his commentary on Aristotle’s logic was a key part of the course in Christian schools throughout the Middle Ages and featured on the syllabus at the University of Paris. The contrasting fate of Porphyry’s works and his anti-Christian ideas shows that it was possible and permissible for Christians to separate the wheat of useful writing from the chaff of polemic. Though emperor Constantine the Great who was involved in a controversy and aversion with a number of early Christians, because he can be called the responsible one for the false teaching of the Trinity, forbid Porphyry’s book (condemned in 448 to be burned) Against the Christians.

Around 363 CE, the nephew of Constantine the Great and pagan Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate (Flavius Claudius Julianus) forbade Christians to teach publicly anywhere in the Empire.

 

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Preceding

Bible truth or scientists truth

Unrivaled discovery to unravel origins of notorious and enigmatic peoples of the Hebrew Bible

Hazor: Canaanite Metropolis

Old Arad and Widespread literacy in Judah in 600 BCE

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Related

Abel Beth Maacah – Area O before final drone photos (although digging continued for the next couple of days)

  1. Abel Beth Maacah 2017 Week 1. Update and Reflections
  2. Abel Beth Maacah 2017 Week 2. Update and Reflections
  3. Abel Beth Maacah 2017 Weeks 3-4 Updates and Reflections
  4. 12 Day Journey – Day 5 – Pre-Eminence
  5. Mass Extinction in the West Asian Cluster
  6. Epistemic Collapse
  7. Emperor Justinian’s Closure of the School of Athens
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