1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...

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1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/17/2014
Archaeologist Cline (From Eden to Exile) looks at the downfall of the many interconnected civilizations of the Late Bronze Age. This complex, highly organized interplay was sustained for three centuries, and came to an end over a period of approximately 100 years. Cline explores a vast array of variables that could have led to the disruption of the society of this era, including earthquakes, famines, droughts, warfare, and, most notably, invasions by the “Sea Peoples.” In some cases, the end was abrupt, but mostly it was highly evolved kingdoms ending not with a bang but a whimper. Cline handles the archeological evidence well, though the narrative drive is lacking. For example, early in the book he refers to the 2011 Arab Spring, making a comparison between those events and similar incidents in ancient times. Unfortunately, he doesn’t carry the analogy far enough and the book’s storyline suffers. Cline is at his best when he discusses the archives of letters found at Ugarit and Amarna. Much time is spent invoking the Sea Peoples, but the conclusion is that their role was small. Overall, Cline’s work appears aimed at those who have more than a passing interest in archeology, as that record bears the heaviest influence on the whole of this story. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
Winner of the 2014 Award for the Best Popular Book, American Schools of Oriental Research

"A new and exciting book fell into my lap the other day, adding an archaic flavor to the current stew of apprehension and awe about where the world is going, and what we might find when it gets there. The book, by Eric H. Cline, an archeologist and anthropologist, is called 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed. It adds that remote date, previously inauspicious to all but scholars of the Late Bronze Age, to other, later ones—475 A.D., when Rome got sacked for good; 1348, the first year of the Black Plague; and that grim centennial favorite, 1914—as one more marker showing how a thriving civilization can gasp, fall over, and give up. . . . The memorable thing about Cline's book is the strangely recognizable picture he paints of this very faraway time. . . . It was as globalized and cosmopolitan a time as any on record, albeit within a much smaller cosmos. The degree of interpenetration and of cultural sharing is astonishing."—Adam Gopnik, New Yorker

"Cline has created an excellent, concise survey of the major players of the time, the latest archaeological developments, and the major arguments, including his own theories, regarding the nature of the collapse that fundamentally altered the area around the Mediterranean and the Near East. . . . This admirable introduction to the study of the era between the glorious past of Egypt (the Great Pyramid was already 1,500 years old) and the rise of Classical Greece (another 750 years away) will be appreciated by both generalists and classics buffs."—Evan M. Anderson, Library Journal

"In his new book, archaeologist Eric H. Cline introduces us to a past world with eerie resonance for modern times. . . . However stark a bellwether this represents for us, we can at least take comfort in knowing that should our society collapse, chances are good that something fascinating will emerge in its place."—Larry Getlen, New York Post

"Offers students and the interested lay antiquarian a sense of the rich picture that is emerging from debates among the ruins. . . . Given how the 21st century is shaping up, [1177 B.C.] may yet become a common reference point—and one of more than antiquarian relevance."—Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed

"In this enjoyable new book, Eric H. Cline has set himself an ambitious task: Not only must he educate a popular audience about the wealth and power of the eastern Mediterranean civilizations of the Bronze Age, he must then make his readers care that, some time around the year 1200 b.c., these empires, kingdoms, and cities suffered a series of cataclysms from which they never recovered."—Susan Kristol, Weekly Standard

"Fresh and engaging."—Andrew Robinson, Current World Archaeology

"This story is not new, having been told by Robert Drews (The End of the Bronze Age, 1993) and Nancy Sandars (The Sea Peoples, 1985). Cline's contribution is to extend these seminal works by including and analyzing all the relevant material brought to light in the last two decades and to tell an engaging tale. His extensive presentation of source materials in the footnotes and bibliography of 1177 BC makes the book extremely valuable for scholars, yet he explains the complexities of his subject in language easily understandable by general readers."—Richard A. Gabriel, Military History Quarterly

"Cline's Bronze Age shares characteristics with our own age, and if we accept this, we can only conclude that Cline has written one of this year's most interesting books."—Jona Lendering, NRC Handelsblad

"Intriguing . . . lively, engaging."Middle East Media and Book Reviews Online

"Cline's work reveals eerie parallels between the geopolitics of the first years of 12th century BC and today's 21st century. 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed is history, but reads like a good mystery novel. Cline draws readers into his tale, revealing surprises throughout. It is all the more fascinating for being true, and for its relevance to today's world."—Mark Lardas, Daily News (Galveston, TX)

"Scholarly divergences of judgment aside, Cline's book remains essential."—Thomas F. Bertonneau, Brussels Journal

"1177 B.C.: the Year Civilization Collapsed is a wonderful example of scholarship written for the non-expert. Cline clearly pulls together the engaging story of the interactions among the major empires of the Late Bronze Age and puts forth a reasonable theory explaining why they seem to have evaporated as quickly as moisture on a hot afternoon."—Fred Reiss, San Diego Jewish World

"Eric H. Cline has written a work of great scholarship, but has written in a manner so that the non-expert . . . can not only understand, but also appreciate it. . . . [H]e has brought together the latest thinking on the matter. Perhaps more importantly he has drawn comparisons with the modern world. Maybe we might look at those ancient civilizations from a new perspective."—Don Vincent, Open History

"I don't know when I've appreciated a book as much as 1177 B.C. If you enjoy learning, you will enjoy this book! Highly recommended."—Thomas A. Timmes, UNRV History

"This book is the first comprehensive account of this crisis since the publication 36 years ago of N.K. Sandar's The Sea Peoples: Warriors of the Ancient Mediterranean. . . . One of the highlights of the book is Cline's full and lucid discussion of the new archaeological evidence that has accumulated since Sandar's 1985 publication, including the excavation of shipwrecks and the discovery of texts suggesting a Hittite political context for the Trojan War. Particularly valuable is the author's convincing argument that only a multifactor analysis can account for the end of the Bronze Age."Choice

"Highly recommended, especially for public and college library collections."—James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review

"This is a comprehensive study, based on the latest academic research, with detailed notes and a comprehensive bibliography (and a useful dramatis personae which comes in handy if you tend to confuse Ammurapi with Assuruballit or Shattiwaza with Shuttarna), but written as a gripping mystery story with clues to follow and evidence to analyse—which should appeal to readers of all levels."—SG, Ancient Egypt

Library Journal
03/01/2014
The end (14th–12th century BCE) of the Late Bronze Age was a time of international commerce, politics, and war among the ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Mycenaean Greeks, the Hittites, and lesser groups. However, over the span of about a hundred years, this ancient brand of globalism fell apart, and the great kingdoms collapsed, giving way to smaller polities and localized economies—the Iron Age. Traditionally, the "Sea Peoples," nomadic tribes scarcely identified in historical or archaeological records, were blamed for the collapse. Many recent historians have looked to other root causes: climate change, earthquakes, or internal rebellions. Cline (classics, George Washington Univ.; The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction) has created an excellent, concise survey of the major players of the time, the latest archaeological developments, and the major arguments, including his own theories, regarding the nature of the collapse that fundamentally altered the area around the Mediterranean and the Near East. He assesses how, when considering the evidence of burnt remains of an ancient city, it is not so simple to determine whether it was from raiders, internal rebellion, or natural disaster. VERDICT This admirable introduction to the study of the era between the glorious past of Egypt (the Great Pyramid was already 1,500 years old) and the rise of Classical Greece (another 750 years away) will be appreciated by both generalists and classics buffs.—Evan M. Anderson, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400849987
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 3/23/2014
  • Series: Turning Points in Ancient History
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 41,637
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Eric H. Cline is professor of classics and anthropology and director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at George Washington University. An active archaeologist, he has excavated and surveyed in Greece, Crete, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, and Jordan. His many books include "From Eden to Exile: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Bible" and "The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction".
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi
Series Editor’s Foreword xiii
Preface xv
Acknowledgments xix
PROLOGUE
The Collapse of Civilizations: 1177 BC 1
CHAPTER ONE
Act I. Of Arms and the Man: The Fifteenth Century BC 14
CHAPTER TWO
Act II. An (Aegean) Affair to Remember: The Fourteenth Century BC 43
CHAPTER THREE
Act III. Fighting for Gods and Country: The Thirteenth Century BC 73
CHAPTER FOUR
Act IV. The End of an Era: The Twelfth Century BC 102
CHAPTER FIVE
A "Perfect Storm" of Calamities? 139
EPILOGUE
The Aftermath 171
Dramatis Personae 177
Notes 181
Bibliography 201
Index 229

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2014

    Ruling the forest

    Sorry Bloodclan but you and the Revolution cant rule over all. You've got to kill the others who live in the forest to rule over all.

    1 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 28, 2014

    I have yet to read this book. What are the other nine 'Customer

    I have yet to read this book. What are the other nine 'Customer Reviews' writing about? A roll playing game of some sort? It certainly isn't about this book. I listened to the author talk about it on the John Bachelor show 27-28.Sep.14 while driving through the night. Mr Cline & Mr. Bachelor made the book seem to be an interesting and compelling account of very ancient times. The drivel that the other comments describes must be from something else. Perhaps they haven't anywhere else to post?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Ash 璘 of BloodClan

    "You can TRY.... won't work." Sneers and pads back to BloodClan.

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Tigerheart

    Where's Tigerpelt?!

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Misty to sky and alec

    Those cats of BloodClan killhed cats for no reason.

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Sky

    "By fighting the GOA and ZOR, cats thought that they could rule. Gtg.

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Darkmoon

    "They are not that strong. I have been their target many times with my clan."

    0 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Dewstreak

    And there are A LOT of cats in Bloodcan now. They destroyed my clan.

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Alec

    Lets just go.

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    KILL BLOODCLAN

    Go now fight FOR FREEDOM FOR KILLING YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS GO TO hamlet tesult 2 AND KILL ALL BLOODCLAN GO GO GO nick grabs his sword and bow and arrows and runs to hamlet result 2

    0 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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