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The Ancient Dark Age

Bill Rowe
In Marcel Kuijsten (ed.), Gods, Voices, and the Bicameral Mind: The Theories of Julian Jaynes (Julian Jaynes Society, 2016).

Excerpt:

Within a period of forty or fifty years "at the end of the thirteenth and beginning of the twelfth century almost every significant city or palace in the eastern Mediterranean world was destroyed, many of them never to be occupied again." So says Vanderbilt historian Robert Drews in the introduction to his book The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe ca. 1200 B.C. Even if Drews is wrong about the short span of time over which the destruction took place, he is right about the point in time and the geographic scale. Around 1200 B.C.E. Mycenaean Greece disappeared. Likewise, on the Anatolian plateau, the powerful Hittite empire crumbled. Similar catastrophes befell the cities of Cyprus, Western Anatolia, Syria, and the Southern Levant. The infrastructure of Egypt was spared such devastation, but the nation did not survive as a great power. Ramesses III, pharaoh of the 20th dynasty, was in power at the beginning of the twelfth century. During the reign of his successor, Ramesses IV, Egypt lost its presence in the northern regions and sank into a low ebb during the 21st dynasty. Mesopotamia was spared. The deepest it goes into Mesopotamia is the city of Emar, in what is today northern Syria, near the Euphrates River. ...