The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe Ca. 1200 B.C.
The Bronze Age came to a close early in the twelfth century B.C. with one of the worst calamities in history: over a period of several decades, destruction descended upon key cities throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, bringing to an end the Levantine, Hittite, Trojan, and Mycenaean kingdoms and plunging some lands into a dark age that would last more than four hundred years. In his attempt to account for this destruction, Robert Drews rejects the traditional explanations - earthquakes, migrations, drought, systems collapse - and proposes a military one instead. Combining fascinating archaeological facts with vivid descriptions of military tactics, Drews presents the transition from chariot to infantry warfare as the primary cause of the Great Kingdoms' downfall. Late in the thirteenth century B.C. the barbarians who until then had been little cause for concern to the Great Kingdoms, and who had served the kings as mercenary "runners" in support of the chariots, awoke to the fact that en masse they could destroy a chariot army. There followed an orgy of slaughter, looting, and destruction. From the ashes arose the city-states of Greece and the tribal confederacy of Israel, communities that depended on massed formations of infantrymen. In making these arguments, the author uses textual and archaeological evidence to reconstruct what actually happened in the Bronze Age chariot battles, as well as the combat that characterized the Catastrophe.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - NLytle - LibraryThing
The End of the Bronze Age, by Robert Drews, is a good introduction to the catastrophe of the bronze age. The book provides a summary of the events, a map showing the sites, and a critique of the ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - AndreasJ - LibraryThing
Around the eastern Mediterranean, the end of the Bronze Age was quite dramatic: within the span of just a few decades, the Mycenaean kingdoms and the Hittite empire collapse, as does the Egyptian ... Read full review