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Book: Mediterranean Resilience

Chapter: The Collapse of Cultures at the End of the Late Bronze Age in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean: New Developments, Punctuated Equilibrium, and Further Questions

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.41504


In order to put some of the other papers within this workshop into context, this paper presents a brief and rapid overview of the events that took place at the end of the Late Bronze Age in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean. However, in an effort to bring things up to date, it also includes a summation of some of the additional work that has been done recently, including new scientific work involving ancient pollen in Syria, Israel, Egypt, and Cyprus; isotopic signatures and other indicators from lake sediments in Turkey, Syria, and possibly Iran; oxygen isotope studies from stalagmites and mineral deposits within caves in Greece and Israel; and other relevant studies. It concludes with a brief look at several questions about the human element to the Collapse that still remain to be answered, including whether they were aware that the entire world system as they knew it was coming to an end.

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