1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Eric Cline, PhD)

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Shared October 11, 2016

From about 1500 BC to 1200 BC, the Mediterranean region played host to a complex cosmopolitan and globalized world-system. It may have been this very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age. When the end came, the civilized and international world of the Mediterranean regions came to a dramatic halt in a vast area stretching from Greece and Italy in the west to Egypt, Canaan, and Mesopotamia in the east. Large empires and small kingdoms collapsed rapidly. With their end came the world’s first recorded Dark Ages. It was not until centuries later that a new cultural renaissance emerged in Greece and the other affected areas, setting the stage for the evolution of Western society as we know it today. Professor Eric H. Cline of The George Washington University will explore why the Bronze Age came to an end and whether the collapse of those ancient civilizations might hold some warnings for our current society.

Considered for a Pulitzer Prize for his recent book 1177 BC, Dr. Eric H. Cline is Professor of Classics and Anthropology and the current Director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at The George Washington University. He is a National Geographic Explorer, a Fulbright scholar, an NEH Public Scholar, and an award-winning teacher and author. He has degrees in archaeology and ancient history from Dartmouth, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania; in May 2015, he was awarded an honorary doctoral degree (honoris causa) from Muhlenberg College. Dr. Cline is an active field archaeologist with 30 seasons of excavation and survey experience.

The views expressed in this video are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Capital Area Skeptics.

The Reaction

My wife and I argue about Trojans at home too. But that's a subject for a whole other lecture.

2 years ago | [YT] | 538

Trevor Perry

Came out of curiosity, stayed an hour because this was the most interesting history lesson I've ever listened to. Why cant middle and high school history classes be taught like this?

10 months ago | [YT] | 440


imagine you have to travel the same routes 4 times, dodging sea peoples, hippos, and pirates just because you deliver the wrong sandals to Hammurabi.

3 months ago (edited) | [YT] | 235

The Q

I'm not saying it was sea peoples.
But it was sea peoples.

10 months ago (edited) | [YT] | 180

Commander Liquor


2 hours ago | [YT] | 0

Cage SC

Nice instruction. I would expect no less from someone who resembles Captain Kangaroo's younger brother (a compliment).
But, am I the only one who kept seeing visions of Time Bandits (1981) during this lecture...?

2 months ago (edited) | [YT] | 9


Collapse is the moment of the loss of capital. That’s the break point when the various pressures are applied.

2 days ago | [YT] | 0

Dave D'Silva

Brilliant analysis. Would love to hear theories explaining disappearance of traditional elite class.

1 month ago | [YT] | 4

Andrew Sickafoose

1178 BC is the year of the eclipse mentioned in Homer's Odyssey. The consensus sacking of Homer's Troy was in 1184 BC. That Greek oral tradition seems to emphasize this decade suggests the significance of this time period in Mediterranean cultures.

10 months ago | [YT] | 101


I'm gonna have to carry a marker with me so I can write "The sea peoples were here!" as a sort of history enthusiast's Kilroy. ;)

Fantastic stuff. Thank you.

10 months ago | [YT] | 37

veg An archist

ISIS are the Seapeople??? 🙄

1 day ago | [YT] | 0

chas marischen

Drought, and Earthquakes are natural ''Acts--of-God' (AOG) that, they think, triggered the collapse. Today with the World trade dependent on electronic communication and electronics in general; then another AOG like a solar storm/electromagnetic storm equivalent to 1859 or greater could be today's worldwide 'trigger'.

8 months ago | [YT] | 4


We have piracy today too. Only the ships have changed. Tin is pricey enough to be ALMOST a precious metal.

4 months ago | [YT] | 5

simo nides

See what happens when the Greek economy collapses? You get a dark age! Now go buy some greek olive oil, wine, yogurt and come round for a holiday before it's too late! :-)

2 years ago (edited) | [YT] | 342

Gary Daniel

This guy is great! These lectures can be so boring. This guy has a wonderful honesty to him. Makes corny jokes and I appreciate that.
Climate Change and Globalization are such buzz words. He had to point out that the Hittites didn't drive SUVs. Funny guy.

2 months ago (edited) | [YT] | 17

Themistokles V

Here in Greece we are being taught that the Minioan civilization ended when the Santorini (Thira) volcanoe erupted. It was one of the most violent eruptions in the history of the Earth. The eruption is well documented and could explain the draught and less sunshine and famine that would affect the whole of the Eastern Mediterranean. So this could explain why all civilization halted at that period. I think one explanation about sea people is that they where Mycenians and Minoan refugees that left the area ( that was covered in winter for years after the eruption ) and migrated to Egypt to find a new home .

2 days ago (edited) | [YT] | 0

the impractical transhumanist

Robert Graves, in his "Greek Myths" mentions that iron came to Crete from Turkey, page 170, or section 53, the Dactyls(personfication of finger digits).

He further mentions a religious fight between female Earth goddesse(think the Venus figurines) to male gods. The Troy war was over this transition. The Aegean apocalypse was a religious war, and the Greek dark ages were a Dark ages before the Dark ages after the Chrisitans destoyed the Roman empire.

1 day ago | [YT] | 0

Dani e Idiomas

Fantastic work! Loved the idea, and it should even become material for writing fantastic literature.

9 months ago | [YT] | 2


Death Pits of Ur?

That would be an amazing Metal band name

1 year ago | [YT] | 740

william fitzpatrick

What a great speaker. Good voice & knows his material. I was never interested in archaeology or anthropology but this was captivating.

4 months ago (edited) | [YT] | 11