View Full Version : Bronze Age Collapse and Recovery in the Aegean

18-01-16, 16:46
It's been pretty well documented that the Bronze Age Collapse was more severe in some areas than in others. Some recent studies and books I've read indicate that the situation in the Near East was not as dire as in the Aegean, for example, and recovery was faster.

This new study shows that we perhaps need a more nuanced view even on the situation in the Aegean. Our theories are based on what data we have; when new archaeological discoveries are made, theories have to be adjusted.

See the following on Knossos, on Crete, based on information from new excavations:

"The discovery suggests that not only did this spectacular site in the Greek Bronze Age (between 3500 and 1100 BC) recover from the collapse of the socio-political system around 1200 BC, but also rapidly grew and thrived as a cosmopolitan hub of the Aegean and Mediterranean regions."

" Kotsonas says that this exploration revealed considerable growth in the size of the settlement during the early Iron Age and also growth in the quantity and quality of its imports coming from mainland Greece, Cyprus, the Near East, Egypt, Italy, Sardinia and the western Mediterranean. "No other site in the Aegean period has such a range of imports," Kotsonas says. The imports include bronze and other metals -- jewelry and adornments, as well as pottery. He adds that the majority of the materials, recovered from tombs, provide a glimpse of the wealth in the community, because status symbols were buried with the dead during this period."

Reconstruction of the Palace of Knossos:

Like Bettany Hughes, I fell in love with this culture during university:


There are a lot of you tube videos attempting to reconstruct it, but I like this one because it uses actors to show some aspects of their culture and economy, including getting some men to somersault over the horns of the bulls.


19-01-16, 18:17
the bronze age collapse remains a mystery, the puzzle probably never will get solved
there is proof that there still was intense trade till just before the collapse
some think that in many places there was just a replacement of the ruling elite, but the economy and trade stayed more or less intact
trade would no longer be in the hands of the rulers, but depend on the initiatives of many independent traders
interesting places for trade remained interesting
maybe that was the case in Crete
the notable exception would be Ugarit which was not rebuilt and was replaced by the Phoenician traders