We’re rewarding the question askers & reputations are being recalculated! Read more.
34

Diffusion of technology and fashion. Some pre-written civilizations are identified by their artifacts, like the Beaker Culture or the Corded Ware Culture. A large-scale conquest would spread the artifacts of the dominant culture widely. Timing of large-scale destruction. If you look at Troy, there are a number of known destructions with their approximate ...


26

It seems like this was the 'polite' gesture of greeting in ancient Sumeria, and is actually the meaning of a Sumerian phrase for greeting: She faces in the direction of the cultic activity, her right arm bent at the elbow, hand raised before the face, in a well-known gesture of pious greeting, comparable to those depicted in presentation scenes, ...


22

The largest city in Europe was Knossos in Minoan Crete, which according to Wikipedia reached as much as 100,000 people by 1600 BCE (Pendlebury & Evans 2003, p. 35). In comparison, the cities of Ur in Mesopotamia and Memphis in Egypt attained 60,000 people by 2000 BCE. The Mycenaean culture of Greece is well known to us via Greek legends. A warlike ...


16

Interesting. I'd never heard this before, so I went digging myself. It appears that Michigan's prehistory of copper working really fired some people's imaginations. If you look there are even fanciful stories about Phonecians crossing the Atlantic to get at Great Lakes copper! There's a great paper online by what appears to be a very frustrated ...


15

According to the graph on the World Population wiki page, global population at 1000 BC was about 50 million. The vast majority of that would have been in the areas of intensive farming, which at that time means Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and perhaps the Indus valley. So that number doesn't seem completely out of line. However, Israel is much more marginal ...


14

The Peleset was one of the Sea Peoples to invade Egypt during the reign of Ramesse III in the fifth and eighth years. They have been identified with the Biblical Philistines ever since the works of Jean-François Champollion in the early 19th century. Like the Sea Peoples in general however, there is no real, firm evidence. The Peleset (Egyptian Prst/Plst) ...


13

The transition from Bronze Age to Iron Age in Europe occurred later than the transition in the Middle East. It started in the south and gradually worked its way north. It was most certainly a period of bloodshed, but then that's been true of most of european history, hasn't it? You might imagine pitched battles of armies, one outfitted in old bronze ...


11

This is a great question, but I am finding it to be very difficult to answer. The 4th and 3rd millennia's are proving to be very challenging in terms of finding historical documentation relating to specific cities (as this timeframe is often considered Pre-History). That being said, it does seem that archaeology has provided us with some clues as to how ...


11

The question is addressed in the book: Eric H. Cline, 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed ISBN: 9780691140896 (can be found free on the internet). I read the book, it indeed discusses this question at length. But my impression is that there is too little reliable information about Sea people, and about "Troyan war" to make any definite conclusions....


11

In the context of Mycenaean palace societies and their collapse, i.e. Late Bronze Age, c. 1200 BCE, I believe a very good recent source is: Eric H. Cline's "1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed", Princeton, 2014 In Chapter 5, Cline writes (emphasis mine): Rather than the Sea Peoples, the ancient Greeks—ranging from historians like Herodotus and ...


10

It is entirely possible that the whole story is fabricated. Genesis of Greek myths has been analysed by Paul Veyne; the corner point is that during Antiquity, there was no real difference between history and mythology, as practised by authors. The narrative was what mattered, so a "true" story was a story that "made sense" in a literary way. In the case of ...


10

The problem with answering this is that Europe for the most part was illiterate at the time. We do know from the literate areas that there was tremendous upheval in Fertile Crescent at about this time. In this period the (illiterate) Dorians wiped out Mycenean civilization, plunging the Greek area into a dark age. Technically this was Europe. Then a horde ...


10

There is much we can only guess at when it comes to when and how the Dorians first appeared in the Peloponnese. Most historians accept that the Dorians moved into southern Greece during the early part of a period known as the Greek Dark Ages (c1100 or 1050 BC to c800 BC), but it has been argued (by Chadwick in 1976, then Hooker in 1977) that the Dorians were ...


10

Historical Linquistics can perhaps help here. While the existence, timing, and nature of any "Dorian Invasion" is controversial, we can gather a lot from looking at ancient Greek dialects and their known distribution. Due to that, where the Dorian dialects came from is not controversial at all. To quote from today's Wikipedia: It is widely accepted that ...


10

Early Israelite religion was not monotheistic, and it remained in that classification for at least several hundred years. YHWH was developed very slowly in a syncretistic process were he was ascribed with all the attributes of the other deities in the region. This process of accumulation of powers and status reached a first high point during the ...


10

"Was it ever?" Certainly. The style of armour evolved with swings of a pendulum as can be seen from the earliest bronze age up until now, with conspicuous heights found in the trench warfare of the First World War. The Philippino Moro people used bronze and brass in chain mail fashion. The romans used bronze in their loricas. The Philistines had at least ...


9

The exact population is a bit unclear. Estimates for the time period fall in between 2 and 4 million. This area of Egypt was one of the more densely populated areas in the world at that time due to the fertility of the Nile delta. In the Biblical account, Exodus 12:30 says "for there was not a house without someone dead". Family size is also tough to nail ...


9

We don't really know. For comparison, note that historians are still arguing over what exactly caused the fall of the (western) Roman Empire, which at the time was the most literate Civilization on earth. If they can't agree on that, it is probably not reasonable to expect certain knowledge about the exact cause for the decline of a bronze-age civilization ...


8

According to Five thousand years of livestock in Britain Biological Journal of Linnean Society (1989), 38: 31-37 : There may also have been some interbreeding between domestic and wild cattle in Britain during the prehistoric period, but by 3000 years ago the aurochs was probably extinct (Clutton-Brock, 1986). The latest radiocarbon date for the ...


7

Apparently there is (or at least used to be) a theory floating around that the story of the Argo represented organized Greek attempts to expand their maritime influence in that direction (eastward), and the Trojan War represented Anatolian (Hittite?) resistance to that. Here's how Colin McEvedy put it: One might expect to get some useful information on ...


7

The existence of the "sea peoples" is known only from the inscriptions at Medinet Habu, not directly from archaeological remains. As you say certain aspects of artwork of Medinet Habu show, for example, ships that are known to be contemporaneous with LHIIIC which is immediately post Troy, which occurred in the transition between LHIIIB and LHIIIC. There is ...


7

There are also some hints based on the representation of the Peleset in Egyptian art, with a rather distinctive helmet : which seems to be similar to some helmets found in Crete during the same era : Nothing to link them specifically to the Pelasgians except for the similar name, though.


7

I can think of at least one place where it would have been common. Roman infantry were typically equipped with short-swords which they used once combat got down to hand-to-hand. Of course their opponents weren't typically from rich empires that could afford standard swords for everyone, but in the case of the Persians it was close. Persian armies seem to ...


7

In short, not at all. Part of the reason is that our modern concept of language, as a determinant of national identity, is a 19th century construct. Prior to the rise of nationalism, and publicly funded national school systems teaching a standard enunciation and spelling, every village in the world spoke its own dialect. For each such village the idiom, ...


7

Nobody really knows for sure. El/Elohim (which by the time of the writing of most of the Hebrew scriptures had become synonymous) has ancient Semitic roots, but Yahweh appears to be (nearly) unique to the Hebrews. There is almost no agreement on the origins and meaning of Yahweh's name. It is not attested other than among the Israelites, and seems ...


7

Linguists can offer some insight. In The Horse, The Wheel and Language, the spread of Proto Indo European languages, along with accompanying technology, helps explain what might have been a series of invasions.


6

The wiki subsection on the Minoan Peace is worth a read - it presents the arguments for and against the Minoans as warlike, and is well cited. The crux of it is this: About Minoan warfare, Branigan concludes that "The quantity of weaponry, the impressive fortifications, and the aggressive looking long-boats all suggested an era of intensified ...


6

c or ca means circa, which means approximately.


6

The winged disk in Ancient Egypt usually represents the god Horus-Behdety, and yes it is known from the Old Kingdom. I couldn't find any references online (other than the Wikipedia article) to monuments created by Sneferu which include representations of Horus-Behdety. However, the earliest representation is supposed to be in a carving in the Step Pyramid ...


6

The Bronze-Age site in the Tollense Valley is an interesting one. However, I would treat many of the claims in that article with caution. To date, only a few peer-reviewed papers have been published, and in particular we are still waiting for the reports documenting the human osteo-archaeology in detail. Furthermore, some of the claims in that article do ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible