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The Bronze Age Collapse

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Bronze Age collapse, the term used to describe what many perceive as sudden, chaotic change around 1200 BC, mainly in the eastern Mediterranean.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss The Bronze Age Collapse, the name given by many historians to what appears to have been a sudden, uncontrolled destruction of dominant civilizations around 1200 BC in the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean and Anatolia. Among other areas, there were great changes in Minoan Crete, Egypt, the Hittite Empire, Mycenaean Greece and Syria. The reasons for the changes, and the extent of those changes, are open to debate and include droughts, rebellions, the breakdown of trade as copper became less desirable, earthquakes, invasions, volcanoes and the mysterious Sea Peoples.


John Bennet
Director of the British School at Athens and Professor of Aegean Archaeology at the University of Sheffield

Linda Hulin
Fellow of Harris Manchester College and Research Officer at the Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology at the University of Oxford


Simon Stoddart
Fellow of Magdalene College and Reader in Prehistory at the University of Cambridge

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

47 minutes

Last on

Thu 16 Jun 2016 21:30


John Bennet at the University of Sheffield

Linda Hulin at the University of Oxford

Simon Stoddart at the University of Cambridge

Late Bronze Age collapse – Wikipedia 

Must Farm archaeological site – Cambridge Archaeological Unit

‘Bronze Age houses uncovered in Cambridgeshire are Britain’s ‘Pompeii’ – BBC News

Aegean Prehistoric Archaeology

‘Sea Peoples’ by Joshua J. Mark – Ancient History Encyclopedia

Sea Peoples – The Greek Age of Bronze

‘Who Were the Sea People?’ by Eberhard Zangger – Aramco World

Palestine Exploration Fund



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Trevor Bryce, The World of The Neo-Hittite Kingdoms: A Political and Military History (Oxford University Press, 2012)

Eric H. Cline (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean (Oxford University Press, 2010)

Eric H. Cline, 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Princeton University Press, 2014)

Eric H. Cline and David O'Connor (eds), Ramesses III: The Life and Times of Egypt's Last Hero (University of Michigan Press, 2012)

Sigrid Deger-Jalkotzy and Irene S. Lemos (eds), Ancient Greece: From the Mycenaean Palaces to the Age of Homer (Edinburgh University Press, 2006)

Jared M. Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (Penguin, 2006)

A. F. Harding and H. Fokkens (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the European Bronze Age (Oxford University Press, 2013)

A. F. Harding, European Societies in the Bronze Age (Cambridge University Press, 2000)

Ann E. Killebrew and Gunnar Lehmann (eds), The Philistines and Other "Sea Peoples" in Text and Archaeology (Society of Biblical Literature, 2013)

C. Mathers, and S. K. F. Stoddart (eds.), Development and Decline in the Mediterranean Bronze Age (John Collis Publication, 1994)

Patricia McAnany and Norman Yoffee (eds), Questioning Collapse: Human Resilience, Ecological Vulnerability and the Aftermath of Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2010)

William L. Moran (ed.), The Amarna Letters (John Hopkins University Press, 1992)

Marc Van de Mieroop, The Eastern Mediterranean in the Age of Ramesses II (Blackwell, 2007)

Amanda H. Podany, Brotherhood of Kings: How International Relations Shaped the Ancient Near East (Oxford University Press, 2010)

Shelley Wachsmann, Seagoing Ships and Seamanship in the Bronze Age Levant (Texas A&M University Press, 1998)

Marguerite Yon, The City of Ugarit at Tell Ras Shamra (Eisenbrauns, 2001)



Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Producer Simon Tillotson
Interviewed Guest John Bennet
Interviewed Guest Linda Hulin
Interviewed Guest Simon Stoddart


  • Thu 16 Jun 2016 09:00
  • Thu 16 Jun 2016 21:30

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