In 1200 BC the great civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean and the middle east underwent a seismic shift. The arrival of a new people from the seas to the west drove them into conflict, and exacerbated an already difficult situation caused by an extended period of drought and heightened volcanic activity.
Over just 50 years almost all of the wealthy, successful palace cities and civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean ceased intercommunication and collapsed in short order. A breakdown in communication meant a breakdown in the trade of tin vital for the bronze weaponry these cultures relied on, and absent that they fell apart.
Here are the ruins of seven of those great civilizations, lost to what became known as the Bronze Age Collapse.
3. The Kassites of Babylon
5. The Egyptian New Kingdom
7. The Amorites
Top Image: Troy burns: the Luwian states fragmented during the Bronze Age Collapse, which in 50 years saw the almost total collapse of civilization. Source: Abraham Bloemaert / PDM.
By Joseph Green