From 1200BC The Bronze Dark Age – the worst disaster in ancient history, worse than the collapse of the Roman Empire. Men belonging to I1 haplogroup all descend from a single ancestor who lived between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago. people belonging to I1 hplgr all descend from a single man who lived less than 5,000 years ago. This corresponds to the arrival of the Indo-European, suggesting that a high percentage of the indigenous I1 men could possibly have been killed by the new immigrants. Understanding Haplogroups, “Deep Ancestry” 

eupedia: Neolithic & Bronze Age migrations around Europe The earliest Historical Migrations we can reconstruct from historical sources are those of the 2nd millennium BC. The Proto-Indo-Iranians began their expansion from c. 2000 BC, the Rigveda documenting the presence of early Indo-Aryans in the Punjab from the late 2nd millennium BC, and Iranian tribes being attested in Assyrian sources as in the Iranian plateau from the 9th century BC. The Dorian invasion of Greece led to the Greek Dark Ages. Very Little is known about the period of the 12th to 9th centuries BC, but there were significant population movements throughout Anatolia and the Iranian plateau. Iranian peoples invaded the territory of modern Iran in this period, taking over the Elamite Empire. The Urartians were displaced by Armenians, and the Cimmerians and the Mushki migrated from the Caucasus into Anatolia. A Thraco-Cimmerian connection links these movements to the Proto-Celtic world of central Europe, leading to the introduction of Iron to Europe and the Celtic expansion to western Europe and the British Isles around 500 BC. >> In the Late Bronze Age, the Aegean and Anatolia were overrun by moving populations, summarized as the “Sea Peoples“, leading to the collapse of the Hittite Empire and ushering in the Iron Age. The Dorian invasion of Greece led to the Greek Dark Ages. From around 1200 BC, the palace centres and outlying settlements of the Mycenaeans’ highly organized culture began to be abandoned or destroyed, and by 1050 BC, the recognizable features of Mycenaean culture had disappeared. Many explanations attribute the fall of the Mycenaean civilization and the Bronze Age collapse to climatic or environmental catastrophe combined with an invasion by Dorians or by the Sea Peoples or the widespread availability of edged weapons of iron, but no single explanation fits the available archaeological evidence. Part of the Hittite kingdom was invaded and conquered by the so-called Sea Peoples whose origins – perhaps from different parts of the Mediterranean, such as the Black Sea, the Aegean and Anatolian regions – remain obscure. The thirteenth and twelfth-century inscriptions and carvings at Karnak and Luxor are the only sources for “Sea Peoples“, a term invented by the Egyptians themselves and recorded in the boastful accounts of Egyptian military successes. With the collapse of the palatial centres, no more monumental stone buildings were built and the practice of wall painting may have ceased; writing in the Linear B script ceased, vital trade links were lost, and towns and villages were abandoned. The population of Greece was reduced,[5] and the world of organized state armies, kings, officials, and redistributive systems disappeared. Most of the information about the period comes from burial sites and the grave goods contained within them. > The Late Bronze Age collapse was a transition in the Aegean Region, Southwestern Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age that historians, such as Amos Nur and Leonard R. Palmer, believe was violent, sudden and culturally disruptive. The palace economy of the Aegean Region and Anatolia which characterised the Late Bronze Age was replaced, after a hiatus, by the isolated village cultures of the Greek Dark Ages.

Between 1206 and 1150 BC, the cultural collapse of the Mycenaean kingdoms, the Hittite Empire in Anatolia and Syria,[1] and the New Kingdom of Egypt in Syria and Canaan[2] interrupted trade routes and severely reduced literacy. In the first phase of this period, almost every city between Pylos and Gaza was violently destroyed, and often left unoccupied thereafter: examples include Hattusa, Mycenae, and Ugarit.[3] The gradual end of the Dark Age that ensued saw the eventual rise of settled Syro-Hittite states in Cilicia and Syria, Aramaean kingdoms of the mid-10th century BC in the Levant, and the eventual rise of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

Anatolia. Prior to the Bronze Age collapse, Anatolia (Asia Minor) was dominated by a number of Indo-European peoples: Luwians, Hittites, Mitanni, and Mycenaean Greeks, together with the Semitic Assyrians. From the 17th Century BC, the Mitanni formed a ruling class over the Hurrians, an ancient indigenous Caucasian people who spoke a Hurro-Urartian language isolate. Similarly, the Hittites absorbed the Hattians, a people speaking a language which may have been of the North Caucasian group. Every Anatolian site that was important during the preceding Late Bronze Age shows a destruction layer, and it appears that here civilization did not recover to the level of the Indo-European Hittites for another thousand years. Hattusas, the Hittite capital, was burned – probably by Kaskians, possibly aided by the Phrygians – abandoned, and never reoccupied. Karaoğlan was burned and the corpses left unburied. The Hittite Empire was destroyed by the Indo-European speaking Phrygians and by the Semitic speaking Aramaeans. The Trojan city of Troy was destroyed at least twice, before being abandoned until Roman times. The Phrygians had arrived probably over the Bosphorus in the 13th Century BCE, and laid waste to the Hittite Empire (already weakened by defeat at the hands of Kaska), before being checked by the Assyrians in the Early Iron Age of the 9th century BCE. Other groups of Indo-European warriors followed into the region, most prominently the Armenians, and even later, by the Cimmerians, and Scythians. The Semitic Arameans, Kartvelian speaking Colchians, and HurroUrartuans also made an appearance in parts of the region.

Cyprus. The catastrophe separates Late Cypriot II (LCII) from the LCIII period, with the sacking and burning of Enkomi, Kition, and Sinda, which may have occurred twice before those sites were abandoned. During the reign of the Hittite king Tudhaliya IV (reigned ca. 1237–1209 BCE), the island was briefly invaded by the Hittites, either to secure the copper resource or as a way of preventing piracy. Shortly afterwards, the island was reconquered by his son around 1200 BCE. Some towns (Enkomi, Kition, Palaeokastro and Sinda) show traces of destruction at the end of LC IIC. Whether or not this is really an indication of a Mycenean invasion is contested. Originally, two waves of destruction, ca. 1230 BCE by the Sea Peoples and ca. 1190 BCE by Aegean refugees have been proposed.[4] The smaller settlements of Ayios Dhimitrios and Kokkinokremnos, as well as a number of other sites, were abandoned, but do not show traces of destruction. Kokkinokremos was a short-lived settlement, where various caches concealed by smiths have been found. That no one ever returned to reclaim the treasures suggests that they were killed or enslaved. Recovery only occurred in the Early Iron Age with Phoenician and Greek settlement.

Syria. Ancient Syria had been initially dominated by a number of indigenous Semitic speaking peoples; the Canaanites, Amorites, and cities of Ebla and Ugarit were prominent among these. Prior to and during the Bronze Age Collapse, Syria became a battle ground between the empires of the Hittites, Assyrians, Mitanni and Egyptians, and the coastal regions came under attack from the Sea Peoples. From the 13th Century BCE, the Arameans came to prominence in Syria, and the region outside of the Phoenician coastal areas eventually became Aramaic speaking. Syrian sites previously showed evidence of trade links with Mesopotamia (Assyria and Babylonia), Egypt and the Aegean in the Late Bronze Age. Evidence at Ugarit shows that the destruction there occurred after the reign of Merneptah (ruled 1213–1203 BCE) and even the fall of Chancellor Bay (died 1192 BCE). The last Bronze Age king of the Semitic state of Ugarit, Ammurapi, was a contemporary of the Hittite king Suppiluliuma II. The exact dates of his reign are unknown. However, a letter by the king is preserved on one of the clay tablets found baked in the conflagration of the destruction of the city. Ammurapi stresses the seriousness of the crisis faced by many Levantine states from invasion by the advancing Sea Peoples in a dramatic response to a plea for assistance from the king of Alasiya. Ammurapi highlights the desperate situation Ugarit faced in letter RS 18.147: My father, behold, the enemy’s ships came (here); my cities(?) were burned, and they did evil things in my country. Does not my father know that all my troops and chariots(?) are in the Land of Hatti, and all my ships are in the Land of Lukka?…Thus, the country is abandoned to itself. May my father know it: the seven ships of the enemy that came here inflicted much damage upon us.[5]  Unfortunately for Ugarit, no help arrived and Ugarit was burned to the ground at the end of the Bronze Age. Its destruction levels contained Late Helladic IIIB ware, but no LH IIIC (see Mycenaean period). Therefore, the date of the destruction is important for the dating of the LH IIIC phase. Since an Egyptian sword bearing the name of pharaoh Merneptah was found in the destruction levels, 1190 BCE was taken as the date for the beginning of the LH IIIC. A cuneiform tablet found in 1986 shows that Ugarit was destroyed after the death of Merneptah. It is generally agreed that Ugarit had already been destroyed by the 8th year of Ramesses III—i. e. 1178 BCE. These letters on clay tablets found baked in the conflagration of the destruction of the city speak of attack from the sea, and a letter from Alashiya (Cyprus) speaks of cities already being destroyed from attackers who came by sea. It also speaks of the Ugarit fleet being absent, patrolling the Lycian coast. The West Semitic Arameans eventually superseded the earlier Amorites, Canaanites and people of Ugarit, to whom they were ethno-linguistically related. The Arameans came to dominate the region both politically and militarily from the mid 11th century BCE until the rise of the Neo Assyrian Empire in the late 10th Century BCE, after which the entire region fell to Assyria.

Southern Levant. Egyptian evidence shows that, from the reign of Horemheb (ruled either 1319 or 1306 to 1292 BCE), wandering Shasu were more problematic than the earlier Apiru. Ramesses II(ruled 1279–1213 BCE) campaigned against them, pursuing them as far as Moab, where he established a fortress, after the near collapse at the Battle of Kadesh. During the reign of Merneptah, the Shasu threatened the “Way of Horus” north from Gaza. Evidence shows that Deir Alla (Succoth) was destroyed after the reign of Queen Twosret (ruled 1191–1189 BCE). The destroyed site of Lachish was briefly reoccupied by squatters and an Egyptian garrison, during the reign of Ramesses III (ruled 1186–1155 BCE). All centres along a coastal route from Gaza northward were destroyed, and evidence shows Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Akko, and Jaffa were burned and not reoccupied for up to thirty years. Inland Hazor, Bethel, Beit Shemesh, Eglon, Debir, and other sites were destroyed. Refugees escaping the collapse of coastal centres may have fused with incoming nomadic and Anatolian elements to begin the growth of terraced hillside hamlets in the highlands region that was associated with the later development of the Hebrews.[6] During the reign of Rameses III Philistines were allowed to resettle the coastal strip from Gaza to Joppa, Denyen (possibly the tribe of Dan in the Bible, or more likely the people of Adana, also known as Danuna, part of the Hittite Empire) settled from Joppa to Acre, and Tjekker in Acre. These sites quickly achieved independence as the Tale of Wenamun shows.

Greece. Main article: Greek Dark Ages. None of the Mycenaean palaces of the Late Bronze Age survived (with the possible exception of the Cyclopean fortifications on the Acropolis of Athens) with destruction being heaviest at palaces and fortified sites. Up to 90% of small sites in the Peloponnese were abandoned, suggesting a major depopulation. The End Bronze Age collapse marked the start of what has been called the Greek Dark Ages, which lasted for more than 400 years. Other cities, like Athens, continued to be occupied, but with a more local sphere of influence, limited evidence of trade and an impoverished culture, from which it took centuries to recover.

Mesopotamia. The Middle Assyrian Empire controlled colonies in Anatolia, which came under attack from the Mushki. Tiglath-Pileser I (reigned 1114–1076 BCE) was able to defeat and repel these attacks. The Assyrian Empire survived intact throughout much of this period, with Assyria dominating and often ruling Babylonia directly, controlling south east and south western Anatolia, north western Iran and much of northern and central Syria and Canaan, as far as the Mediterranean and Cyprus. The Arameans and Phrygians were subjected, and Assyria and its colonies were not threatened by the Sea Peoples. However, after the death of Tiglath-Pileser I in 1076 BCE, Assyria withdrew to its natural borders in northern Mesopotamia. Assyria retained a stable monarchy, the best army in the world and an efficient civil administration, thus enabling it to survive the Bronze Age Collapse intact and, from the late 10th Century BCE, it once more began to assert itself internationally.[7] However, the situation in Babylonia was very different: after the Assyrian withdrawal, new groups of Semites, such as the Aramaeans and later Chaldeans and Suteans, spread unchecked into Babylonia, and the control by its weak kings barely extended beyond the city limits of Babylon. Babylon was sacked by the Elamites under Shutruk-Nahhunte (ca. 1185–1155 BCE), and lost control of the Diyala River valley toAssyria.

Egypt. Main article: Third Intermediate Period of Egypt. After apparently surviving for a while, the Egyptian Empire collapsed in the mid twelfth century BCE (during the reign of Ramesses VI, 1145 to 1137 BCE). Previously, theMerneptah Stele (ca. 1200 BCE) spoke of attacks from Libyans, with associated people of Ekwesh, Shekelesh, Lukka, Shardana and Tursha or Teresh possibly Troas, and a Canaanite revolt, in the cities of Ashkelon, Yenoam and the people of Israel. A second attack during the reign of Ramesses III (1186–1155 BCE) involved Peleset, Tjeker,Shardana and Denyen.

Conclusion. Robert Drews describes the collapse as “the worst disaster in ancient history, even more calamitous than the collapse of the Western Roman Empire“.[8] A number of people have spoken of the cultural memories of the disaster as stories of a “lost golden age“. Hesiod for example spoke of Ages of Gold, Silver and Bronze, separated from the modern harsh cruel world of the Age of Iron by the Age of Heroes.

Possible causes of collapse. There are various theories put forward to explain the situation of collapse, many of them compatible with each other. The Hekla 3 eruption approximately coincides with this period and, while the exact date is under considerable dispute, one group calculated the date specifically to be 1159 BC and implicated the eruption in the collapse in Egypt.Using the Palmer Drought Index for 35 Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern weather stations, it was shown that a drought of the kind that persisted from January 1972 would have affected all of the sites associated with the Late Bronze Age collapse.[10][11] Drought could have easily precipitated or hastened socio-economic problems and led to wars. More recently it has been shown how the diversion of mid-winter storms, from the Atlantic to north of the Pyrenees and the Alps, bringing wetter conditions to Central Europe but drought to the Eastern Mediterranean, was associated with the Late Bronze Age collapse.[12] Pollen in sediment cores from the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee show that there was a period of severe drought at the start of the collapse.

Evidence includes the widespread findings of Naue II-type swords (coming from South-Eastern Europe) throughout the region, and Egyptian records of invading “northerners from all the lands”. The Ugarit correspondence at the time mentions invasions by tribes of the mysterious Sea Peoples, who appear to have been a disparate mix of Luwians, Greeks and Canaanites, among others. Equally, the last Greek Linear B documents in the Aegean (dating to just before the collapse) reported a large rise in piracy, slave raiding and other attacks, particularly around Anatolia. Later fortresses along the Libyan coast, constructed and maintained by the Egyptians after the reign of Ramesses II, were built to reduce raiding. This theory is strengthened by the fact that the collapse coincides with the appearance in the region of many new ethnic groups. These include Indo-European tribes, such as the Phrygians, Proto-Armenians, Medes, Persians, Cimmerians, Lydians and Scythians, as well as the Pontic speaking Colchians, HurroUrartuans and Iranian Sarmatians. These groups settled or emerged in the Caucasus, Iran and Anatolia. Thracians, Macedonians and Dorian Greeks seem to have arrived at this time – possibly from the north, usurping the earlier Greeks of Mycenae and Achaea. There also seems to have been widespread migration of Semitic peoples, such as Aramaeans, Chaldeans and Suteans – possibly from the South-East. The ultimate reasons for these migrations could include drought, developments in warfare/weaponry, earthquakes, or other natural disasters, meaning that the Migrations theory is not necessarily incompatible with the other theories mentioned here.

The main migrations seem to be the Dorians who generated a 400years Greek Dark Age and the Phrygians who distroyed the Hittite Empire, causing a 1000years Dark Age in Anatolia. According to Homer‘s Iliad, the Phrygians were close allies of the Trojans and participants in the Trojan War against the Achaeans. Phrygian power reached its peak in the late 8th century BC under another, historical king Midas, who dominated most of western and central Anatolia and rivaled Assyria and Urartu for power in eastern Anatolia. This later Midas was, however, also the last independent king of Phrygia before its capital Gordium was sacked by Cimmerians around 695 BC. > A conventional date of c. 1180 BC is often used for the influx (traditionally from Thrace) of the pre-Phrygian Bryges orMushki, corresponding to very end of the Hittite empire. While some consider the Phrygians part of a wider “Thraco-Phrygian” group, other linguists dismiss this hypothesis since Thracian (and hence Daco-Thracian) seem to belong to theSatem group of Indo-European languages, while Phrygian shared several similarities with other Indo-European languages of the Centum group (Latin, the Anatolian languages). Classical Greek iconography identifies the Trojan Paris as non-Greek by his Phrygian cap, which was worn by Mithras and survived into modern imagery as the “Liberty cap” of the American and French revolutionaries. The Phrygians spoke an Indo-European language. (See Phrygian language.) Although the Phrygians adopted the alphabet originated by thePhoenicians, only a few dozen inscriptions in the Phrygian language have been found, primarily funereal, and so much of what is thought to be known of Phrygia is second-hand information from Greek sources. It is presently unknown whether the Phrygians were actively involved in the collapse of the Hittite capital Hattusa or whether they simply moved into the vacuum left by the collapse of Hittite hegemony. (!?!?) Though the migration theory is still defended by many modern historians, most archaeologists have abandoned the migration hypothesis regarding the origin of the Phrygians due to a lack substantial archeological evidence, with the migration theory resting only on the accounts of Herodotus and Xanthus. (!?!?) The invasion of Anatolia in the late 8th century BC to early 7th century BC by the Cimmerians was to prove fatal to independent Phrygia. Cimmerian pressure and attacks culminated in the suicide of its last king, Midas, according to legend. Gordium fell to the Cimmerians in 696 BC and was sacked and burnt, as reported much later by Herodotus. Under the proverbially rich King Croesus (reigned 560–546 BC), Phrygia remained part of the Lydian empire that extended east to theHalys River. Lydian Croesus was conquered by Cyrus in 546 BC, and Phrygia passed under Persian dominion. >> The Phrygian cap is a soft conical cap with the top pulled forward, associated in antiquity with the inhabitants of Illyria, a region of North West Ballkan peninsula. In early modern Europe it came to signify freedom and the pursuit of liberty, through a confusion with the pileus, the felt cap of manumitted (emancipated) slaves of ancient Rome. Accordingly, the Phrygian cap is sometimes called a liberty cap; in artistic representations it signifies freedom and the pursuit of liberty. For the ancient Greeks, the Phrygian cap indicates non-Greek “barbarism” (in the classical sense).[1] The Phrygian cap identifies Trojanssuch as Paris in vase-paintings and sculpture, and it is worn by the syncretic Persian saviour god Mithras and by the Anatolian god Attiswho were later adopted by Romans and Hellenic cultures. The twins Castor and Pollux wear a superficially similar round cap called thepileus. In the later parts of Roman history, the god Mithras — whose worship was widespread until suppressed by Christianity — was regularly portrayed as wearing a Phrygian cap, fitting with his being perceived as a Persian god who had “come out of the East”. The Macedonian, Thracian, Dacian and 12th-century Norman military helmets had a forward peaked top resembling the Phrygian cap called Phrygian type helmets.

About Alex Imreh 0742-669918
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