Climate change and the bronze age collapse

I saw this opinion piece by Eric H. Cline from the New York Times.

The author says that the collapse of several civilizations around the eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Bronze age is relevant for today, because climate change may have had a big part in that collapse.  The Hittites and the Egyptians had faced off as the major powers in the region.  But around 1200 B.C.E., they both suddenly fell into a sharp decline.  Also this may have been the time of the events behind the writings of Homer, the time of the Trojan wars.

I have long been interested in the Bible’s connection to those events.  That Israel had the opportunity to arise in the power vacuum that resulted seems likely.  The burning of Hazor; the arrival of Sea Peoples, like the Philistines; and perhaps the exodus itself took place around this time (see here for my speculations about the exodus occurring during the reign of Pharaoh Setnacht).

There are many candidates for the cause of the Late Bronze Age collapse.  This Wikipedia article lists several of them.  Years ago, I read The End of the Bronze Age by Robert Drews.  He was a military historian and saw that new kinds of swords and spears ended the dominance of Egyptian and Hittite cavalry.  Suddenly the infantry could overcome chariot charges.  Probably, the collapse happened because of several factors in combination.

Anyway, since no one is claiming that carbon emissions or other man-made causes brought about the climate change at the end of the Bronze Age, I am having hard time seeing the point Cline wants to make.  Still, I am glad he brought it up.  It is a very interesting historical mystery.


About theoutwardquest

I have many interests, but will blog mostly about what I read in the fields of Bible and religion.
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