1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Eric Cline, PhD)

  • Published: 11 October 2016
  • From about 1500 BC to 1200 BC, the Mediterranean region played host to a complex cosmopolitan and globalized world-system. It may have been this very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age. When the end came, the civilized and international world of the Mediterranean regions came to a dramatic halt in a vast area stretching from Greece and Italy in the west to Egypt, Canaan, and Mesopotamia in the east. Large empires and small kingdoms collapsed rapidly. With their end came the world’s first recorded Dark Ages. It was not until centuries later that a new cultural renaissance emerged in Greece and the other affected areas, setting the stage for the evolution of Western society as we know it today. Professor Eric H. Cline of The George Washington University will explore why the Bronze Age came to an end and whether the collapse of those ancient civilizations might hold some warnings for our current society.

    Considered for a Pulitzer Prize for his recent book 1177 BC, Dr. Eric H. Cline is Professor of Classics and Anthropology and the current Director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at The George Washington University. He is a National Geographic Explorer, a Fulbright scholar, an NEH Public Scholar, and an award-winning teacher and author. He has degrees in archaeology and ancient history from Dartmouth, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania; in May 2015, he was awarded an honorary doctoral degree (honoris causa) from Muhlenberg College. Dr. Cline is an active field archaeologist with 30 seasons of excavation and survey experience.

    The views expressed in this video are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Capital Area Skeptics.
  • Science and Technology Science and Technology

Comments • 6 840

  • Willem Vermeer
    Willem Vermeer  5 hours back

    Very interesting and excellently presented. By the way the biblical exodus took place 1602 BCE not during the reign of Ramses. Many Bible chronologies use the wrong time for the period of the Judges which actually was 450 years agreeing with Josephus' 592 years from the exodus to the building of the temple. And no the Hyksos were not Israelites, they were the oppressors of the Isrealites.

    • woodspirit98
      woodspirit98  3 days back

      Just looked it up and the bronze age ended during a very cold period between the Minoan warming period and the Roman warm period. It was during a deep solar minimum

    • woodspirit98
      woodspirit98  3 days back

      Very good stuff. I couldn't help extrapolating the events of that period with solar minimums and causation of dry periods in large areas, cooling temps in northern latitudes, many more earthquakes and global food shortages. They also occur in 400 year cycles and lead to civilization collapse, wars and famines.

    • narma/mem hotep
      narma/mem hotep  4 days back

      Only civilization that remnants still is visible are Egyptians! No other civilization has any visible artifacts and monuments remaining.there were no other civilizations in those times not Rome or any other so called ancient civilizations.all lies Africa started civilization and when it collapsed in around 100bc is when you see Greeks and Roman civilizations!

      • just another human
        just another human  5 days back

        anyone who's interested in this subject check out british author comyns beaumont. "Britain - the key to world history" is available online as a pdf

        • Knut Holt
          Knut Holt  5 days back

          When you are in a situation where you cannot care for your needs yourself but are mutually dependent of others, you are likely to be left helpless at some time. This is exactly the situation both nations, communities, families and individuals steadily more are trapped in today, more than any time ever. You cannot expect anything other than a new collapse. But you can survive the collapse occurring around you if you learn to and prepare to manage for yourself.

          • Tri-Lambda Delta
            Tri-Lambda Delta  5 days back

            Or it was this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuFbqeQOyWQ with evidence.

            • Raphael Moraczewski
              Raphael Moraczewski  5 days back

              Israelites / Phoenicians Canaanites sea peoples could be one in the same,

              • Ruthanne D'Antuono
                Ruthanne D'Antuono  5 days back

                This man is amazing; the subject matter very pertinent to current times.
                The climate changes.
                That's not my only take-away from this lecture, but it IS significant.
                STOP THE HYSTERIA!

              • Markus Grimm
                Markus Grimm  6 days back

                I find that I agree with your work!

                • Simon Says
                  Simon Says  6 days back

                  Too bad he had show how ignorant he is on the topic of climate change

                  • minnjony
                    minnjony  7 days back

                    excellent talk! thanks for upload.

                    • Iman Fani
                      Iman Fani  1 weeks back

                      hmmm, so the british empire and u.s are not the sea people? how chould they get their ass to syria if not by the sea :) just a thought

                      • Phinehas Priest
                        Phinehas Priest  1 weeks back

                        Poor understanding of what happened when.

                        The exodus happened in 1388 BC, during the reign of Nebmaatre Amenhotep III. This was hundreds of years before Rameses III.

                        • Uzt Nus
                          Uzt Nus  1 weeks back

                          Pimp shit.

                          • Gareth Ardern
                            Gareth Ardern  1 weeks back

                            Very clear, logical and compelling. Good lecture

                            • Otto Vandevelde
                              Otto Vandevelde  1 weeks back

                              Prof. Cline, Thank you for your clarification and hypothesis of the decline of the Bronze Age. I am fascinated by the enigma of the decline and wonder whether the one factor mentioned by you might be worthy of further research : climate chance. Linked with this the population movement which placed pressure on the Mycenaeans.

                              Would it be possible to plot / speculate about the weather patterns which caused the drought ‘component’ of your crucial factors in the Eastern Mediterranean. I am aware that according to Biblical records (the pharao’ s dreams) drought was a recurring element, even in Egypt.

                              Given that we are dealing only some 5000/6000 years since the end of the Ice Age could it be that indigenous populations in northwestern Europe moved away from rising sea levels, causing a domino effect of population movements / migrations which sought safety in the southern climes.

                              It is recognised that the Mycenaeans were able to move into Minoan territory in Crete and its dependencies, most likely due to a significant weakening of the Cretan ruling classes - cause debatable. The Mycenaeans in turn were seriously affected by northern invaders, assumably from Thrace.

                              It might appear that a similar incidence occurred during Roman time when a Danish tribe decided in their tenth of thousands to move southward and confronted indigenous populations as well as the Romans.

                              It would be more than interesting to explore the incredible climate variability the melting of the European Ice Cap caused. Regrettably, while the periodic melting of the Canadian Ice Cap is the subject of many expositions, I am not aware of what occurred in the broader European massif and its Mediterranean borders.

                              Any European researchers aware of academic research on the latter might be able to advice me of either Dutch or English material. Any comment Prof. Cline might wish to make in response would be much appreciated.

                              O. van de Velde BA., M Ed

                            • Winterain
                              Winterain  1 weeks back

                              Sam I've been on CT for over a year please ask on chat why winterain was banned please

                              • Thato Afrika
                                Thato Afrika  1 weeks back


                                • Amanda EvePhotographie
                                  Amanda EvePhotographie  1 weeks back


                                  • Dragon Sage
                                    Dragon Sage  1 weeks back

                                    Here's a little church,
                                    This is the steeple..
                                    Open up the doors,
                                    Sea all the people.

                                  • John Davis
                                    John Davis  1 weeks back

                                    All of the Morons touting "man made" climate change need to watch this.

                                    • TheCanMan Can Since 1990
                                      TheCanMan Can Since 1990  3 days back

                                      More like man made fire sector
                                      Burns all to ash even themselves in the end

                                    • TheCanMan Can Since 1990
                                      TheCanMan Can Since 1990  3 days back


                                    • Brian CP
                                      Brian CP  1 weeks back

                                      Climate change happening naturally doesn't mean it can't be induced.

                                  • Ben Buckley
                                    Ben Buckley  2 weeks back

                                    His story - history everyone as a theory noone as a clue

                                    Yesterday is history
                                    Tomorrow is the future
                                    Todays a gift why we call it the presant

                                    • CORSTAFINE
                                      CORSTAFINE  1 weeks back

                                      oh dear...and I suppose its a lie-brary because thats where all the lies are kept?

                                      ffs...this generation of non-medicated paranoiacs is getting worse

                                  • laurent vilodeau
                                    laurent vilodeau  2 weeks back



                                    • linda caldwell
                                      linda caldwell  2 weeks back

                                      So climate change is nothing new? Go figure.

                                      • linda caldwell
                                        linda caldwell  2 weeks back

                                        History repeats.....don't be naive.

                                        • Carl Moser
                                          Carl Moser  2 weeks back

                                          Interesting presentation. If you make an analogy of similar civilization collapse to today, couldn't you theorize that American military adventures be today's "Sea People"?

                                          • frank perry
                                            frank perry  2 weeks back

                                            These type of people go to college get handed a degree which merely means they went through the motions of showing up for class. Common sense is smarter than these types who have these elaborate talking in circles lectures. When they are asked a question they find a way to appease the questioner as in good point or great question, then they speak in circles again. Common sense is more accurate.

                                            • frank perry
                                              frank perry  2 weeks back

                                              Civilization really collapsed on the day head up his ass Trump got sworn in.

                                              • frank perry
                                                frank perry  2 weeks back

                                                all of these facts, just facts? a lot of guessing. famines, earthquakes, economies collapsing, climate change...…...it's all been happening down through time same then as now so a lot of this is poppy cock hype. So What?

                                                • TheCanMan Can Since 1990

                                                  Even in urdu it was the fire sector

                                                  • TheCanMan Can Since 1990

                                                    The f.i.r.e sector did it

                                                    • TheCanMan Can Since 1990

                                                      Not similar to the collapse of Roma twas the end of debt forgiveness an civil war same as every time it collapsed

                                                      • Ingerecht annon
                                                        Ingerecht annon  2 weeks back

                                                        Arguing over whether or not to use condoms or not if she does not think they exist can do what you want!

                                                        • SuperFriendBFG
                                                          SuperFriendBFG  2 weeks back

                                                          Thank you for this lecture. I've been delving into History and Pre-History, and I've always found the Bronze Age to be super fascinating.

                                                        • Satyam
                                                          Satyam  2 weeks back

                                                          I think similar analysis can be found here too:

                                                          • hond654
                                                            hond654  2 weeks back

                                                            44:49 "I wanted to name my son Sinaranu but my wife objected" Wives are not really fancy about child names unless you live in Ancient Egypt or Mesopotamia. I don't know why but they seem to be present focused, what a pity. I would send my son name Ashurbanapli to the same school as yours. Now he has to join public school in Bristol without friends...

                                                            • Diane Spears
                                                              Diane Spears  2 weeks back

                                                              Just sayin' -- I think this is a great, though-provoking lecture. Thank you to Dr. Cline and NCAS for making it available.

                                                            • TIKI TIKI
                                                              TIKI TIKI  2 weeks back

                                                              excellent!!!!! excellent!!!!! excellent!!!!! thank you

                                                              • George McCoin
                                                                George McCoin  2 weeks back


                                                                • Rts
                                                                  Rts  2 weeks back

                                                                  “1177: Beginning of the Collapse(or End)” or “1177: Mystery of the First Global Collapse”

                                                                • Trevor's Mailbox
                                                                  Trevor's Mailbox  2 weeks back

                                                                  Enthralling from beginning to end.

                                                                  • Chuck U. Farley
                                                                    Chuck U. Farley  2 weeks back

                                                                    It wasn’t sea people it was space people.lol, or a volcano.

                                                                  • Quq Balam
                                                                    Quq Balam  2 weeks back

                                                                    This view of history is so ridiculously and stupidly Hegelian and even Europeist as to be utterly laughable, as if there wasn't "civilisation" anywhere else outside of the Near East at the time and as if the term "civilisation" itself doesn't have a lot of conceptual problems, as well as the term "collapse".

                                                                    • TheCanMan Can Since 1990
                                                                      TheCanMan Can Since 1990  2 weeks back


                                                                    • TheCanMan Can Since 1990
                                                                      TheCanMan Can Since 1990  2 weeks back

                                                                      Rome was a dark age

                                                                    • Quq Balam
                                                                      Quq Balam  2 weeks back

                                                                      I would compare the Sea People with the United States, not with ISIS. The degree of devastation of the US in the Middle East since 1991 is something that ISIS hardly achieves.

                                                                    • Quq Balam
                                                                      Quq Balam  2 weeks back

                                                                      No wonder he is a member of the Conservative Party.

                                                                    • Quq Balam
                                                                      Quq Balam  2 weeks back

                                                                      Colin Renfrew's definition of "collapse" is so disgustingly right-wing ("when your elites disappear"). This is why I've never taken seriously claims of "Dark Ages".

                                                                  • Keith Murray
                                                                    Keith Murray  3 weeks back

                                                                    His last point about examining history by examining our current state of affairs is both insightful and terribly misleading.

                                                                    • starsunderer
                                                                      starsunderer  3 weeks back

                                                                      answer : 22:20
                                                                      take away 53:53

                                                                      • Constantine Argyropoulos

                                                                        Are you talking about the latest great flood?

                                                                        • Trace 23
                                                                          Trace 23  3 weeks back

                                                                          Another old civilization (the Mayans) thought time repeated itself. They even built that belief into their calendar