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About the Author

Eric H. Cline is professor of classics and anthropology and director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute George Washington University.

Works by Eric H. Cline

The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean (2010) — Editor — 48 copies

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Very good examination of biblical mysteries based on scholarly reason written for the lay person - Cline presents different ideas, examines the evidence for or against each one, explains the limits of archeological capabilities, and proposes the most likely solution based on textual and archeological evidence, not wishful or pious thinking. If a proposed solution can be dismissed, Cline explains why. Cline emphasizes that current thinking can change anytime upon discovery of new evidence. An extensive epilogue and afterward bring the reader up to date on the situation since the book was first published. A detailed bibliography provides sources for further reading. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in historical truth.… (more)
chibitika | 14 other reviews | Feb 26, 2024 |
Professor Eric H. Cline is an archeologist, and his 2014 book, “1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed” is an effort to bring together all of the archeological and literary information available to date to explain how and why many ancient civilizations in the Aegean, Mediterranean and Near East at the end of the Bronze Age collapsed and, if not entirely disappeared, became much smaller and more insular than they had been previous to that decline. The book takes into account numerous theories about the event or events, while also taking a lot of time showing how all of those ancient kingdoms interacted, particularly with respect to international trade. I was a bit disappointed that the copious footnotes primarily cited sources, with very little in the way of bits of extraneous information that didn’t fit into the main body of the work, but that’s just my little quirk. Given that I read this some 10 years after publication, there could well be newer findings that change some of the ideas outlined in this book, but it remains highly readable for the lay reader such as myself, and the era and events described continue to fascinate thousands of years later; recommended!… (more)
thefirstalicat | 48 other reviews | Feb 8, 2024 |
Fortunately, the time when Hellas was seen as the cradle of human civilization in general is definitely over. But Western historiography of ancient history still suffers from extreme myopia for everything that has to do with ancient Greece. That perhaps explains why Oxford University Press still publishes this handbook specifically dedicated to the Aegean region in the period 3,000 to 1.000 bce. Now, it has been clear for decades that the early cultures of the Cyclades, Crete and mainland Greece (Mycenae) were only marginally precursors of classical Greece, and yet we continue to look at that region and that period with a magnifying glass. This is related to with the enormous supply of archaeological material compared to other regions (which is partly the result of that Greece-myopia). Mind you, this area of research is of course absolutely fascinating: Minoan Crete, for example, still appeals to the imagination, partly because of the beautiful works of art (especially the frescoes) that it has left us. But at the same time, for this area (and for ancient antiquity in general) the source material has so many gaps that a truly reliable picture of this period is virtually impossible.
Of course, I did not read every article in this manual, nor is it intended for that. It mainly wants to reflect the state of scientific knowledge, and it succeeds in that, some articles more than others. Of course it remains rather dry material, written in academic language and with lots of footnotes; a number of articles offer no more than an extensive literature study, or a chronology of pottery types and add little. And what bothered me most editorially is that the usual archaeological time indications (for example MM2a, standing for Middle Minoan second period, first half, in concrete 1800-1750 bce) are hardly explained in the articles. This is clearly not intended for the general public.
… (more)
bookomaniac | Jan 21, 2024 |
"In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C., which had stretched from Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia, suddenly ceased to exist, along with writing systems, technology, and monumental architecture. But the Sea Peoples alone could not have caused such widespread breakdown. How did it happen? In this major new account of the causes of this "First Dark Ages," Eric Cline tells the gripping story of how the end was brought about by multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasion and revolt to earthquakes, drought, and the cutting of international trade routes. Bringing to life the vibrant multicultural world of these great civilizations, he draws a sweeping panorama of the empires and globalized peoples of the Late Bronze Age and shows that it was their very interdependence that hastened their dramatic collapse and ushered in a dark age that lasted centuries. A compelling combination of narrative and the latest scholarship, 1177 B.C. sheds new light on the complex ties that gave rise to, and ultimately destroyed, the flourishing civilizations of the Late Bronze Age--and that set the stage for the emergence of classical Greece"--… (more)
metlibchurch | 48 other reviews | Oct 17, 2023 |



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