1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed, by Eric Cline

The conclusion of the author’s research: “We do know that many possible variables may have had a contributing role in the collapse, but we are not even certain that we know all of the variables and we undoubtedly do not know which ones were critical – or whether some were locally important but had little systemic effect .. even after all that has been said, we must acknowledge our inability to determine with certainty the precise cause (or multitude of causes) for the collapse of civilizations and the transition from the end of the late Bronze Age to the Iron Age in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, or even to definitely identify the origins and motivations of the Sea Peoples.”

The author lists all his references in 28 pages giving you scholarly works on the events and archaeological discoveries made, which is quite great; however, he leaves you, almost each time he introduces a new Chapter or section, rarely with factually developed theories onto which you could establish a historical sense of what is happening! He advances random interpretations without presenting any lucid framework of deduction. Nevertheless, I consider this as an evidence that this guy is a real archaeologist, one who does not build up his own narrative of history but rather lets the archaeological record speaks for itself!

The book has 11 non-coloured illustrations and 2 tables in it.

1. p.90-91, Israelites would have arrived in Egypt during the time of the Hyksos .. Story of Exodus is one of the most difficult to substantiate by either ancient texts or archaeological evidence .. Unfortunately, identifying Ramses II as the pharaoh of the Exodus, which is the identification most frequently found in both scholarly and popular books, does not work if one also wishes to follow the chronology presented in the Bible.
2. p.93, numerous efforts to identify the biblical ten plagues that tormented the Egyptians, including frogs, locusts, boils, flies, hail, and the killing of the Egyptian firstborn children, have been either unsuccessful or unconvincing, although this has certainly not been for lack of trying. There is also no evidence to substantiate the biblical account of the parting of the Red (Reed) Sea.
3. p.95, the question of whether the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt was an actual event or merely part of myth and legend also remains unanswered at the moment .. alternative explanations of the Exodus story might be correct. They include the possibility that the Israelites took advantage of the havoc caused by the Sea Peoples in Canaan to move in and take control of the region; that the Israelites were actually part of the larger group of Canaanites already living in the land; or that the Israelites had migrated peacefully into the region over the course of centuries .. the Exodus story was probably made up centuries later, as several scholars have suggested. In the meantime, it will be best to remain aware of the potential for fraud, for many disreputable claims have already been made about events, peoples, places, and things connected with the Exodus. Undoubtedly more misinformation, whether intentional or not, will be forthcoming in the future.

The text below was taken from Eric Cline’s Facebook page:
1177 BC was just listed among The Federalist’s “Notable Books of 2015” — David Harsanyi says that he reread it because it “became relevant again” and that it is a “superb history”…a good way to end the year!


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