Saturday, September 21, 2024

Penn Museum

Rainey Auditorium
Dr. Eric Cline
George Washington University

"1177 BC and After: 
The Collapse and Survival of Civilizations"

Eric H. Cline is Professor of Classics, History, and Anthropology, the former Chair of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and the current Director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at George Washington University, in Washington DC. A National Geographic Explorer, NEH Public Scholar, Getty Scholar, and Fulbright Scholar with degrees from Dartmouth, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania, he is an active field archaeologist with more than 30 seasons of excavation and survey experience in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus, Greece, Crete, and the United States, including ten seasons at Megiddo (1994-2014), where he served as co-director before retiring from the project in 2014, and another ten seasons at Tel Kabri, where he currently serves as Co-Director. He is the author or editor of 20 books and nearly 100 articles; translations of his books have appeared in nineteen different languages. Among them are Three Stones Make a Wall: The Story of Archaeology; Digging Deeper: How Archaeology Works; 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed and (with Glynnis Fawkes) 1177 BC: A Graphic History of the Year Civilization Collapsed; and After 1177 BC: The Survival of Civilizations (all Princeton). He is a member of the Washington DC chapter of ARCE.



For more than three hundred years during the Late Bronze Age, from about 1500 BC to 1200 BC, the Mediterranean region played host to a complex international world in which Egyptians, Mycenaeans, Minoans, Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Cypriots, and Canaanites all interacted, creating a cosmopolitan and globalized world-system such as has only rarely been seen before the current day. It may have been this very internationalism that contributed to the apocalyptic disaster that ended the Bronze Age. When the end came, as it did after centuries of cultural and technological evolution, 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, that had taken centuries to evolve, collapsed rapidly. 


While the centuries following the Late Bronze Age Collapse in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean were a time of catastrophe, they were also a time of rebirth and resilience — it was less of a Dark Age and more of a reboot for many of the societies which were affected. While there are examples of failure to thrive or even to survive in some cases, others managed to adapt and transform. In effect, we have eight case studies of what to do (and what not to do) in the event of a systems collapse, ranging from the Assyrians to the Egyptians to the Mycenaeans and others in between. We will focus on the people and places that emerged from the ashes, highlighting some of the events and developments that took place in Greece, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and the Levant. We will also consider whether there are any relevant lessons to be learned from this dramatic story of resurgence and revival, especially considering what is going on in our world today.

General Lecture Info for In-Person Events:

All lectures are FREE for ARCE-PA members and ARCE Members.

Entrance fees for ARCE-PA In-Person Lectures are:

$10 for the general public
$7 for Penn Museum members/Penn Staff/Penn Faculty
$5 for Students with ID
FREE for ARCE-PA Members, ARCE Members, & children under 12, unless otherwise stated.
All ARCE-PA entry fees will be taken at the door only of the lecture venue at the ARCE-PA table. 
We will not accept entry fees via Paypal for In-Person Lectures.
Light refreshments will be served starting at 3 pm.

Per the Penn Museum COVID-19 protocols, masks are optional.

If you are interested in joining ARCE or need to renew your membership*, please visit: 



*Please do not forget to associate with the "Pennsylvania Chapter" in order to stay up to date with ARCE-PA events.



September 21, 3:30pm
Dr. Eric Cline
George Washington University
1177 BC and After: The Collapse and Survival of Civilizations

October 12, 3:30pm
Dr. Camilla Di-Biase Dyson
Macquarie University
The Treaty of Ramesses II with Hattusili III: Peace-making in the Late Bronze Age Mediterranean

November 9, 3:30pm
Dr. Chelsea Kaufman
Johns Hopkins University
Topic TBD

December 14, 3:30pm
Dr. Shelby Justl
Topic TBD