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Artemis was also connected with the Minoan "cult of the tree," an ecstatic and orgiastic cult which is represented on Minoan seals and Mycenean goldrings.[75]

Paean (Pa-ja-wo) is probably the precursor of the Greek physician of the gods in Iliad. He was the personification of the magic-song which was supposed to "heal" the patient. HP G42-415DX Laptop Keyboard

Later it became also a song of victory (παιάν). The magicians was also called "seer- doctors" (ιατρομάντεις) a function which was also applied later to Apollo.[76]

Athena (A-ta-na) appears in a Linear B inscription at Knossos from the Late Minoan II-era. The form A-ta-na po-ti-ni-ja (mistress Athena) is similar with the later Homeric form.[77][78] DELL Precision M4500 Laptop Keyboard

She was probably the goddess of the palace who is represented in the famous "Procession-fresco" at Knossos.).[79] In a Myceneanfresco, there is a composition of two women extending their hands towards a central figure who is covered by an enormous figure-eight shield. Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

The central figure is the war-goddess with her palladium (classical antiquity), or her palladium in an aniconic representation.[60]

Dionysos (Di-wo-ni-so) appears in some inscriptions. His name interpreted as "son of Zeus", has probably Thraco-Phrygian origin. Later his cult is related withBoeotia and Phocis, where it seems that was introduced before the end of the Mycenean age. HP Envy 15-1100 Series Laptop Keyboard

This may explain why his myths and cult were centered in Thebes, and why the mountain Parnassos in Phocis was the place of his orgies. However in the Homeric poems he is the consort of the Minoan vegetation goddess Ariadne.[80] He is the only Greek god who dies in order to be reborn, as it often appears in the religions of the Orient.[81]  HP G72-b20SG Laptop Keyboard

His myth is related with the Minoan myth of the "divine child" who was abandoned by his mother and then brought up by the powers of nature. Similar myths appear in the cults of Hyakinthos (Amyklai),Erichthonios (Athens) and Ploutos (Eleusis).[82]

Other divinities who can be found in later periods have been identified, such as the couple Zeus–Hera, Hermes, Eileithyia and Erinya. HP 519265-001 Laptop Keyboard

The names of Apollo and Aphrodite are absent.

There were some sites of importance for cults, such as Lerna, typically in the form of house sanctuaries, for the free-standing temple of the familiar kind, containing a cult image in its cella with an open-air altar before it, was a later development. HP AEUT5U00010 Laptop Keyboard

Certain buildings found in citadels having a central room, themegaron, of oblong shape surrounded by small rooms may have served as places of worship. Aside from that, the existence of a domestic cult may be supposed. Some shrines have been located, as at Phylakopi on Melos, HP Pavilion dv6-3110se Laptop Keyboard

where have been found a considerable number of statuettes undoubtedly fashioned to serve as offerings, and it can be supposed from their archaeological strata that sites such as Delphi, Dodona, Delos, Eleusis, Lerna and Abae were already important shrines, and in Crete several Minoan shrines show continuity into LM III, a period of Minoan-Mycenaean culture. TOSHIBA Satellite L755D-SP5165RM Laptop Keyboard

The principal Mycenaean towns were well fortified. The town could be situated on an acropolis as in Athens or Tiryns, against a large hill as in Mycenae, or on the coastal plain, like Gla or Pylos. Besides the citadels, there are also isolated forts that undoubtedly served to militarily control territory. SAMSUNG NP-N150-JP01 Laptop Keyboard

Mycenaean walls were often made in a fashion called cyclopean, which means that they were constructed of large, unworked boulders up to eight meters (26 ft) thick, loosely fitted without the clay mortar of the day. Different types of entrances or exits can be seen: monumental gates, access ramps, hidden doors, and vaulted galleries for escaping in case of a siege. HP 405963-001 Laptop Keyboard

Fear of attack meant that the chosen site must have a cistern or well at its disposal.

The Mycenaean sites are composed of different types of residences. The smallest are rectangular in form and measure between 5 and 20 metres (16–66 ft) on a side. These were the houses of the lowest classes.  SONY Vaio PCG-K315S Laptop Keyboard

They could have one or several rooms; the latter become more widespread in more recent periods. On a more developed level are found larger residences, measuring about 20 to 35 meters (66 to 115 ft) on a side, made up of many rooms and central courtyards. Their layout resembles that of a palace. HP Pavilion dv4-1241tx Laptop Keyboard

It is not, however, certain that these were indeed the residences of the Mycenaean aristocrats; another theory is that they were palace annexes, being often situated next to them.

The best examples of the Mycenaean palace are seen in the excavations at Mycenae, Tiryns and Pylos. That these were administrative centers is shown by the records found there. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

From an architectural point of view, they were the heirs of the Minoan palaces and also of other palaces built on the Greek mainland during the Middle Age. They were ranged around a group of courtyards each opening upon several rooms of different dimensions, such as storerooms and workshops, as well as reception halls and living quarters. SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

The heart of the palace was the megaron. This was the throne room, laid out around a circular hearth surrounded by four columns, the throne generally being found on the right-hand side upon entering the room. The staircases found in the palace of Pylos indicate palaces had two stories.  HP pavilion DV7-1000 Laptop Keyboard

Located on the top floor were probably the private quarters of the royal family and some storerooms. These palaces have yielded a wealth of artifacts and fragmentary frescoes.

The most recent find is a Mycenaean palace near the village of Xirokambi, in Laconia. As of early 2009, the excavation is at its first stages and artifacts uncovered so far include clay vessels and figurines, frescoes and three Linear Btablets. COMPAQ Presario CQ40-117TU Laptop Keyboard

Preliminary findings indicate that one of the tablets contains an inventory of about 500 daggers and another is an inventory for textiles. The discovery was announced at the Athens Archaeological Society on April 28, 2009.

Mycenaeans made a great deal of pottery. HP Probook 4515S Laptop Keyboard

Archaeologists have found a great quantity of pottery from the Mycenaean age, of widely diverse styles—stirrup jars, pitchers, kraters, chalices sometimes called "champagne coupes" after their shape, etc. The vessels vary in size. Their conformations remained quite consistent throughout the Mycenaean period, up through LHIIIB, wCOMPAQ Presario CQ40-132TU Laptop Keyboard

hen production increased considerably, notably in Argolis whence came great numbers exported outside Greece. The products destined for export were generally more luxurious and featured heavily worked painted decorations incorporating mythic, warrior, or animal motifs. Another type of vessel, in metal (normally bronze), HP Pavilion dv3-2106tu Laptop Keyboard

has been found in sizeable quantities at Mycenaean sites. The forms of these were rather tripods, basins, or lamps. A few examples of vessels in faience and ivory are also known.

The Mycenaean period has not yielded sculpture of any great size. SONY VGN-FE550G Laptop Keyboard

The statuary of the period consists for the most part of small terracotta figurines found at almost every Mycenaean site in mainland Greece, in tombs, in settlement debris, and occasionally in cult contexts (Tiryns, Agios Konstantinos on Methana). The majority of these figurines are female and anthropomorphic or zoomorphic. ACER Aspire 5810T-8929 Laptop Keyboard

The female figurines can be subdivided into three groups which were popular at different periods: the earliest are the Phi-type: these look like the letter phi and their arms give the upper body of the figurine a rounded shape. The Psi-type looks like the letter psi: these have outstretched upraised arms. ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

The latest (12th century BC) are the Tau-type: these figurines look like the Greek letter tau: with folded(?) arms at right angles to the body. Most figurines wear a large 'polos' hat.[85] They are painted with stripes or zigzags in the same manner as the contemporary pottery and presumably made by the same potters.  HP Pavilion dv3-2106tu Laptop Keyboard

Their purpose is uncertain, but they may have served as both votive objects and toys: some are found in children's graves but the vast majority of fragments are from domestic rubbish deposits.[86] The presence of numbers of these figurines on sites where worship took place in the Archaic and Classical periods Lenovo 3000 Y500 Laptop Keyboard

 (c 200 below the sanctuary of Athena at Delphi, others at the temple of Aphaia on Aegina, at the sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas above Epidauros and at Amyklae near Sparta, for example), suggests both that many were indeed religious in nature, perhaps as votives, but also that later places of worship may well have first been used in the Mycenaean period.[87] SAMSUNG NP-Q320-FS01UK Laptop Keyboard

Larger male, female or bovine terracotta wheelmade figures are much rarer. An important group was found in the Temple at Mycenae together with coiled clay snakes,[88] while others have been found at Tiryns and in the East and West Shrines at Phylakopi on the island of Melos. HP Pavilion dv6-3178ee Laptop Keyboard

The painting of the Mycenaean age was much influenced by that of the Minoan age. Fragments of wall paintings have been found in or around the palaces (Pylos, Mycenae, Tiryns) and in domestic contexts (Zygouries)[90] while the largest complete wall painting depicting three female figures, probably goddesses, was found in the so-called Cult Centre at Mycenae.[91] SONY VAIO VGN-C2S Series Laptop Keyboard

Various themes are represented: hunting, bull leaping (tauromachy), battle scenes, processions etc. Some scenes may be part of mythological narratives, but if so their meaning eludes us. Other frescoes include geometric or stylised motifs, also used on painted pottery (see above). ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

Military items have been found among the treasures of the Mycenaean age. The most impressive work is that of the Dendra panoply,[92] a complete suit of Mycenaean armor and the oldest form of metal armor. The cuirass is made up of bronze plates sewn to a leather garment. HP Mini 1001TU Laptop Keyboard

The weight of this armor must have hindered the mobility of a warrior, and it is for this reason it is supposed that it was worn by a warrior riding in a chariot.

The typical Mycenaean helmet, in use from the 17th to the 10th centuries BC,[93] was made of cut segments of boar's tusk sewn to a leather or cloth backing.[94] TOSHIBA Mini NB 505-SP0160 Laptop Keyboard

This type is illustrated in ivory relief plaques found in the shaft graves of the 17th and 16th centuries BC and in wall paintings of that era from Akrotiri on Thera (Santorini) and of the 13th century BC in the so-called Palace of Nestor at Pylos. Groups of boar's tusk plates from the helmets themselves have been found at many sites, SONY VAIO VGN-CR140F laptop keyboard

including Mycenae, Prosymna, Thermon and Elateia, as well as in southern Italy. This is the type of helmet which is described by Homer[95] several hundred years later.

Two types of shields were used: the "figure eight"[96][97] or "fiddle" shield, and a rectangular type, the "tower" shield, rounded on the top. SONY VAIO VGN-CR32L laptop keyboard

They were made of wood and leather, and were of such a large size that if he wished to a warrior could crouch behind his shield and have his whole body covered.

Offensive arms were made of bronze. Spears and javelins have been found, and also an assortment of swords of different sizes,  SONY VAIO VGN-FS215Z laptop keyboard

 designed for striking with the point and with the edge. Daggers[100] and arrows, attesting to the existence of archery, compose the remainder of the armament found from this period.

The usual form of burial in the Late Helladic was inhumation.[101] The dead were almost always buried in cemeteries outside the residential zones and only exceptionally within the settlements TOSHIBA Satellite P105-S6102 laptop keyboard

 (the most famous burials in Grave Circle A originally lay outside the citadel and were only brought within it when the citadel wall was extended c 1250 BC).

The earliest Mycenaean burials were mostly in individual graves in the form of a pit or a stone lined cist and offerings were limited to pottery and occasional items of jewellery. TOSHIBA Satellite L755-S5277 laptop keyboard

A large cemetery with burials of this kind spread around the northern and western slopes of the citadel at Mycenae.[102] Groups of pit or cist graves containing elite members of the community were sometimes covered by a tumulus (mound) in the manner established since the Middle Helladic period.[103] TOSHIBA Satellite L300D-242 laptop keyboard

It has been argued that this form dates back to the oldest periods of Indo-European settlement in Greece, and that its roots are to be found in the Balkan cultures of the third millennium BC, and even the Kurgan culture[104] but an indigenous development is more likely.  TOSHIBA Satellite P305-S89041 laptop keyboard

Pit and cist graves remained in use for single burials throughout the Mycenaean period alongside more elaborate family graves (see below).[105]

The shaft graves at Mycenae within the two grave circles (A+B) belong to the same period and seem to represent an alternative manner of grouping elite or royal burials – and isolating them from those of the majority. HP G72-b20SG laptop keyboard

Circle B is the earlier of the two groups, already in use in the MH period, and contains lavish grave goods – gold and silver, jewellery, weapons and pottery. Circle A, excavated by Heinrich Schliemann enclosed fewer but extraordinarily well provided graves.

Beginning also in the Late Helladic are to be seen communal tombs of rectangular form.[ HP AEUT5U00010 laptop keyboard

It is difficult to establish whether the different forms of burial represent a social hierarchization, as was formerly thought, with the tholoi being the tombs of the elite rulers, the individual tombs those of the leisure class, and the communal tombs those of the people. Cremations increased in number over the course of the period, becoming quite numerous in LH III C. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

This is perhaps proof of the arrival of a new population in Greece. The most impressive tombs of the Mycenaean era are the monumental royal tombs of Mycenae, undoubtedly intended for the royal family of the city. The most famous is the Tomb of Agamemnon (the Treasury of Atreus), which is in the form of a tholos. SONY Vaio PCG-K315S laptop keyboard

Nearby are other tombs (known as "Circle A"), popularly identified with Clytemnestra and Aigisthos. All contained impressive treasures, exhumed by Schliemann during the excavation of Mycenae. It has been argued that different dynasties or factions may have competed through conspicuous burial, ACER Extensa 5635Z laptop keyboard

whereby grave circle A represents a new faction in the ascendancy (at this time, LH I, the relative wealth and consistency of 'B' burials declines).[107] The Mycenaean "tholoi" may, again, represent another factional grouping, or a further formalization in burial practices by the faction previously buried in A. SONY VAIO VGN-FS285H laptop keyboard

Nevertheless, there is a demonstrably apparent expansion in relative size, wealth/cost expenditure, and visibility in the construction of these graves over this period, coinciding with increased foreign/trading contacts and the further entrenchment of the palatial economy. SONY VAIO VGN-CR410E laptop keyboard

The timing and interpretation of the end Mycenaean period poses an array of questions that have yet to be answered. The end of LH III B1 was marked by some destruction, in particular at Mycenae. By LH III B2, an augmentation of the Mycenaean systems of defense can be seen, a sign of increasing insecurity. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

But this does not seem to have been a period of crisis, because these levels have yielded archaeological material that shows a degree of wealth in no way inferior to that of previous periods. The end of this period is nevertheless marked by a number of destructions in the greater part of the Mycenaean sites on mainland Greece.  HP Pavilion dv6-2138ca laptop keyboard

LH III C saw a decrease in the number of sites in Greece, which might have been considerable in certain regions (nine-tenths of the sites in Boeotia disappeared, and two-thirds in Argolis). Yet certain sites such as Mycenae and Tiryns continued to be inhabited, and the material culture found there continues to exhibit Mycenaean traits, FUJITSU Lifebook S7111 laptop keyboard

such that LH III C is considered to be a level of Mycenaean civilization. However, a new type of ceramic appeared, called "barbarian" because it was formerly attributed to foreign invaders, and there was also a continuing increase in the practice of cremation.

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Several explanations have been advanced for the causes of the decline of Mycenaean civilization in this period. Those concerning natural factors (climate change, earthquakes) are considered more controversial. The two most common theories are population movement and internal conflict. SONY VAIO VGN-NW25E/B laptop keyboard

The first attributes the destruction of Mycenaean sites to invaders. Sometimes The Illyrians or the Dorians are invoked, sometimes the Sea People.

Some scholars believe that the destruction of the Mycenaean centres, was caused by the wandering of northern people (Illyrian migration). SONY VAIO VGN-NW200 laptop keyboard

They destroyed the palace of Iolcos (LH III C-1), the palace of Thebes ( late LH III B), then they crossed Isthmus of Corinth (end of LH III B) they destroyed Mycenae, Tiryns andPylos, and finally they returned northward. However Pylos was destroyed by a sea-attack, ACER Extensa 2600 laptop keyboard

the invaders didn't leave behind traces of weapons or graves, and it cannot be proved that all the sites were destroyed about the same time [108]

The movements of people to the Middle East at this period, are mentioned in Egyptian inscriptions calling the invaders by the name of the Sea People, are quite real. SONY VAIO VGN-CS21Z/Q laptop keyboard

It is known that these people were responsible for numerous destructions in Anatolia and the Levant, and finally they attacked Egypt in several phases (ca. 1301-1164). Mention of a people called Eqwesh who attacked Egypt during the reign of Merneptah, in an Egyptian text of the 12th century BC has caused specialists to suppose that the Mycenaeans had taken part in these invasions (this is not certain).[109] SONY 147996611 laptop keyboard

A country Danaja ( Danaans) with a city Mukana (propably: Mycenea) is mentioned in inscriptions from Egypt.[110]T.Vermeule suggests that the breaking-up of the commercial networks at the end of 13th century BC, was disastrous for Greece, and it was followed by the attack of the Sea-people who were searching for new lands.[111]  Lenovo 3000 Y500 laptop keyboard

However most of the destructed Mycenaean sites are far from the sea, and the expedition against Troy at the end of this period shows that the sea was safe. Desborough believes that the sea was safe in central and south Aegean in this period.[112]HP Pavilion dm1-1002tu laptop keyboard

There is the second theory, which has the Mycenaean civilization falling in the course of internal societal conflicts brought on by a rejection of the palatial system by the most underprivileged strata of society, who were impoverished at the end of the Late Helladic. This hypothesis is sometimes joined with the preceding one, SONY VAIO VGN-CR23G laptop keyboard

mingling social divisions with ethnic divisions. However, social revolutions couldn't break out almost simultaneously throughout Greece .[113]Mylonas believes that some developments in Argolis and attempts for recovery after 1200 BC, can be explained by an internal fighting , and by an enemy pressure, by the Dorians. ASUS X53S laptop keyboard

Even if the Dorians, were one of the causes of the Bronze age collapse, there is evidence that they brought with them some new elements of culture, a cist grave completely different from the Mycenaean "tholos", and a new dialect the Doric. It seems that the Doric tribes moved southward gradually over a number of years, SONY VGN-FE21H laptop keyboard

and they devastated the territory, until they managed to establish themselves in the Mycenaean centres.[114]

In this context it has to be stressed that the beginning of the Iron Age made large numbers of comparatively cheap weapons accessible. DELL 0RT129 laptop keyboard

This economic factor is also seen as a root cause of the apparition of the "Sea Peoples" in Egypt and the destruction of Ugarit and the Hittite Empire.

Whatever were the causes, the Mycenaean civilization had definitely disappeared after LH III C, when the sites of Mycenae and Tirynth were again destroyed and lost their importance. SONY VAIO VGN-FS830 laptop keyboard

This end, during the last years of the 12th century BC, occurs after a slow decline of the Mycenaean civilization, which lasted many years before dying out. The beginning of the 11th century BC opens a new context, that of the protogeometric, the beginning of the geometric period, the Greek Dark Ages of traditional historiography. SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

The Bronze Age collapse was a transition in the Aegean Region, Southwestern Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age that historians, such as M. Liverani, S. Richard, Robert Drews, Frank J. Yurco, Amos Nur, Leonard R. Palmer, and others, believe was violent, sudden and culturally disruptive.  HP Pavilion dv5-1235et laptop keyboard

The palace economy of the Aegean Region and Anatolia which characterised the Late Bronze Age was replaced, after a hiatus, by the isolated village cultures of the Greek Dark Ages.

Between 1206 and 1150 BCE, the cultural collapse of the Mycenaean kingdoms, the Hittite Empire in Anatolia and Syria,[1] SONY VAIO VGN-CR140F Laptop Keyboard

and the New Kingdom of Egypt in Syria and Canaan[2] interrupted trade routes and severely reduced literacy. In the first phase of this period, almost every city between Pylos and Gaza was violently destroyed, and often left unoccupied thereafter: examples include Hattusa, Mycenae, and Ugarit.[3]SONY Vaio PCG-K315S Laptop Keyboard

The gradual end of the Dark Age that ensued saw the eventual rise of settled Syro-Hittite states in Cilicia and Syria,Aramaean kingdoms of the mid-10th century BCE in the Levant, and the eventual rise of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

Prior to the Bronze Age collapse, Anatolia (Asia Minor) was dominated by a number of Indo-European peoples; DELL M711P Laptop Keyboard

 Luwians,Hittites, Mitanni and Mycenaean Greeks, together with the Semitic Assyrians. From the 17th Century BCE, the Mitanni formed a ruling class over the Hurrians, an ancient indigenous Caucasian people who spoke a Hurro-Urartian language isolate. Similarly, the Hittites absorbed the Hattians, a people speaking a language which may have been of the North Caucasian group. DELL NSK-DD101 Laptop Keyboard

Every Anatolian site that was important during the preceding Late Bronze Age shows a destruction layer, and it appears that here civilization did not recover to the level of the Indo-European Hittites for another thousand years. Hattusas, the Hittite capital, was burned - probably by Kaskians, SONY VAIO VGN-CR Laptop Keyboard

possibly aided by the Phrygians - abandoned, and never reoccupied. Karaoğlan was burned and the corpses left unburied. The Hittite Empire was destroyed by the Indo-Europeanspeaking Phrygians and by the Semitic speaking Assyrians. The Trojan city of Troy was destroyed at least twice, before being abandoned until Roman times. SONY VAIO VGN-CR140F Laptop Keyboard

The Phrygians had arrived probably over the Bosphorus in the 13th Century BCE, and laid waste to the Hittite Empire (already weakened by defeat at the hands of Kaska), before being checked by the Assyrians. Other groups of Indo-European warriors followed into the region, most prominently the Armenians, SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

Cimmerians, and Scythians. The Semitic Arameans, Kartvelian speaking Colchians, and Hurro-Urartuans also made an appearance in parts of the region.

The catastrophe separates Late Cypriot II (LCII) from the LCIII period, with the sacking and burning of the sites of Enkomi, Kition, and Sinda, which may have occurred twice, before being abandoned. ASUS X53S laptop keyboard

During the reign of the Hittite king Tudhaliya IV, the island was briefly invaded by the Hittites, either to secure thecopper resource or as a way of preventing piracy. Shortly afterwards, the island was reconquered by his son around 1200 BCE. Some towns (Enkomi, Kition, Palaeokastro and Sinda) show traces of destruction at the end of LC IIC. SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

Whether or not this is really an indication of a Mycenean invasion is contested. Originally, two waves of destruction, ca. 1230 BCE by the Sea Peoples and ca. 1190 BCE by Aegean refugees have been proposed.[4] The smaller settlements of Ayios Dhimitrios and Kokkinokremnos, as well as a number of other sites,  IBM Thinkpad R40 laptop keyboard

were abandoned, but do not show traces of destruction. Kokkinokremos was a short-lived settlement, where various caches concealed by smiths have been found. That no one ever returned to reclaim the treasures suggests that they were killed or enslaved.

Ancient Syria had been initially dominated by a number of indigenous Semitic speaking peoples; SONY VAIO VGN-AR670 laptop keyboard

 Canaanites, Amorites, and cities of Ebla and Ugarit were prominent amongst these.

Prior to, and indeed during the Bronze Age Collapse, Syria became a battle ground between the empires of the Hittites, Assyrians, Mitanni and Egyptians, and the coastal regions came under attack from the Sea Peoples. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E525 laptop keyboard

From the 13th Century BCE, the Arameans came to prominence in Syria, and the region outside of thePhoenician coastal areas eventually became Aramaic speaking.

Syrian sites previously showed evidence of trade links with Mesopotamia (Assyria and Babylonia), Egypt and the Aegean in the Late Bronze Age.  Lenovo 3000 G530 4151 laptop keyboard

Evidence at Ugaritshows that the destruction there occurred after the reign of Merenptah, and even the fall of Chancellor Bay. The last Bronze Age king of the Semitic state of Ugarit, Ammurapi, was a contemporary of the Hittite king Suppiluliuma II. The exact dates of his reign are unknown.  HP Pavilion dv6-2110sm laptop keyboard

However, a letter by the king is preserved on one of the clay tablets found baked in the conflagration of the destruction of the city. Ammurapi stresses the seriousness of the crisis faced by many Levantine states from invasion by the advancing Sea Peoples in a dramatic response to a plea for assistance from the king of Alasiya.  IBM Thinkpad Z61m laptop keyboard

Ammurapi highlights the desperate situation Ugarit faced in letter RS 18.147:

My father, behold, the enemy's ships came (here); my cities(?) were burned, and they did evil things in my country. Does not my father know that all my troops and chariots(?) are in the Land of Hatti, and all my ships are in the Land of Lukka?... IBM Thinkpad Z60t laptop keyboard

Thus, the country is abandoned to itself. May my father know it: the seven ships of the enemy that came here inflicted much damage upon us.

Unfortunately for Ugarit, no help arrived and Ugarit was burned to the ground at the end of the Bronze Age. Its destruction levels contained Late Helladic IIIB ware, but no LH IIIC (see Mycenaean period).HP Pavilion DV6-1130ei laptop keyboard

Therefore, the date of the destruction is important for the dating of the LH IIIC phase. Since an Egyptian sword bearing the name of pharaoh Merneptah was found in the destruction levels, 1190 BCE was taken as the date for the beginning of the LH IIIC. A cuneiform tablet found in 1986 shows that Ugarit was destroyed after the death of Merneptah. HP G62-b88SS laptop keyboard

It is generally agreed that Ugarit had already been destroyed by the 8th year ofRamesses III—i. e. 1178 BCE. These letters on clay tablets found baked in the conflagration of the destruction of the city speak of attack from the sea, and a letter from Alashiya (Cyprus) speaks of cities already being destroyed from attackers who came by sea. Lenovo 3000 Y500 laptop keyboard

It also speaks of the Ugarit fleet being absent, patrolling the Lycian coast.

The West Semitic Arameans eventually superseded the earlier Amorites, Canaanites and people of Ugarit, to whom they were ethno-linguistically related. They came to dominate the region both politically and militarily from the mid 11th century BCE until the rise of the Neo Assyrian Empire in the late 10th Century BCE, SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

after which the entire region fell to Assyria.

Egyptian evidence shows that, from the reign of Horemheb, wandering Shasu were more problematic than the earlier Apiru. Ramesses II campaigned against them, pursuing them as far as Moab,  TOSHIBA Satellite L300-13R laptop keyboard

where he established a fortress, after the near collapse at the Battle of Kadesh. During the reign of Merneptah, the Shasuthreatened the "Way of Horus" north from Gaza. Evidence shows that Deir Alla (Succoth) was destroyed after the reign of Queen Twosret. The destroyed site ofLachish was briefly reoccupied by squatters and an Egyptian garrison, HP Pavilion DV7-2043cl laptop keyboard

during the reign of Ramesses III. All centres along a coastal route from Gaza northward were destroyed, and evidence shows Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Akko, and Jaffa were burned and not reoccupied for up to thirty years. Inland Hazor, Bethel, Beit Shemesh, Eglon, Debir, and other sites were destroyed. COMPAQ Presario CQ60-218EM laptop keyboard

Refugees escaping the collapse of coastal centres may have fused with incoming nomadic and Anatolian elements to begin the growth of terraced hillside hamlets in the highlands region that was associated with the later development of the Hebrews.

None of the Mycenaean palaces of the Late Bronze Age survived HP AEAX8U00010 laptop keyboard

 (with the possible exception of the Cyclopean fortifications on the Acropolis of Athens) with destruction being heaviest at palaces and fortified sites. Up to 90% of small sites in the Peloponnese were abandoned, suggesting a major depopulation. The End Bronze Age collapse marked the start of what has been called the Greek Dark Ages, Compaq Presario CQ71-412SZ laptop keyboard

which lasted for more than 400 years. Other cities, like Athens, continued to be occupied, but with a more local sphere of influence, limited evidence of trade and an impoverished culture, from which it took centuries to recover.

The Middle Assyrian Empire controlled colonies in Anatolia, which came under attack from the Phrygians (Mushki). TOSHIBA Satellite L755-S5366 laptop keyboard

 Tiglath-Pileser I was able to defeat and repel these attacks. The Assyrian Empire survived intact throughout much of this period, with Assyria dominating and often ruling Babylonia directly, controlling south east and south western Anatolia, north western Iran and much of northern and central Syria and Canaan, as far as the Mediterranean and Cyprus. Compaq Presario CQ42-231AX laptop keyboard

TheArameans and Phrygians were subjected, and Assyria and its colonies were not threatened by the Sea Peoples. However, after the death of Tiglath-Pileser I in 1076 BCE, Assyria withdrew to its natural borders in northern Mesopotamia. Assyria retained a stable monarchy, the best army in the world[ and an efficient civil administration,  HP Pavilion dv4-1145go laptop keyboard

thus enabling it to survive the Bronze Age Collapse intact and, from the late 10th Century BCE, it once more began to assert itself internationally.[6] However, the situation in Babylonia was very different: after the Assyrian withdrawal, new groups of Semites, such as the Aramaeansand later Chaldeans and Suteans, SONY VGN-FE780G laptop keyboard

spread unchecked into Babylonia, and its weak kings' control extended barely beyond the city limits of Babylon. Babylon was sacked by the Elamites under Shutruk-Nahhunte, and lost control of the Diyala River valley to Assyria. FUJITSU Siemens M1010 laptop keyboard

After apparently surviving for a while, the Egyptian Empire collapsed in the mid twelfth century BCE (during the reign of Ramesses VI). Previously, theMerneptah Stele spoke of attacks from Libyans, with associated people of Ekwesh, Shekelesh, SONY VAIO VGN-AR630E laptop keyboard

 Lukka, Shardana and Tursha or Teresh possibly Troas, and a Canaanite revolt, in the cities of Ashkelon, Yenoam and the people of Israel. A second attack during the reign of Ramesses III involved Peleset, Tjeker, Shardana andDenyen.

Robert Drews describes the collapse as "the worst disaster in ancient history, TOSHIBA Satellite P105-S6102 laptop keyboard

even more calamitous than the collapse of the Western Roman Empire".[7] A number of people have spoken of the cultural memories of the disaster as stories of a "lost golden age". Hesiod for example spoke of Ages of Gold, Silver and Bronze, separated from the modern harsh cruel world of the Age of Iron by the Age of Heroes.  SONY VAIO VGN-N110G laptop keyboard

Changes in climate similar to the Younger Dryas period or the Little Ice Age punctuate human history. The local effects of these changes may cause crop failures in multiple consecutive years, leading to warfare as a last-ditch effort at survival. The triggers for climate change are still debated,  LENOVO 25-011427 laptop keyboard

but ancient peoples could not have predicted nor coped with substantial climate changes.

Harvey Weiss, using the Palmer Drought Index for 35 Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern weather stations, showed that a drought of the kind that persisted from January 1972 would have affected all of the sites associated with the Late Bronze Age collapse.[TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 laptop keyboard

Drought could have easily precipitated or hastened socio-economic problems and led to wars. More recently Brian Fagan has shown how the diversion of mid-winter storms, from the Atlantic to north of the Pyrenees and the Alps, bringing wetter conditions to Central Europe but drought to the Eastern Mediterranean, was associated with the Late Bronze Age collapse.[11] HP Envy 15-1050nr laptop keyboard

 Brandon L. Drake has shown how "oxygen-isotope speleothems, stable carbon isotopes, alkenone-derived sea surface temperatures, and changes in warm-species dinocysts and foraminifera in the Mediterranean indicate that the Early Iron Age was more arid than the preceding Bronze Age”.

 TOSHIBA Satellite A305-S6843 Laptop Keyboard

This supports the work of D.Kaniewski et al on "Late second–early first millennium BC abrupt climate changes in coastal Syria and their possible significance for the history of the Eastern Mediterranean".

Amos Nur postulates that earthquakes tend to occur in "sequences" or "storms",  DELL Vostro 1510 Laptop Keyboard

where a major earthquake above 6.5 on the Richter magnitude scale can, in later months or years, set off second or subsequent earthquakes along the weakened fault line. He shows that when a map of earthquake occurrence is superimposed on a map of the sites destroyed in the Late Bronze Age, there is a very close correspondence. TOSHIBA NSK-TK001 Laptop Keyboard

Ekrem Akurgal, Gustav Lehmann and Fritz Schachermeyer – following the views of Gaston Maspero – have argued for this view.

Evidence includes the widespread findings of Naue II-type swords (coming from South-Eastern Europe) throughout the region, and Egyptian records of invading "northerners from all the lands".TOSHIBA Satellite A110 Series Laptop Keyboard

The Ugarit correspondence at the time mentions invasions by tribes of the mysterious Sea Peoples, who appear to have been a disparate mix of Luwians, Greeks andCanaanites, among others. Equally, the last Greek Linear B documents in the Aegean (dating to just before the collapse) reported a large rise in piracy, slave raiding and other attacks, HP G62-244CA Laptop Keyboard

particularly around Anatolia. Later fortresses along the Libyan coast, constructed and maintained by the Egyptians after the reign ofRamesses II, were built to reduce raiding.

This theory is strengthened by the fact that the collapse coincides with the appearance in the region of many new ethnic groups. HP AEAX8U00010 Laptop Keyboard

These include Indo-Europeantribes, such as the Phrygians, Proto-Armenians, Medes, Persians, Cimmerians, Lydians and Scythians, as well as the Pontic speaking Colchians, Hurro-Urartuansand Iranian Sarmatians. These groups settled or emerged in the Caucasus, Iran and Anatolia. HP Pavilion dv4-1242tx Laptop Keyboard

Thracians, Macedonians and Dorian Greeks seem to have arrived at this time – possibly from the north, usurping the earlier Greeks of Mycenae and Achaea. There also seems to have been widespread migration of Semitic peoples, such as Aramaeans, Chaldeans and Suteans – possibly from the South-East. HP 506782-001 Laptop Keyboard

The ultimate reasons for these migrations could include drought, developments in warfare/weaponry, earthquakes, or other natural disasters, meaning that the Migrations theory is not necessarily incompatible with the other theories mentioned here. HP AELX6U00210 Laptop Keyboard

The Bronze Age collapse may be seen in the context of a technological history that saw the slow, comparatively continuous spread of iron-working technology in the region, beginning with precocious iron-working in what is now Bulgaria and Romania in the 13th and 12th centuries BC.[15]  Compaq Presario CQ57 Series Laptop Keyboard

Leonard R. Palmer suggested that iron, while inferior to bronze weapons, was in more plentiful supply and so allowed larger armies of iron users to overwhelm the smaller armies of bronze-using maryannu chariotry.[16] This argument has been weakened of late with the finding that the shift to iron occurred after the collapse, not before.[DELL PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

It now seems that the disruption of long distance trade, an aspect of "systems collapse", cut easy supplies of tin, makingbronze impossible to make. Older implements were recycled and then iron substitutes were used.

Robert Drews argues[17] that the appearance of massed infantry, HP Envy 15 Laptop Keyboard

using newly developed weapons and armor, such as cast rather than forged spearheads and long swords, a revolutionizing cut-and-thrust weapon,[18] and javelins, and the appearance of bronze foundries, suggest "that mass production of bronze artifacts was suddenly important in the Aegean". SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

 (For example, Homer uses "spears" as a virtual synonym for "warriors".) Such new weaponry, in the hands of large numbers of "running skirmishers" who could swarm and cut down a chariot army, would destabilize states that were based upon the use of chariots by the ruling class and precipitate an abrupt social collapse as raiders began to conquer, loot, and burn the cities. TOSHIBA Satellite L755-S5366 Laptop Keyboard

A general systems collapse has been put forward as an explanation for the reversals in culture that occurred between the Urnfield culture of the 12–13th centuries BC and the rise of the Celtic Hallstatt culture in the 9th and 10th centuries BC.[22] This theory may, however, simply raise the question of whether this collapse was the cause of, SONY VAIO VGN-FS550 Laptop Keyboard

or the effect of, the Bronze Age collapse being discussed. General Systems Collapse theory, pioneered by Joseph Tainter,[23]hypothesizes how social declines in response to complexity may lead to a collapse resulting in simpler forms of society. SONY VAIO VGN-FS550 Laptop Keyboard

In the specific context of the Middle East, a variety of factors — including population growth, soil degradation, drought, cast bronze weapon and iron production technologies — could have combined to push the relative price of weaponry (compared to arable land) to a level unsustainable for traditional warrior aristocracies.  SONY VAIO VGN-CR520E Laptop Keyboard

In complex societies that were increasingly fragile and less resilient, this combination of factors may have contributed to the collapse.

"The growing complexity and specialization of the Late Bronze Age political, economic, and social organization in Carol Thomas and Craig Conant's phrase,[24] TOSHIBA Satellite L755-SP5102CL Laptop Keyboard

is a weakness that could explain such a widespread collapse that was able to render the Bronze Age civilizations incapable of recovery. The critical flaws of the Late Bronze Age are its centralization, specialization, complexity and top-heavy political structure.

SONY VAIO VGN-FS742/W Laptop Keyboard

These flaws then revealed themselves through socio-political factors (revolt of peasantry and defection of mercenaries), fragility of all kingdoms (Mycenaean, Hittite, Ugaritic and Egyptian), demographic crises (overpopulation), and wars between states. Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 Laptop Keyboard

Other factors that could have placed increasing pressure on the fragile kingdoms include piratical disturbances of maritime trade by the Sea Peoples, drought, crop failures, famine, Dorian migration or invasion.

A more speculative theory is Jaynes' bicameralism which claims that the complexity of society at this time called for a large-scale shift in human cognition, LENOVO 25-011427 Laptop Keyboard

from instinctive and religious behaviour to logical reasoning. This is still a fringe theory, but has recently attracted the attention of several scholars and conferences.

The collapse occurred at around the time that Jewish and Christian scholars place the character of Moses. SAMSUNG NP-N150-JP01 Laptop Keyboard

Their text (the book of Exodus) describe a series of events similar to natural disasters and events in Egypt at this time, followed by a back migration of Semitic people from Egypt back into Canaan. The Harris Papyrus tells of the expulsion of Asiatics by Setnakhte in the chaos at the end of the 19th Dynasty. TOSHIBA NSK-TBD01 Laptop Keyboard

The Greek Iliad's historicity is still disputed, but is currently usually assumed to be based on events in Troy VII also around the time of the collapse

Societal collapse usually refers to the disappearance of human societies along with their life support systems.  DELL Vostro 3450 Laptop Keyboard

Societal collapse broadly includes both quite abrupt societal failures typified by collapses (such as that of the Mayan Civilization), as well as more extended gradual declines of superpowers (like theRoman empire in Western Europe). The general subject arises in anthropology, history, sociology, politics and other fields, and more recently in complex systemsscience. HP Envy 15-1015tx Laptop Keyboard

What distinguishes the more dramatic failures of human societies, seeming to deserve the term "collapse", from less dramatic long term decline is not widely agreed on. The subject may include any other long term decline of a culture, its civil institutions or other major characteristics of it as a society or acivilization. SONY VAIO VGN-CR140F Laptop Keyboard

Common factors that may contribute to societal collapse are economic, environmental, social and cultural, but they manifest combined effects like a whole system out of balance. In some cases a natural disaster (e.g. tsunami, earthquake, massive fire or climate change) may seem to be an immediate cause. HP Pavilion dv6-2108sa laptop keyboard

Other factors such as a Malthusian catastrophe, overpopulation or resource depletion might be the proximate cause of collapse. Significant inequity may combine with lack of loyalty to a central power structure and result in an oppressed lower class rising up and taking power from a smaller wealthy elite. TOSHIBA Satellite A500-ST5607 laptop keyboard

The diversity of forms that societies evolve corresponds to diversity in their failures too.

In the general study of cultural change and population dynamics, a whole system displays complex ecosystem changes. Organizational adaptability relates importantly to organizational diversity. SAMSUNG R20 laptop keyboard

Several key features of human societal collapse can be related to population dynamics[1]

Reversion/Simplification: A society's adaptive capacity may be reduced by either a rapid change in population or societal complexity, destabilizing its institutions and causing massive shifts in population and other social dynamics. SAMSUNG R522 Laptop Keyboard

In cases of collapse civilizations tend to revert to less complex, less centralized socio-political forms using simpler technology. These are characteristics of a Dark Age. Examples of such societal collapse are: the Hittite Empire, the Mycenaean civilization, the Western Roman Empire,  Compaq Presario CQ42-228LA Laptop Keyboard

the Mauryan and Gupta Empires in India, the Mayas, the Angkor in Cambodia, and the Han and Tang dynasties in China.


/Absorption: Alternately, a society may be gradually incorporated into a more dynamic, more complex inter-regional social structure. DELL XPS 15 L502X Laptop Keyboard

This happened in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, the Levantine cultures, the Mughal and Delhi Sultanates in India, Sung China, the Aztec culture in Mesoamerica, theInca culture in South America, and the modern civilizations of China, Japan, and India, as well as many modern states in the Middle East and Africa. COMPAQ Presario CQ61 Laptop Keyboard

Destratification: Complex societies stratified on the basis of class, gender, race or some other salient factor become much more homogeneous or horizontally structured. In many cases past social stratification slowly becomes irrelevant following collapse and societies become more egalitarian. HP Pavilion G6-1223TX Laptop Keyboard

Despecialization: One of the most characteristic features of complex civilizations (and in many cases the yardstick to measure complexity) is a high level of job specialization. The most complex societies are characterized by artisans and tradespeople who specialize intensely in a given task. HP 550 Laptop Keyboard

Indeed, the rulers of many past societies were hyper-specialized priests or priestesses who were completely supported by the work of the lower classes. During societal collapse the social institutions supporting such specialization are removed and people tend to become more generalized in their work and daily habits. Lenovo 3000 N200 Laptop Keyboard

Decentralization: As power becomes decentralized people tend to be more self-regimented and have many more personal freedoms. In many instances of collapse there is a slackening of social rules and etiquette. Geographically speaking, communities become more parochial or isolated. For example, TOSHIBA Satellite L755-SP5102CL Laptop Keyboard

following the collapse of the Mayan civilization many Maya returned to their traditional hamlets, moving away from the large cities that had been the centers of the empire.

Destructuralization: Epiphenomena, institutions, processes, and artifacts are all manifest in the archaeological record in abundance in large civilizations. HP 488590-001 Laptop Keyboard

After collapse, evidence of epiphenomena, institutions, and types of artifacts change dramatically as people are forced to adopt more self-sufficient lifestyles.

Depopulation: Societal collapse is almost always associated with a population decline. In extreme cases, the collapse in population is so severe that the society disappears entirely, DELL 0PVDG3 Laptop Keyboard

such as happened with the Greenland Vikings, or a number of Polynesian islands. In less extreme cases, populations are reduced until a demographic balance is re-established between human societies and the depleted natural environment. A classic example is the case of Ancient Rome,  Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

which had a population of about 1.5 million during the reign of Trajan in the early 2nd century CE, but had only 15,000 inhabitants by the 9th century.

The decline of the Roman Empire is one of the events traditionally marking the end of Classical Antiquity and the beginning of the European Middle Ages.  FUJITSU Amilo Mini Ui 3520 Laptop Keyboard

Throughout the 5th century, the Empire's territories in western Europe and northwestern Africa, including Italy, fell to various invading or indigenous peoples in what is sometimes called the Barbarian invasions, although the eastern half still survived with borders essentially intact for another two centuries (until the Arab expansion). COMPAQ Presario CQ60-104TU Laptop Keyboard

This view of the collapse of the Roman Empire is challenged, however, by modern historians who see Rome as merely transforming from the Western Empire into barbarian kingdoms as the Western Emperors delegated themselves out of existence, and the East transforming into the Byzantine Empire, which only fell in 1453 CE. Lenovo 45N2071 Laptop Keyboard

North Africa's populous and flourishing civilization collapsed after exhausting its resources in internal fighting and suffering devastation from the invasion of the Bedouin tribes of Banu Sulaym and Banu Hilal.[2] Ibn Khaldun noted that the lands ravaged by Banu Hilal invaders had become completely arid desert.[3] Lenovo 04W0872 Laptop Keyboard

In the brutal pillaging that followed Mongol invasions, the invaders decimated the populations of China, Russia, the Middle East, and Islamic Central Asia. Later Mongol leaders, such as Timur, though he himself became a Muslim, destroyed many cities, slaughtered thousands of people and did irreparable damage to the ancient irrigation systems of Mesopotamia. Lenovo 45N2106 Laptop Keyboard

These invasions transformed a civil society to a nomadic one.[4]

Encounters between European explorers and populations in the rest of the world often introduced local epidemics of extraordinary virulence. Smallpox ravagedMexico in the 1520s, killing 150,000 in Tenochtitlán alone, including the emperor, and Peru in the 1530s,  HP 576835-001 Laptop Keyboard

aiding the European conquerors.[5] Some believe that the death of up to 95% of the Native American population of the New World was caused by Old World diseases.

The coupled breakdown of economic, cultural and social institutions with ecological relationships is perhaps the most common feature of collapse. HP COMPAQ 486654-001 laptop keyboard

The most accessible and thorough discussions of the subject are the review of the scientific anthropology literature by J.A. Tainter and the popular but thorough book of similar title by Jared Diamond. According to Jared Diamond's theory, there are five interconnected occurrences that may reinforce each other: DELL Inspiron 9300 laptop keyboard

non-sustainable exploitation of resources, climate changes, diminishing support from friendly societies, hostile neighbors, and inappropriate attitudes for change.[7]

Joseph Tainter theorizes that societies essentially exhausted their own designs, and were unable to adapt to natural diminishing returns for what they knew as their method of survival. TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4050 laptop keyboard

It matches closely Toynbee's idea that "they find problems they can't solve".

Modern social critics commonly interpret things like sedentary social behavior as symptomatic of societal decay, and link what appears to be laziness with the depletion of important non-renewable resources. COMPAQ Presario CQ50Z-100 CTO laptop keyboard

However, many primitive cultures also have high degrees of leisure, so if that is a cause in one place it may not be in another—leisure or apparent laziness is then not a sufficient cause.

What produces modern sedentary life, unlike nomadic hunter-gatherers, is extraordinary modern economic productivity. ACER NSK-H3M1D laptop keyboard

Tainter argues that exceptional productivity is actually more the sign of hidden weakness, both because of a society's dependence on it, and its potential to undermine its own basis for success by not being self limiting as demonstrated in Western culture's ideal of perpetual growth.  ACER Extensa 5235 laptop keyboard

As a population grows and technology makes it easier to exploit depleting resources, the environment's diminishing returns are hidden from view. Societalcomplexity is then potentially threatened if it develops beyond what is actually sustainable, and a disorderly reorganization were to follow.  Lenovo 45N2071 laptop keyboard

The scissors model of Malthusian collapse, where the population grows without limit and resources do not, is the idea of great opposing environmental forces cutting into each other.

For the modern world economy, for example, the growing conflict between food and fuel, depending on many of the same finite and diminishing resources is visible in the recent major commodity price shocks HP Pavilion dv6-2030ev laptop keyboard

It is one of the key relationships people, since the early studies of the Club of Rome, have been most concerned with.Jared Diamond pursues these themes in his 2005 book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. ACER Aspire 3623WXMi laptop keyboard

A related economic model is proposed by Thomas Homer-Dixon[8] and by Charles Hall[9] in relation to our declining productivity of energy extraction, or energy return on energy invested (EROEI). This measures the amount of surplus energy a society gets from using energy to obtain energy.  TOSHIBA NB100 laptop keyboard

There would be no surplus if EROEI approaches 1:1. What Hall showed is that the real cutoff is well above that, estimated to be 3:1 to sustain the essential overhead energy costs of a modern society. Part of the mental equation is that the EROEI of our generally preferred energy source, petroleum, SONY KFRMBA220A laptop keyboard

has fallen in the past century from 100:1 to the range of 10:1 with clear evidence that the natural depletion curves all are downward decay curves. An EROEI of more than ~3, then, is what appears necessary to provide the energy for societally important tasks, such as maintaining government, legal and financial institutions, SONY VAIO VGN-N38Z/W laptop keyboard

a transportation infrastructure, manufacturing, building construction and maintenance and the life styles of the rich and poor that a society depends on.

The EROEI figure also affects the number of people needed for sustainable food production. In the pre-modern world,  HP 576835-001 laptop keyboard

it was often the case that 80% of the population was employed in agriculture to feed a population of 100%, with a low energy budget. In modern times, the use of cheap fossil fuels with an exceedingly high EROEI enabled 100% of the population to be fed with only 4% of the population employed in agriculture. TOSHIBA Satellite L355-S7905 laptop keyboard

Diminishing EROEI making fuel more expensive relative to other things may require food to be produced using less energy, and so increases the number of people employed in food production again.

According to Joseph Tainter[10] (1990), too many scholars offer facile explanations of societal collapse by assuming one or more of the following three models in the face of collapse:  DELL AEGM7U00110 laptop keyboard

The Dinosaur, a large-scale society in which resources are being depleted at an exponential rate and yet nothing is done to rectify the problem because the ruling elite are unwilling or unable to adapt to those resources' reduced availability: In this type of society, rulers tend to oppose any solutions that diverge from their present course of action. SONY VAIO VGN-SR220J/H laptop keyboard

They will favor intensification and commit an increasing number of resources to their present plans, projects, and social institutions.

The Runaway Train, a society whose continuing function depends on constant growth (cf. Frederick Jackson Turner's Frontier Thesis): IBM 42T3265 laptop keyboard

This type of society, based almost exclusively on acquisition (e.g., pillage or exploitation), cannot be sustained indefinitely. The Assyrian and Mongol Empires, for example, both fractured and collapsed when no new conquests were forthcoming. TOSHIBA NB100 laptop keyboard

Tainter argues that capitalism can be seen as an example of the Runaway Train model in that generally accepted accounting practices require publicly traded companies, along with many privately held ones, to exhibit growth as measured at some fixed interval (often three months). SONY VAIO VGN-N11S laptop keyboard

Moreover, the ethos of consumerism on the demand side and the practice of planned obsolescence on the supply side encourage the purchase of an ever-increasing number of goods and services even when resource extraction and food production are unsustainable if continued at current levels. DELL NSK-DD101 laptop keyboard

The House of Cards, a society that has grown to be so large and include so many complex social institutions that it is inherently unstable and prone to collapse. This type of society has been seen with particular frequency among Eastern bloc and other communist nations,  Compaq Mini 730EA laptop keyboard

in which all social organizations are arms of the government or ruling party, such that the government must either stifle association wholesale (encouraging dissent and subversion) or exercise less authority than it asserts (undermining its legitimacy in the public eye).

By contrast, as Alexis de Tocqueville observed,  SONY VGN-FE48E laptop keyboard

when voluntary and private associations are allowed to flourish and gain legitimacy at an institutional level, they complement and often even supplant governmental functions: They provide a "safety valve" for dissent, assist with resource allocation, provide for social experimentation without the need for governmental coercion, SONY VAIO VGN-AR320E laptop keyboard

and enable the public to maintain confidence in society as a whole even during periods of governmental weakness.

Tainter argues that these models, though superficially useful, cannot severally or jointly account for all instances of societal collapse. HP Pavilion dv6-3015tx laptop keyboard

Often they are seen as interconnected occurrences that reinforce each other.

For example, the failure of Easter Island's leaders to remedy rapid ecological deterioration ("Dinosaur") cannot be understood without reference to the other models above. The islanders, who erected large statues called moai as a form of religious reverence to their ancestors, HP Pavilion dv6-2070eo laptop keyboard

used felled trees as rollers to transport them. Because the islanders firmly believed that their displays of reverence would lead to increased future prosperity, they had a deeply entrenched incentive to intensify moai production ("Runaway Train"). Because Easter Island's geographic isolation made its resources hard to replenish and made the balance of its overall ecosystem very delicate ("House of Cards"),HP Mini 110-1036TU laptop keyboard

deforestation led to soil erosion and insufficient resources to build boats for fishing or tools for hunting. Competition for dwindling resources resulted in warfare and many casualties (an additional "Runaway Train" iteration). Together these events led to the collapse of the civilization, but no single factor above provides an adequate account. SONY VAIO VGN-NW11S/S laptop keyboard

Mainstream interpretations of the history of Easter Island also include the slave raiders who abducted a large proportion of the population and epidemics that killed most of the survivors (see Easter Island History#Destruction of society and population.) Again, no single point explains the collapse; only a complex and integrated view can do so. HP Pavilion dv5-1026eo laptop keyboard

Tainter's position is that social complexity is a recent and comparatively anomalous occurrence requiring constant support.

The British historian Arnold J. Toynbee, in his 12-volume magnum opus A Study of History (1961), theorized that all civilizations pass through several distinct stages: HP Mini 110-1140TU laptop keyboard

genesis, growth, time of troubles, universal state, and disintegration. (Carroll Quigley would expand on this theory in his The Evolution of Civilizations.)

Toynbee argues that the breakdown of civilizations is not caused by loss of control over the environment, over the human environment, or attacks from outside. HP Mini 210 laptop keyboard

Rather, ironically, societies that develop great expertise in problem solving become incapable of solving new problems by overdeveloping their structures for solving old ones.

The fixation on the old methods of the "Creative Minority" leads it to eventually cease to be creative and degenerates into merely a "Dominant minority" ASUS X53S laptop keyboard

 (that forces the majority to obey without meriting obedience), failing to recognize new ways of thinking. He argues that creative minorities deteriorate due to a worship of their "former self," by which they become prideful, and fail to adequately address the next challenge they face. HP 633183-001 laptop keyboard

He argues that the ultimate sign a civilization has broken down is when the dominant minority forms a "Universal State," which stifles political creativity. He states: First the Dominant Minority attempts to hold by force - against all right and reason - a position of inherited privilege which it has ceased to merit; Lenovo 3000 C200 laptop keyboard

and then the Proletariat repays injustice with resentment, fear with hate, and violence with violence when it executes its acts of secession. Yet the whole movement ends in positive acts of creation - and this on the part of all the actors in the tragedy of disintegration. The Dominant Minority creates a universal state, TOSHIBA Satellite M645-S4070 laptop keyboard

the Internal Proletariat a universal church, and the External Proletariat a bevy of barbarian war-bands.

He argues that, as civilizations decay, they form an "Internal Proletariat" and an "External Proletariat." The Internal proletariat is held in subjugation by the dominant minority inside the civilization, HP Pavilion dv6-2124el laptop keyboard

and grows bitter; the external proletariat exists outside the civilization in poverty and chaos, and grows envious. He argues that as civilizations decay, there is a "schism in the body social," whereby:

  • abandon and self-control together replace creativity, and

truancy and martyrdom together replace discipleship by the creative minority.  HP 605344-001 laptop keyboard

He argues that in this environment, people resort to archaism (idealization of the past), futurism (idealization of the future), detachment (removal of oneself from the realities of a decaying world), and transcendence (meeting the challenges of the decaying civilization with new insight, as a Prophet). HP G42-466LA laptop keyboard

He argues that those who Transcend during a period of social decay give birth to a new Church with new and stronger spiritual insights, around which a subsequent civilization may begin to form after the old has died.

Toynbee's use of the word 'church' refers to the collective spiritual bond of a common worship, or the same unity found in some kind of social order.  HP HDX18-1050EB laptop keyboard

The great irony expressed by these and others like them is that civilizations that seem ideally designed to creatively solve problems find themselves doing so self-destructively.

Researchers, as yet, have very little ability to identify internal structures of large distributed systems like human societies, which is an important scientific problem.  Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E520 laptop keyboard

Genuine structural collapse seems, in many cases, the only plausible explanation supporting the idea that such structures exist. However, until they can be concretely identified, scientific inquiry appears limited to the construction of scientific narratives,[11] using systems thinking for careful story telling about systemic organization and change. Compaq Presario CQ42 laptop keyboard

History includes many examples of the appearance and disappearance of human societies with no obvious explanation. The abrupt dissolution of the Soviet Union in the course of a few months, without any external attack, was evidently caused by some kind of structural change in its internal complex system.  SAMSUNG X20 Laptop Keyboard

Although a societal collapse is generally an endpoint for the administration of a culture's social and economic life, societal collapse can also be seen as simple a change of administration within the same culture. Russian culture would seem to have outlived both the society of Imperial Russia and the society of the Soviet Union, for example. HP Pavilion dv6-3178ee Laptop Keyboard

Frequently the societal collapse phenomenon is also a process of decentralization of authority after a 'classic' period of centralized social order, perhaps replaced by competing centers as the central authority weakens. HP 605344-001 Laptop Keyboard

For example, the black plague contributed to breaking the hold of European feudal society on its underclass in the 15th century, societal failure may also result in a degree of empowerment for the lower levels of a former climax society, who escape from the burden of onerous taxes and control by exploitative elites. HP Pavilion DV7-3065dx Laptop Keyboard,HP G56-118CA Laptop Keyboard, ACER Aspire 5742 Laptop Keyboard

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