Chapter Four: From the Bronze Age to the Iron Age – A Dark Age?
The End of the Bronze Age
o Egypt attacked by Sea Peoples in 1186
Used a locally-made pottery that copied Mycenaean style and was at first called
Objection to the Sea Peoples being Mycenaean : “Pots don’t equal
o Other well established kingdoms fall victim to various attackers
Hittite empire collapses after 1200
Troy suffered extensive destruction – may be the Trojan war
These attacks filled the world with refugees
o Mycenaens anticipated trouble and bolstered defenses.
At Mycenae a long tunnel was constructed to reach an underground spring
beyond the walls.
120 foot shaft dug at Athens leading to a spring.
Evidence of attacks from sea found at Pylos.
Pylos never reoccupied
Some places that were attacked managed to rebuild while others were
Troy and the Trojan War
o Story of Troy may be preserved memory of these times.
Schliemann used details from the Illiad to find a site he thought to be Troy
Evidence of at least seven superimposed cities
King Priam’s treasure: Artifacts and jewels found by Schliemann
o War of Troy fits well into the time of troubles happening in the 12 century.
Also fits into struggles between the Hittites and the Mycenaeans
The Ionian Migration o Speakers of Ionian Greek migrate to the northern Anatolian coast which will eventually
be called Ionia
Athens took credit for the leadership of this migration.
o Halicarnassus and Smyrna eventually become Ionian cities, either by culture (H) or
o Miletus shows continuous occupation.
o Tradition gave Athens a key role in the migrations
Meeting place for refugees
Provider of assistance and leadership for the trip across the Aegean to Ionia.
Founder of some Ionian cities said to be Pylos
Solon: Athens is “the oldest home of the ancient Ionian race”
Athens most likely wanted to take credit for this due to the formation of an
Ionian League by the twelve cities established by settlers.
Celebrate ethnic identity with the Panionia
During Athenian empire many Ionian cities paid tribute to them
This myth would serve to justify Athens power over the Ionians
Hints that Athens did play some role in the actual migrations.
Cyprus as a Refuge
o Cyprus well-known source of copper
o Island attracted many Mycenaean refugees
o Lived side by side with Cypriots
o Island eventually becomes Hellenised due to central Mycenaean presence
The cause(s) of the collapse(s) at the End of the Bronze Age
o Greeks later attributed their problems at this time to a Dorian Invasion.
Sons of Herakles – Dorian speakers driven out a century earlier
Most convincing argument for this is the distribution of the Greek
dialects in the classical period Does not account for the widespread nature of the collapse
Fits well with Athenians later claim of supremacy over the Dorian population
“they deserve it”
o Sea Peoples are a more likely option
Support of historical documentation
o Earthquakes most likely destroyed many of the palaces
Recovery: The Eleventh and Early Tenth Centuries
o With loss of Mycenaean palaces the practice of writing disappeared
Some Mycenaeans rebuilt palaces and expanded upon them.