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Anatolia and the Bronze Age: The History of the Earliest Kingdoms and Cities that Dominated the Region

Anatolia and the Bronze Age: The History of the Earliest Kingdoms and Cities that Dominated the Region

Narrated by:
Victoria Woodson
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Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
September 2023
5 hours 36 minutes
While the Bronze Age is recognized as one of history’s most important phases, it’s been hard for historians to precisely date. The idea of the Bronze Age comes from a three-age system developed in the 19th century through which archaeologists and historians believe cultures evolve. These three ages are the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age, and the concept of the system stems from the simultaneous development of museums in Europe during that time. In the Royal Museum of Nordic Antiquities in Denmark, Christian Jürgensen Thomsen, the director of the museum, began classifying objects of stone, bronze, or iron to better categorize and exhibit them. Each archaeological artifact was thus sorted according to their materials and further organized by shape and style. Through such methodology, working alongside archaeological reports, he was able to show how certain objects changed over time.

During the Late Bronze Age, from about 1500-1200 BCE, the Near East was a time and place where great kingdoms and empires vied for land and influence, playing high stakes diplomatic games, trading, and occasionally going to war with each other in the process. The Egyptians, Hittites, Babylonians, Assyrians, and several smaller Canaanite kingdoms were all part of this system, which was one of the first true “global” systems in world history and also one of the most materially prosperous eras in antiquity. The major kingdoms are well-known to most people, but among them were powerful neighbors, many of whom have been mostly overlooked. 

The transition from the Bronze to the Iron Age during the late 13th and early 12th centuries BCE arguably changed the structure and course of world history more fundamentally than any period before or since, and at the center of this period of turmoil was a group of people known today as the Sea Peoples, the English translation of the name given to them by the Egyptians.
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