JWST 6644

JWST 6644

Course information provided by the Courses of Study 2021-2022.

Several major and minor kingdoms situated around the Eastern Mediterranean basin flourished during the 14th -12th centuries BCE before a widespread violent collapse occurred around 1175. Thousands of cuneiform and other documents speak to two major socioeconomic processes of the age: the creation of the first international system in world history, and the collapse of that system after about two hundred years. Our seminar uses archaeological evidence, paleoclimate studies, and textual analysis (in translation) to address several related issues. We look at how networks of information, wealth accumulation, and political power were created and what role they played in globalization and destabilization. We consider whether the key players were aware of the coming collapse, what if any counter-measures were deployed, and how some polities were more resilient than others and created even greater networks post-collapse. We analyze a variety of related sources, with close attention paid to the Amarna Letters and other Egyptian texts from the Ramesside era. Several Bronze Age and Iron Age shipwrecks are examined for their evidence of maritime connectivity. And throughout the course students will become familiar with the history, economy, cult, laws and daily life of Ugarit (Tell Ras Shamra, Syria), a cosmopolitan coastal kingdom whose unparalleled archaeological and textual record affords a particularly close view of the transformative moments of the Late Bronze Age.

When Offered Fall.

Course Attribute (CU-ITL)

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Enrollment Information
Syllabi: none
  • 17979JWST 6644  SEM 101

    • TWhite Hall 104
    • Aug 26 - Dec 7, 2021
    • Monroe, C

  • Instruction Mode: In Person