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Consider this, optimists. All the societies in the world can collapse simultaneously. It has happened before.
In the 12th century BCE the great Bronze Age civilizations of the Mediterranean-all of them-suddenly fell apart. Their empires evaporated, their cities emptied out, their technologies disappeared, and famine ruled. Mycenae, Minos, Assyria, Hittites, Canaan, Cyprus-all gone. Even Egypt fell into a steep decline. The Bronze Age was over.
The event should live in history as one of the great cautionary tales, but it hasn’t because its causes were considered a mystery. How can we know what to be cautious of? Eric Cline has taken on on the mystery. An archaeologist-historian at George Washington University, he is the author of "1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed." The failure, he suggests, was systemic. The highly complex, richly interconnected system of the world tipped all at once into chaos.
"1177 B.C.: When Civilization Collapsed" was given on January 11, 02016 as part of Long Now's Seminar series. The series was started in 02003 to build a compelling body of ideas about long-term thinking from some of the world's leading thinkers. The Seminars take place in San Francisco and are curated and hosted by Stewart Brand. To follow the talks, you can:
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