NAUE II SWORDS, GERMS, & IRON: What the Covid-19 Pandemic Can Tell Us About the Bronze Age (12th cent) Collapse in Greece

alt***THIS IS A VIRTUAL SEMINAR, PARTICIPATION DETAILS WILL BE POSTED ON THE GCM’s WEBPAGE NEXT WEEK*** Louise Hitchcock, Professor of Aegean Bronze Age Archaeology in the Classics and Archaeology Program at the University of Melbourne, will present a lecture entitled What the Covid-19 Pandemic Can Tell Us About the Bronze Age (12th cent) Collapse in Greece, on Thursday 25 June 2020, as a part of the Greek History and Culture Seminars, offered for ten consecutive years by the Greek Community of Melbourne.

This is the first lecture to be delivered online during the CODIV-19 pandemic. The seminars will be broadcast via the video-conferencing platform Zoom and streamed on the Community’s Facebook and Youtube channels.

Professor Hitchcock will re-examine theories of events and mythologies surrounding the end of Bronze Age (12th century BCE) in the Mediterranean, which resulted in collapse, depopulation in Greece, and the destruction of the Mycenaean civilization as well as of many sites around the Mediterranean.

The once popular Dorian invasion of Greece from the north, which is found in older books, is largely dismissed nowadays by scholars as an Aryan fantasy. Plague, climate change, famine, and earthquakes are other proposed causes for the end of the Bronze Age. In the past, such proposals have been difficult to accept as drivers of destruction as it might indicate that people were too sick or hungry to destroy cities. Thus, events like plague or famine were seen as unable to account for destruction or for the appearance of new forms of weaponry including the Naue II or cut and thrust sword, the Perstosa Italian dagger, and the socketed spear, followed by the appearance of iron weaponry. The destructions and these new weapons could only result from human agency.

It will be suggested in this lecture that observations of the social and economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic can provide us with a more nuanced understanding of the way social breakdown caused by pandemic might have contributed to creating an opportunity for military action by non-state actors including a dissatisfied rural population as well as the so-called Sea People, known from Egyptian records as well as from Old Testament accounts of the Philistines.

Louise Hitchcock is Professor of Aegean Bronze Age Archaeology in the Classics and Archaeology Program at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of Minoan Architecture: A Contextual Analysis, Theory for Classics, Aegean Art and Architecture (co-


authored with Donald Preziosi), and is the co-editor of DAIS: The Aegean Feast, Aegaeum 29 and of the Festschrift for Aren Maeir, as well as the author of over 90 articles dealing with Aegean, Cypriot, and Philistine archaeology, architecture, theory, gender, and space. Her current research is engaged with architecture, piracy, Aegean, Cypriot, and Philistine identities, interconnections, and entanglements. She has done fieldwork in California, Cyprus, Crete, Egypt, Greece, and Syria. The Australian Research Council and INSTAP has funded her recent excavations at the Philistine site of Tell es-Safi/Gath, where she was an area supervisor. She also directed the Vapheio-Palaiopyrgi Survey Project in Laconia. She has also been awarded multiple competitive fellowships including a Fulbright and National Endowment for the Humanities.

When: Thursday 25th June 2020, 7pm
Where: Greek Centre. The lecture will be delivered online via the video-conferencing platform Zoom and streamed on the GCM’s Facebook and Youtube channels.

 
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