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Monday, April 11, 2016

004 - Early Bronze Age

In this episode, we discuss the archaeological evidence for the early Bronze Age on mainland Greece and the Cycladic Islands; the arrival of the Indo-Europeans in Greece (known as the proto-Greeks); and the rediscovery and excavation of three legendary Bronze Age cities (Troy, Knossos, and Mycenae) in the latter part of the 19th century AD by the infamous Heinrich Schliemann and Sir Arthur Evans that brought to light the Bronze Age peoples who would become known as the "Minoans" and "Mycenaeans"

ca. 3000-2100 BC - early Bronze Age in Greece
ca. 2100 BC - Proto-greeks (Indo-Europeans) arrive in Greece
ca. 2100-1600 BC - middle Bronze Age in Greece; proto-Greeks mingle with the natives (the so-called Pelasgians) to develop a distinctly Helladic culture

Greek wordspaleo (old), chalkos (copper), nea (new), lithos (stone), kuklos (circle)

Supplementary Resources (Videos, Photos, Other Podcasts)

Literature and History Ep 01 Cuneiform in the Fertile Crescent, 3100-500 BCE - "For thousands of years, cuneiform was the means of transmitting information through space and time in the Ancient Near East. Then, something happened."

Video/Ancient Mesopotamia - Early Civilizations

Video/Rise of Sumer: Cradle of Civilization

The Heritage Podcast Episode 14 Mesopotamia - Sumer to Chaldea - "We caravan to the Land Between the Rivers…or is it “The Cradle of Civilization”…what about “the Fertile Crescent”? Whatever you call it, it’s a land of important firsts, where unpredictable floods and capricious gods sustained a civilization whose legacy stands the test of time. From the Sumerian city-states, to the Assyrians, to the Chaldeans, we learn about the origins of money, libraries, and legal systems in this wild and wacky world called Mesopotamia!"

The History of Food Episode 04 How to Turn Food into Wealth (Sumer) - "We've done it. We've finally crossed into the realm of written records and recorded history. Join me on an odyssey going back 6,000 years ago, when the Sumerians of what is today southern Iraq, took a mega-surplus of grain and transformed it directly into wealth and power. In the process, they managed to invent cities, urbanism, and all the trappings of modern civilization (Not to mention the first written recipes and cookbooks)."

Maritime History Podcast Ep 02 Surplus Food, Big Buildings, & Power Hungry Lugals - "We meet the successors of the Ubaid people, the Sumerians. After the Sumerians came on the scene, their civilization experienced what can legitimately be called an urban revolution, and we'll see the driving factors behind the rise of cities and the emergence of more defined social structures. With social structure came a ruling class, and we'll also see how these rulers contributed to the rise of trade in the Persian Gulf. As we round out the episode, we'll consider the archaeological evidence from the early dynastic period and see what it can tell us about boating and the extent of trade in pre-Akkadian Sumer."

Video/The First Warriors - 2600-700 BCE

Video/Lagash defeats Umma (c. 2450 BCE)

Video/Lugal-Zage-Si: King of Sumer

Maritime History Podcast Ep 03 Sargon to Hammurabi: Trade & Turmoil in Mesopotamia - "We will see how a Sumerian moon-god named Nanna-Suen and a Mesopotamian Royal Hymn called “Shulgi and Ninlil’s Boat” can help us better understand maritime history; how Sargon of Akkad forged one of the world's first large empires and used that power to influence trade; and eventually how transition and turmoil within Mesopotamia led to a decline of trade that began with Hammurabi and lasted for centuries thereafter."

Video/Rise and Fall of Sumer and the Akkadian Empire

Video/Rise and Fall of the Akkadian Empire

Video/How Powerful Was The Akkadian Empire?

Video/Sargon of Akkad: History's First Emperor?

Video/Conquests of Sargon of Akkad (c. 2340 - 2284 BCE)

Video/The Rise and Fall of the Neo-Sumerian Empire

Video/Amorite Kingdoms and the Sumerian Renaissance

Maritime History Podcast Ep 04 Mesopotamian Merchants - "We're going to look at Mesopotamian merchants! It's actually more interesting than it sounds, and we'll get to meet two of the more well known merchants from Mesopotamia: Ea-nāşir who lived during the time of the first Babylonian king, Hammurabi, and Lu-Enlilla from the Third Dynasty of Ur. We'll also look at some of the economic factors at play in the world of the Mesopotamian merchants, and we'll see how some the earliest law codes to have been discovered had an effect on the trade of the shipping merchants."

Video/Babylon (2,000 years of Mesopotamian history explained in ten minutes)

Video/The History of Babylon and its Empire

Video/The Rise and Fall of Babylon | The Life & Times of Hammurabi

Video/Rise of Babylon and Hammurabi

Video/Hammurabi & the First Babylonian Empire

Video/Campaigns of Hammurabi (c. 1763 - 1758 BCE)

Literature and History Ep 02 The Mesopotamian Enuma Elish and Atrahasis"In circulation 3,800 years ago, these were Mesopotamia's creation and flood epics, making them 1,000 years older than Genesis."

Literature and History Ep 03 The Epic of Gilgamesh - "Composed 3,000-5,000 years ago, and first translated in the 1860s, this is one of the greatest literary discoveries of all time."

The Heritage Podcast Episode 15 The Epic of Gilgamesh -  "We follow in the footsteps of history’s oldest hero: Gilgamesh of Uruk. Beginning with a discussion of the epic poem, we then read what is probably the oldest work of literary fiction: a story of adventure, friendship, death, and the meaning of life. We practice basic literary criticism to see what the ancient Sumerians had to say about these timeless themes."

Video/Gilgamesh and Enkidu, BFFs - Bronze Age Myths

Video/Gilgamesh vs. Humbaba - Bronze Age Myths

The History of Food Episode 08 Hunger and Collapse (Mesopotamia and Bronze Age) - "No civilization lasts forever. In fact, it’s kind of a miracle any starts at all. The conditions must be exactly right for people to come together into urban environments. So like an overextended, teetering Jenga tower, it’s not if but when the whole system will fall, as it did again and again across history. Come listen as we go back to explore the Neolithic, the history of Mesopotamia after Sumer, and finally the Bronze Age, to understand the riddle of why the rise of civilizations is so tied to their collapse."

Video/Who were the Elamites?

The Heritage Podcast Episode 13 Introduction to Egypt - "We sail along the banks of the Nile River to the land of pharaohs and pyramids. From the Old Kingdom to the New, we learn how an isolated desert valley played host to the first great African empire and founded a civilization that would captivate students of history for millennia to come."

The History of Food Episode 06 Lands of the Nile (Egypt) - "Egypt needs no introduction.  But here’s one anyway! The ancient people along the Nile built a civilization out of grain like Mesopotamia, but diverged on their own unique path, transforming their food surplus into the greatest monuments the world has ever seen.  An overview of Ancient Egyptian history in its entirety, through the lens of food and cooking."

Maritime History Podcast Ep 05 Meanwhile, In Egypt... - "We'll focus on the predynastic depictions of papyrus boats, wooden boats, the earliest depictions of the sail, and several rock petroglyphs that are quite significant to historical interpretations. Then, we'll consider a theory that has connected ancient Egypt with ancient Mesopotamia. We'll conclude by looking at a magnificent discovery at Abydos where some of the oldest wooden planked boats to have ever been found were buried in their own graves in the Egyptian desert."

Video/Egyptian Pharaohs Family Tree (Dynasty 4) - "This video shows the family trees of the 4th dynasty pharaohs and where they fit on the timeline of Ancient Egyptian history."

Video/Some Incredible Facts About The Pyramid of Giza

Wonders of the World Episode 01 The Great Pyramid of Khufu - "We start our trip around the world in Giza, Egypt to see the Great Pyramid of Khufu. We will talk about how pyramids came to be and how a prince used the Sphinx to build legitimacy."

Maritime History Podcast Ep 06 Khufu’s Solar Ship; or, Sailing Into the Afterlife - "From the funeral procession of pharaoh Khufu, to the 1954 discovery of what is known as the Khufu ship, to the theories about its purpose, construction, and the afterlife, this episode is jam-packed with maritime history and archaeology from ancient Egypt."

Maritime History Podcast Ep 07 Old Kingdom Egypt Expands Its Reach - "We'll focus on the scope of Egypt's maritime reach during the Old Kingdom's fifth and sixth dynasties. Topics include the development and refinement of maritime technology like the sail and the hogging truss, the discovery of an ancient harbor at Wadi el-Jarf, the mysterious land of Punt and the story of Harkhuf, the boy pharaoh Pepi II, and a pygmy from Nubia."

Literature and History Ep 04 The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead - "In the 3,500 year old Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, we can find the roots of the world's religions."

Literature and History Ep 05 Ancient Egyptian Folktales - "We know about Ancient Egypt's pyramids, temples, and sarcophagi. What about its folktales and stories?"

Literature and History Ep 06 Ancient Egyptian Wisdom Literature - "Ancient Egypt produced a great deal of proverbs and wisdom literature. Some of it even slipped into the bible. But how wise is wisdom literature?"

The History of Food Episode 07 Age of the Aegean (Greece) - "Here we are at last, on the shores of Greece. It’s a brief retelling of Aegean history, a story you’ve heard before, though perhaps not from a chef’s point of view.  Come for the history, stay for the foods that made them special.  By mastering the sea, the olive, and the grape vine, the Greeks found their own winds toward civilization."

Looted Episode 02 Figure Drawing - Marble figurines made ca. 5000 years ago in the Cycladic Islands of the Aegean became all the rage for collectors, and a great influence in Modernist Art. Easily looted and almost as easily faked, these objects have a unique role in the modern world. The question is, what was their role in the ancient world?

Photo/Cycladic Terracota Figurines


Photo/Remains of Stairwell in "House of the Tiles" at Lerna

Map/Later migrations of the Indo-European tribes throughout Europe

Map/Reconstruction of the Proto-Greek area

Ancient Greece Declassified Ep 01 Tomb Raiders, Codebreakers, & Discovery of Antiquity - "How do we know so much about the ancient world? This episode explores four astonishing archaeological discoveries that extended our knowledge of history back into the mythical past: 1) The discovery of the Rosetta stone and Champollion's sensational decipherment of the text. 2) A German high school teacher makes a breakthrough into reading the cuneiform writing system of ancient Mesopotamia. 3) Heinrich Schliemann digs for Troy. 4) Michael Ventris deciphers Linear B - the script of the Mycenaeans."

The Ancient World Episode R01 The Broken Stone - "Rediscovered two millennia after its creation, the Rosetta Stone provided the key to unlocking the history of Egypt."

The Ancient World Episode R02 Arabia Felix - "Carsten Niebuhr survived malaria, earthquakes, civil wars, bandits, plagues and the deaths of all his colleagues to complete the first modern scientific expedition to the Near East."

The Ancient World Episode R03 Place of God - "In 1836, Henry Creswicke Rawlinson - British soldier, adventurer and Orientalist – first encountered the Behistun Inscription. He would devote the next few decades to deciphering its three cuneiform scripts."

The Ancient World Episode R04 Dwelling of the Lions - "The excavations of Botta and Layard brought the majesty of ancient Assyria into the modern world."

The Ancient World Episode R05 Behistun Hat-Trick - "After the debacle of the First Anglo-Afghan War, Henry Creswicke Rawlinson made two more excursions to Behistun.  His attempts to copy the remaining inscriptions nearly cost him his life."

The Ancient World Episode R06 The Heroic Age - "While Layard resumed his Assyrian excavations, and Rawlinson continued to decipher Akkadian, both efforts began to shed light on the even older civilization of ancient Sumer."

The Ancient World Episode R07 The Man Who Sold Troy - "Three millennia after its fall, British archaeologist Frank Calvert used clues from Homer, and his own knowledge of the region, to establish the most likely site of ancient Troy. Unable to finance the excavation, he was compelled to partner with wealthy enthusiast Heinrich Schliemann."

The Ancient World Episode R08 The Thousand Year Gap - "Despite numerous returns to Hisarlik, Heinrich Schliemann was unable to establish the layer holding Homer’s Troy.  It was only near the end of his life, with the aid of Wilhelm Dorpfeld, that his quest was finally rewarded.  In the meantime, Schliemann’s excavations at Mycenae and Tiryns had shed new light on the wealth and power of Late Bronze Age Greece."

The Ancient World Episode R09 The Flood - "George Smith’s 1872 discovery of the Mesopotamian Flood tablet won him widespread acclaim. Four years later, his ill-timed expedition to Nineveh would end in tragedy."

The Ancient World Episode R10 The Bull and Aten - "Discoveries at Amarna and the Valley of the Kings showed the wealth and influence of Egypt's New Kingdom, archives uncovered in central Anatolia shed light on the Hittites, and excavations at Knossos confirmed Mycenaean Greek dominance and revealed the majesty of Minoan Crete."

Video/The Bronze Age Changes with Archeological Evidence

Suggested Readings:
* Drews. 1988. The Coming of the Greeks.
* Dickinson. 1994. The Aegean Bronze Age.
* Preziosi. 2000. Aegean Art and Architecture.
D'Amato and Salimbeti. 2013. Early Aegean Warrior 5000–1450 BC.

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