The Late Bronze Age collapse between 1200 and 1150 BC was a Dark Age transition period in the Near East, Aegean Region, North Africa, Caucasus, Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age, a transition historians believe was violent, sudden, and culturally disruptive. The palace economy of the Aegean Region and Anatolia that characterized the Late Bronze Age disintegrated, transforming into the small isolated village cultures of the Greek Dark Ages.
Between c. 1200 and 1150 BC, the cultural collapse of the Mycenaean kingdoms, the Hittite Empire in Anatolia and the Levant, and the fragmentation of New Kingdom of Egypt and the loss of its colonies in southern Canaan interrupted trade routes and severely reduced literacy. In the first phase of this period, almost every city between Pylos and Gaza was violently destroyed, and many abandoned: examples include Hattusa, Mycenae, and Ugarit. According to Robert Drews: “Within a period of forty to fifty years at the end of the thirteenth and the beginning of the twelfth century almost every significant city in the eastern Mediterranean world was destroyed, many of them never to be occupied again.” (more…)