chapter  10
21 Pages

The end of the Early Bronze Age: Euphrates settlement in decline

The last centuries of the third millennium bc mark an intriguing time in the Near East. Areas that once had flourishing cities and had thrived under effectual political and economic systems, declined dramatically. States succumbed to internal disorder, cities were destroyed or abandoned, and populations were uprooted and displaced. The great empires of southern Mesopotamia and Egypt, which had powerful royal dynasties and farreaching trade contacts, now fell precipitously. In other areas of the Levant and Northern Mesopotamia, where urban states were smaller and less structurally complex, collapse also occurred. Here cities that had controlled extensive tracts of agricultural and pastoral lands, and had prospered under stable, productive economies, crumbled and eventually disappeared.