The End of the Bronze Age – Robert Drews

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The End of the Bronze Age – Robert Drews

Category: Self Evaluation Essay

Subcategory: History

Level: Academic

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Student’s Name
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The End of the Bronze Age – Robert Drews
1. Chapter 1
A. List three key sites that were destroyed. Give the evidence of their destruction
The sites that suffered destruction are Hatrusasitself, Alaca Hoyuk, Masar Hoyuk and Hattusas, the Hittite city at Alishar. Excavators of these locations discovered ash, charred wood as well as mudbricks that result from the melting as a result of intense heating of the conflagration. In Alaca Hoyuk, there was an ashy destruction level that extended over the whole of the excavated region.
B. Which empires largely escaped destruction?
The empire that escaped is Egypt though the empire lost its prestige and power shortly after the death of Ramesses. The others were Mesopotamia, which suffered little damage, as well as Assur and Babylon.
2. Chapter 3.
Theory 1: The Natural Disaster theory postulates that the destruction of the empires and nations between 1200 and 1180 B.C. was the result of natural disasters such as drought and earthquakes.
A. Who proposed this theory and when?
The theory is the proposal of Dieterich in 1994.
B. Give the evidence in favour of this theory.
The empires of the Bronze Age lacked organizational flexibility, had a ritualistic view of life and engaged in numerous battles with their neighbours. According to the records kept by Hatti, drought and famine led to the social catastrophe that the administrative inflexibility could not handle.
C. Give the reasons why Drews rejects it.
Drews rejects the theory because drought and famine were not the only causes of destruction but indicates that Systemic Breakdown in reaction to an outbreak of famine and disease could have weakened stability in the empires.
3. Chapter 4.
Theory 2: The Migration Theory postulates that the collapse of the empires is the result of the migration of people from neighbouring empires in times of war leading to a strain on the available resources hence causing instability.
A. Who proposed this theory and when?
The theory is the proposal of Joseph Tainter in 1928.
B. Give the evidence in favour of this theory.
The suggestion for Migrations Theory is founded partly on the understanding of the monuments in Egyptian, and partly on 19th Century emphases on the movement of populations. The great Libyan incursion of the Delta in 1208 has been perceived by some as a Volkswanderung though the immigrants within the Libyan host would now seem to be barbarian auxiliaries instead of whole nations on the move.
C. Give the reasons why Drews rejects it.
Drews rejects the single-people account of the theory because the difference between a monoglot swarm of buccaneers and polyglot congeries of predatory populations is very little. All of them work in accordance to the similar near-term opportunism.
4. Chapter 5.
Theory 3: The theory postulates that the shift from bronze to iron caused the most significant change in struggles among the classes in the five thousand years pitting the Urban Revolution against the Industrial Revolution.
A. Who proposed this theory and when?
The theory is the proposal of V. Gordon Childe in his book What Happened in History in 1942.
B. Give the evidence in favour of this theory.
There were slow changes from the kingdom’s use of bronze to iron, and the change created tension among the elite families. The change was the result of tension and mistrust leading to the struggle.
C. Give the reasons why Drews rejects it.
Drews asserts that the change in metallurgic led to no significant shift in the art of war. Furthermore, there was no widespread use of iron for almost a century following the catastrophe.
4. Chapter 6.
The fourth theory postulates that the people who were experiencing famine and drought engaged in violence to fend for themselves and their families.
A. Who proposed this theory and when?
The theory was the proposal of Rhys Carpenter during his lecture at Cambridge in 1965.
B. Give the evidence in favour of this theory.
In periods of famine and drought, warriors fighting other empires were known to raid the homesteads of their countrymen they believed had an excess and distributed the raid among themselves, saving the remainder to meet future requirements.
C. Give the reasons why Drews rejects it.
While there could have been periods of droughts and shortages of food and essential resources during the period, according to records kept at Pylos, it is clear that just before the destruction, women and children would get, on average, 128 percent of their requirements of calories. According to Drews, the shortages could have been caused by raids.
5. Chapter 7.
Theory 5: The fifth theory suggests that the catastrophe was the result of the collapse of palace organizations.
A. Who proposed this theory and when?
The theory is the proposal of John Michael Greer in 1992.
B. Give the evidence in favour of this theory.
The destruction of palaces such as Cyprus is partly attributed to the collapse of the fall of the administrative arm of the palace, which made is more challenging for the officials to exert their authority and rule.
C. Give the reasons why Drews rejects it.
Drews opposes the suggestion that palace institutions collapsed consequently leading to the Catastrophe. This theory appears to overlook the fact that the “Systems” were operating very well just before the Catastrophe, as supported by the scribal accounts kept by Ugarit.
6. Chapter 8.
Theory 6: The theory suggests that the Sea People were a collection of raiders and immigrants whose survival was made possible by the occurrence of the Catastrophe.
A. Who proposed this theory and when?
The theory was proposed by Bernie Knapp in 1911.
B. Give the evidence in favour of this theory.
A short while just before the start of 1200, barbarian raiders found a means of overcoming the defence of the militaries that provided protection to the eastern empires. With the discovery, they ventured into the world and traded the secret with other empires.
C. Give the reasons why Drews rejects it.
While the theory is considered correct, it is not complete. While Drews concurs that the Sea Peoples were made up of raiders and city-suckers, they were the cause and not the result of the Catastrophe.
8. Chapter 9. What is the solution that is proposed by Drews?
Some improvements in weaponry at the conclusion of the Bronze Age have been observed. Drews suggested that if modifications in weaponry and strategies are explored to the full, and more so if their effect of the use of chariot is ingeniously evaluated, he believes that they will work as good a clarification for the destruction as we are probably to discover.
9. Chapter 10.
A. Explain the debate over the function of chariots in this chapter.
The debate is whether the chariots were used as mobile firing platforms by archers armed with composite bows or if they were used as means of transport. He asserts that they were used as mobile firing platforms.
B. How does Drews use the battle at Kadesh to make his point?
At the fight at Kadesh, the King of Hittite is known to have used 3,500 chariots, a number that has only been rivalled by Ramesses II. The scale of which was considered to be enormous at the time.
10. Chapter 11.
A. What does Drews say about runners?
Drews indicates that the primary function of runners was to offer support to the chariots and were meant to finish off those who were wounded in the battlefield. They were mostly used in fights that took place in mountainous or rough terrains.
B. What was the role of infantry in chariot battles, esp. on 157?
The role of infantry was to provide support to the chariots as their work was finishing off those who were wounded, as evidence found from scribal chronicles in Abydos show.
11. Chapter 12.
A. How does he explain the cavalry?
Drews explains that the cavalry was a group of elite fighters who fought in guerrilla combats, in particular against a group of barbarians. They would start the war so as to draw the opponent in a favourable position.
B. Explain his view on David’s approach to chariots.
According to Drews, David mostly relied on foot soldiers to win his wars, and when he captured more than a thousand chariots from Hadadezer, he houghed all of them, except for one hundred. He made no use of chariots.
12-16 Chapter 13.
12 Describe changes in armour, especially:
A. Shields
The changes in the shield were that it became more round to provide protection from the neck to the shins since the lack of weapons must have restricted the wielding abilities of the offensive person.
B. Javelins
In particular, he notes that blade’s elliptical nature would allow easy retrieval and was particularly good at slashing (p. 194). According to Drews to counter the challenge the Naue Type II sword was adopted.
13. A. 193-194. Why was the new sword superior in battle?
The blade and hilt were cast as a single piece of metal. The hilt was an LIAT tang, a little over half as wide as the blade, from the edges of which curled four flanges. The sword was so mighty; its sharpness could cut an opponent’s arms, limbs or cut them into two pieces.
B. 195. Where did it originate? What was unusual about its manufacture?
The Naue Type II sword originated from the eastern Mediterranean and in central and northern Europe. It was long and was made of bronze, with almost parallel edges and tapered to a sharp point.
14.
A. Explain its two modern German names.
It borrows its name from German historian Dr Julius Naue after classifying the weapon in his Die vorromischen Schwerter aus Kupfer, Bronze und Eisen in 1903 (Drews, 201). The second name, ‘Griffzungenschwert’ interprets as ‘grip-tongue sword’ and originates from the innovative characteristic of the sword.
B. Explain the rivet issue. Was the sword originally iron or bronze?
The Naue Type II was made in such a way that the hilt was flanged while the hilt plates were designed within the flanges and were riveted. A soldier would it by both the flanges and rivets thereby causing little worry of losing grip in a fight.
The sword was made from bronze and is today referred to as the Naue Type II.
15. 195-196. According to Drews, how was the Naue II different in function from:
A. The Egyptian sickle sword
At first look, the Egyptian sickle sword appeared as a slashing sword but was neither meant for cutting nor stabbing as it was meant for breaking an opponent and beating him to death.
B. The Mycenaean rapier
The rapier was meant for general fighting, unlike the Naue that was intended specifically for slashing opponents.
16.
A. 204. What is so noteworthy that Drews states it “baldly” in this chapter?
He states that in the 13th Century, there were no long swords from the Greek world. While, in the 12th Century, there were at least thirty of one type, indicating that ca. 1200, there were drastic changes in the art of war in Greece.
B. 205-206. What did the Egyptians make to compete? Did it work well?
They made the Merneptah sword whose edges were not sharpened and was intended for the auxiliary fighters. It did not function well as its hilting was made of a very long and thin slender tang, which made it bent both vertically and horizontally.
17-20 Chapter 14.
17.
A. 210 How did javelineers and swordsmen work together in battle?
The javelins used a swarming strategy that involved running forward and then throwing his spear at a group of chariot horses. The swordsmen had to finish off those that were wounded.
B. 210-211. By what means did Ramesses III avoid this trap at Djahi?
Ramesses avoided the trap by keeping his chariots in the backgrounds and depended on the foot soldiers instead. This way, none of his chariots was caught up in battle.
18. 211-215. What does Drews speculate about:
A. The Trojan War
He speculates that the vestiges of a conflict between Archaean infantry skirmishers and Trojan charioteers may survive in the traditional tales about the Amazons and the Phrygians with their quick horses. Also about Paris killing Achilles with a bow shot and even about the capture of Troy.
B. Jewish history
Drews asserts that though the expression seems to be the misapprehension of a writer, in the Persian period the imagery does replicate the custom that the subjugation of the most productive plains. In Canaan, it was expensive because of the chariot militaries that protected them.
19. 215-222.
A. List some of the groups comprising the Sea Peoples.
The Sea Peoples are made up of the Nubian, the Bedouin, and the Ghawazee.
B. Which empires did they overcome and how?
They defeated the whole of Near East from Hatti to Canaan as well as Cyprus and Carchemish. He defeated them by improvising and relegating the use of his chariots. He recruits a significant number of field fighters such as barbarian skirmishers and native Egyptians.
20. 222-224. IMPORTANT. Explain the naval victory of Ramesses III
Ramesses III was able to destroy the whole of the Near East and continued by destroying forces such as Philistine, Tjekker, and Sicilian skirmishers captured in boats while fleeing.
Including why:
A. could not use their javelins
While the Philistine and Sicilian Warriors could have used javelins, the ships were crowded and could not provide them with the running distance necessary to make a hurl.
B. Could not use their bows.
Additionally, they could not use their bows as their visibility had been affected by the rowing of the ships and the harsh weather conditions and the fact that the ships covered a broad range of the sea.
Response: Evaluate Drews in the following areas:
A. Are you convinced by his thesis? Explain why or why not.
I am convinced with his thesis. Several factors were attributed to the Catastrophe, and none of the theories postulated adequately explains the reasons for the collapse of the empires.
B. Does this book increase your appreciation for military technology? Explain.
The book increases my appreciation for military technology as it goes to great extents to tell how the art of war used by the empires. The tactics used to defeat the enemy, sometimes coming at significant costs to the military and the empire itself.
References
Drews, Robert. The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe Ca. 1200 B.c. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1993. Print.