How Disease Affected the End of the Bronze Age

  • Philip Norrie


Dr. Norrie provides a summary of the fifteen currently accepted causes for the end of the Bronze Age in the Near East and then goes on to discuss the sixteenth reason—infectious disease epidemics. These are the real reason that the end of the Bronze Age in the Near East was called either the “catastrophe” or the “collapse” due to its short time frame of 50 years, the mass migration of the general population and the “Sea Peoples” plus the abandonment of cities such as Hattusa, the capital of the Hittite Empire c.1200 bce. The diseases most likely to cause this collapse are smallpox, bubonic plague and tularemia.


Tree Ring Nile Delta Yersinia Pestis Mass Migration Francisella Tularensis 
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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Norrie
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty AffiliateSchool of Public and Community Health Sciences, College of Health Professions and Biomedical Sciences, University of MontanaMissoulaUSA

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