SOCIAL AND CULTURAL TRANSFORMATIONS IN THE AEGEAN ZONE AND THEIR IMPACT UPON THE FALL OF THE MYCEAN CIVILISATION AT THE TURN OF THE 13th CENTURY BC. AN OUTLINE (Przeobrazenia..w sferze egejskiej i ich wplyw na upadek cywilizacji mykenskiej..)
The fall of the Mycean culture has been ascribed to date to a range of different factors. A number of hypotheses have been formulated in the literature on allegedly decisive impact of invasion from outside the Mycean world on the fall of the Mycean culture. One of them referred to raids from the 'northern' territories including Thessaly, Macedonia, Epirus and Thrace. Despite a considerable distance from the Mycean territory, these 'northern' territories found themseb/es within the Mycean influence zone. Towards the end of the Late Bronze Age, previously unknown material culture objects appeared in the Mycean Greece. Their 'ancestors' are to be sought in the Noua, Sabatinovka and Coslogeni cultures (Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Thrace). The northern origin (Italy, the Balkans, Central Europe) is also ascribed to new ornaments. The northern origin is the most probable as regards amber. The more complicated is spatial attribution of cremation. The oldest variant of the 'northern' inwasion hypothesis refers to invasion of the Dorians. The Macedonians were believed to be their ancestors. However, neither etymology of their name, exact date of their arrival to the mainland Greece nor the area of origin have been satisfactorily recognised. There is no doubt, however, that during this catastrophe or shortly afterwards there were some kind of migrations of groups from the north, in particular from the Balkans. Another equally significant element in the discussion is invasion of the Sea People.They refer to groups from the Aegean zone, Asia Minor and partly from Macedonia, northern Black Sea, and Caucasus. These invaders may have also arrive from Central Europe. However, one has to rule out today a hypothesis about destruction of the Mycean citadels by the Sea People. In the most probable scenario, they indirectly contributed to the demise of the Mycean civilisation by destruction of the trade routes between the Aegean zone and the Near East. The newest hypothesis on social and cultural transformations as possible causes of the Mycean culture collapse has been formulated by R. Drews explaining.this phenomenon by changes in warfare. In particular, the Mycean weaponry and warfare may have been transformed and modified by impulses from the Balkans, Iliria and Italy. Ali the above presented data make us argue that social and cultural factors significantly contributed to the demise of the Mycean civilisation, however one cannot unequivocalty ascribe a priority significance to any of them. The most detailed recognition of a complex set of social, cultural, economic and natural transformations can serve as the most proper basis of understanding the Catastrophe - political and economic collapse of the Mycean civilisation towards the end of the Late Helladic period IIIB.
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