Consider this, optimists. All the societies in the world can collapse simultaneously. It has happened before.
In the 12th century BCE the great Bronze Age civilizations of the Mediterranean-all of them-suddenly fell apart. Their empires evaporated, their cities emptied out, their technologies disappeared, and famine ruled. Mycenae, Minos, Assyria, Hittites, Canaan, Cyprus-all gone. Even Egypt fell into a steep decline. The Bronze Age was over.
The event should live in history as one of the great cautionary tales, but it hasn't because its causes were considered a mystery. How can we know what to be cautious of? Eric Cline has taken on on the mystery. An archaeologist-historian at George Washington University, he is the author of 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed. The failure, he suggests, was systemic. The highly complex, richly interconnected system of the world tipped all at once into chaos.
Eric Cline is professor of ancient history and archaeology at George Washington University and Director of the GWU Capitol Archaeological Institute. He is author or editor of 16 books, including Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: International Trade and the Late Bronze Age Aegean and 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed.