What to historians do when the written record is missing?

Over the course of a century many of the great civilizations of the Eastern Mediterranean vanished. Literacy nearly vanished. Even today, many textbooks shift their focus away from the Mediterranean and never mention the cataclysm that shows how brittle civilization is. The lack of a written record should not be seen as a reason to skip this event, but rather an opportunity. This is an invitation to our students to the discipline of history. This offers them the opportunity to review the records and theorize about what may have happened, free from the constraints of a clear narrative and neatly arranged and congruent facts.

When looking at the Bronze Age Collapse, we will explore what remains of the written records from the time, how this informed the early theories about the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age, evidence for contemporary explanations, and ask students to analyze and argue for various explanation using the evidence that is available.