The latter part of the 3rd millennium BC witnessed severe dislocations in the social, economic and political structures of the lands at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea - the Levant. In the south, in what is now Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Jordan, hitherto thriving urban centres disappeared, to be replaced for several centuries by smaller agricultural and pastoral settlements, with an apparently increasingly large semi-nomadic or nomadic element in the population.
In the north - modern Syria - life in many of the earlier towns was also disrupted, but there does not seem to have been such a major break in urban traditions, and the new towns which soon replaced the old were to rise to unprecedented heights of prosperity and cultural achievement well before the end of the millennium.
The causes of these different but related historical developments - including possible environmental changes, military activity, and ethnic movements - have long enthralled archaeologists and ancient historians. This volume contains the papers given at a conference held in 2004 at the British Museum, presenting both new evidence and new theories bearing on this transitional period. Edited by Peter J. Parr, it contains contributions by Daniele Morandi Bonacossi, Rupert Chapman III, Karen Covello-Paran, Claude Doumet-Serha, Ram Gophna, Moti Haiman, Moshe Kochavi, Jessie C. Long Jr., Minna Lonnqvist, Peter J. Parr, Francis Pinnock, Kay Prag, Suzanne Richard, R.Thomas Schaub, and Jonathan N.Tubb.