Mycenaean civilization reached a peak in about 1300 BCE, but just a century later the palaces were abandoned and villages were burned. Traditional accounts theorized that the Mycenaean centres were destroyed by invading Dorian invaders, but archaeological evidence now seems to point to a range of factors, including: drought, harvest failure, epidemics, foreign invasion, disruption of trade. It is certainly known that a period of violent conflict convulsed the eastern Mediterranean in around 1200 BCE and that possibly some of the violence was caused by sea-borne raiders, the so-called ‘sea peoples’. Whatever the causes, the end of Mycenaean civilization is marked by the destruction of its palaces by fire. While the centres may have reoccupied, the palaces were never rebuilt.
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