Nearly all of the dynamics of the Late Bronze Age came to a halt across the Near East as a result of combination of climatic factors, social unrest, and large-scale migrations and invasions that collectively are known the “Late Bronze Age Collapse.” This collapse, the reasons behind which are still debated, resulted in the sack of burning of cities across the Near East. Most notable perhaps is the “sack of Troy.” Thus, the Iron Age (about 1,200–539 BCE) began with a Dark Age that lasted for 300 years. Overall this period was marked by cultural, political, and economic decline in Egypt (the Third Intermediate Period) and across Mesopotamia. The Iron Age was also marked by the arrival of new people, notably the Sea People or Philistines. The Dark Ages ended with the establishment of the Urartian Empire, as well as the Neo-Hittite, Neo-Elamite, Neo Babylonian, and Neo-Assyrian empires across the region. Iran also saw the rise of the Median Empire, a prelude to the politics of Antiquity.
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