1200s BC (decade)
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|Millennium:||2nd millennium BC|
|Centuries:||14th century BC – 13th century BC – 12th century BC|
|Decades:||1230s BC 1220s BC 1210s BC – 1200s BC – 1190s BC 1180s BC 1170s BC|
|Years:||1209 BC 1208 BC 1207 BC 1206 BC 1205 BC 1204 BC 1203 BC 1202 BC 1201 BC 1200 BC|
Events and trends
- 1207 BC: Pharaoh Merneptah claims a victory over the people of Israel.
- 1206 BC: Approximate starting date of Bronze age collapse, a period of migration, unrest and destruction in the eastern Mediterranean and Near East.
- 1204 BC: Theseus, legendary King of Athens, is deposed after a reign of 30 years and succeeded by Menestheus, great-grandson of Erichthonius II of Athens and second cousin of Theseus' father Aegeus. Menestheus is reportedly assisted by Castor and Polydeuces of Sparta, who want to reclaim their sister Helen from her first husband Theseus. Theseus seeks refuge in Skyros, whose King Lycomedes is an old friend and ally. Lycomedes, however, considers his visitor a threat to the throne and proceeds to assassinate him. (Other accounts place these events a decade earlier. See 1210s BC.)
- c. 1200 BC: Earliest writing that survived exists in Ancient China.
- c. 1200 BC: Chariots appear in Ancient China.
- c. 1200 BC: Start of Iron Age in Near East, eastern Mediterranean, and India.
- c. 1200 BC: Collapse of Hittite power in Anatolia with the destruction of their capital Hattusa.
- c. 1200 BC: Massive migrations of people around the Mediterranean and the Middle-East. See Sea People for more information.
- c. 1200 BC: Aramaic nomads and Chaldeans become a big threat to the former Babylonian and Assyrian Empire.
- c. 1200 BC: Migration and expansion of Dorian Greeks. Destruction of Mycenaean city Pylos.
- c. 1200 BC: The Cimmerians start settling the steppes of southern Russia? (Undocumented conjecture).
- c. 1200 BC: The proto-Scythian Srubna (Timber-grave) culture expands from the lower Volga region to cover the whole of the North Pontic area.
- c. 1200 BC: Olmec culture starts and thrives in Mesoamerica.
- c. 1200 BC: San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán starts to flourish.
- c. 1200 BC: Ancient Pueblo Peoples civilization in North America. (approximate date)
- c. 1200 BC: Possible battle in the Tollense River Valley of northern Germany.
- Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, vol.2, 1980, p.203