15 books directly related to the Bronze Age 📚

All 15 Bronze Age books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

Book cover of 1177 BC The Year Civilization Collapsed

Why this book?

The Bronze Age was followed by the Iron Age. What caused this epochal shift? Eric Cline outlines just how cataclysmic the 12th and 13th centuries BC really were. Be prepared for fire, earthquakes, and a tide of war!

1177 BC The Year Civilization Collapsed

By Eric Cline,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 1177 BC The Year Civilization Collapsed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A bold reassessment of what caused the Late Bronze Age collapse

In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh's army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians. The thriving economy and cultures of the…


The Corridors of Time

By Poul Anderson,

Book cover of The Corridors of Time

Why this book?

I read this classic sci-fi way back when I was a teenager and I think, over the years, it has been a quiet, persistent influence on my own writing.

Two groups of time-travellers go back and forth along ‘the corridors of Time,’ fighting to influence history their way. The protagonist is taken from a prison cell to join one group and has to catch up with what’s going on as he’s taken to the future, the seventeenth century, and the Bronze Age.

What stayed with me most vividly was Anderson’s recreation of the Danish Bronze Age and the fact that the main character chooses to give up his own time in order to remain in the Bronze Age with the people he has come to love.

The Corridors of Time

By Poul Anderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Corridors of Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A young man from the twentieth century is recruited to fight in a war that rages throughout time in this classic science fiction adventure from a multiple Hugo and Nebula Award–winning master.

College student, ex-marine, and martial artist Malcolm Lockridge is in prison awaiting his trial for murder when he receives an unexpected visit from an extraordinarily beautiful woman named Storm. Claiming to be a representative of the Wardens, a political faction from two thousand years in the future, Storm offers the astonished young man a proposition: freedom in return for his assistance in recovering an unspecified lost treasure. But…

Book cover of Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History

Why this book?

The Palestinian writer, Nur Masalha, traces Palestine's thousands of years old heritage, uncovering cultures and societies of extraordinary depth and complexity that stretch back to the very beginnings of recorded history. Starting with the earliest references in Egyptian and Assyrian texts, Nur Masalha explores how Palestine and its Palestinian identity have evolved over thousands of years, from the Bronze Age to the present day. Drawing on a rich body of sources and the latest archaeological evidence, Masalha shows how Palestine’s multicultural past has been distorted and mythologised by Biblical lore and the Israel–Palestinian conflict. 

Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History

By Nur Masalha,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Palestine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This rich and magisterial work traces Palestine's millennia-old heritage, uncovering cultures and societies of astounding depth and complexity that stretch back to the very beginnings of recorded history.

Starting with the earliest references in Egyptian and Assyrian texts, Nur Masalha explores how Palestine and its Palestinian identity have evolved over thousands of years, from the Bronze Age to the present day. Drawing on a rich body of sources and the latest archaeological evidence, Masalha shows how Palestine's multicultural past has been distorted and mythologised by Biblical lore and the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

In the process, Masalha reveals that the concept of…

Book cover of Ancient Turkey: A Traveller's History

Why this book?

This is the vicarious traveler’s delight. ‘Sensory’ doesn’t quite cover the delightful descriptives in Lloyd’s ‘Ancient Turkey’. He takes you on a journey across the varied and beautiful landscape of Anatolia and though time as well - from prehistory through the Bronze Age when the Hittite Empire dominated and the legend of Troy was born, on to the time of King Midas and right up to the Greek and Roman periods.

Ancient Turkey: A Traveller's History

By Seton Lloyd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ancient Turkey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"An elegantly written account of Turkey's history by one of the greatest living authorities on the subject. . . . The historically minded visitor would be well advised to pack this beguiling book."―British Archaeological News

Seton Lloyd's lively account of Turkey's early history is for the increasing number of people visiting the ancient sites of this fabled land. Written by an archaeologist who spent much of his life in the Near East, the book is not a conventional "guide" to the antiquities of Anatolia. It is instead Lloyd's attempt to share his profound interest in an antique land, its inhabitants,…

Warlock

By Wilbur Smith,

Book cover of Warlock

Why this book?

Wilbur Smith, who sadly passed in November 2021, trailblazed adventure writing. While The River God is perhaps his most memorable entry in his Ancient Egypt series, Warlock is stuffed with descriptions of military training and combat. I particularly enjoyed ‘The Red Road’ sequence – while not battle-focused, Mr. Smith took pains to unpack the various modes of fighting available to contemporary Bronze Age Egyptians.

Smith’s detailing of chariot-centered battle would satisfy everyone from engineers to historians - particularly in Warlock’s climax. Javelins and bows hurtling from hundreds of chariots makes for a unique style of combat that is difficult to acquire elsewhere – as is the struggles of engaging in mass military operations when surrounded by desert.

Warlock

By Wilbur Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Warlock as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

BOOK 3 IN THE BESTSELLING ANCIENT EGYPT SERIES, BY THE MASTER OF ADVENTURE, WILBUR SMITH

'Best historical novelist' - Stephen King

'A master storyteller' - Sunday Times

'Wilbur Smith is one of those benchmarks against whom others are compared' - The Times

'No one does adventure quite like Smith' - Daily Mirror

A RULER DRIVEN BY GREED
THE FUTURE OF EGYPT AT STAKE
ONLY ONE MAN HAS THE POWER TO RESTORE BALANCE

In his long life, Taita has gone from slave to warlock, and now his wisdom and abilities are known throughout the kingdom. But even his immense skills cannot…

Hekla's Children

By James Brogden,

Book cover of Hekla's Children

Why this book?

Back to fiction and spooky places. This weaves history, myth, and reality together until you don’t know which way is up. Beautifully written and researched, it will transport you into the world just beyond ours and it has a level of darkness a horror fan will enjoy. I’d say it’s more of a supernatural thriller, but it twists into horror at times. I love this because it once more weaves the real with the mythological, using British traditions to capture your imagination and transport you to new realities.

Hekla's Children

By James Brogden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hekla's Children as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A decade ago, teacher Nathan Brookes saw four of his students walk up a hill and vanish. Only one returned - Olivia - starved, terrified, and with no memory of where she'd been. After a body is found in the same woodland where they disappeared, it is first believed to be one of the missing children, but is soon identified as a Bronze Age warrior, nothing more than an archaeological curiosity. Yet Nathan starts to have terrifying visions of the students. Then Olivia reappears, half-mad and willing to go to any lengths to return the corpse to the earth. For…

Book cover of Aegean Linear Script(s): Rethinking the Relationship Between Linear A and Linear B

Why this book?

Linear A, the script that preceded Linear B in Crete, has long attracted attempts at decipherment. Ester Salgarella, who is a colleague of mine at Cambridge, would not claim to have deciphered Linear A, but her work on the script and its relation to Linear B is brilliant at reframing the question about the relationship between the two. If you read this after Andrew Robinson’s account of Linear A (in his Lost Languages book mentioned above), you might be surprised by how much progress has been made.  

Aegean Linear Script(s): Rethinking the Relationship Between Linear A and Linear B

By Ester Salgarella,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Aegean Linear Script(s) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When does a continuum become a divide? This book investigates the genetic relationship between Linear A and Linear B, two Bronze Age scripts attested on Crete and Mainland Greece and understood to have developed one out of the other. By using an interdisciplinary methodology, this research integrates linguistic, epigraphic, palaeographic and archaeological evidence, and places the writing practice in its sociohistorical setting. By challenging traditional views, this work calls into question widespread assumptions and interpretative schemes on the relationship between these two scripts, and opens up new perspectives on the ideology associated with the retention, adaptation and transmission of a…

Book cover of The End Is Always Near: Apocalyptic Moments, from the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses

Why this book?

Dan Carlin is definitely one of the biggest inspirations for my own writing, and the style and format of my book are very similar to The End is Always Near. Dan Carlin hosts the massively popular Hardcore History podcast, and I have been an avid listener for years. More than once I found myself writing down ideas and notes for my own book only to find out that Carlin had beaten me to the punch and thought of these same ideas long before I had. If you enjoy Hardcore History and The End is Always Near, then I think you would enjoy my book as well.    

The End Is Always Near: Apocalyptic Moments, from the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses

By Dan Carlin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The End Is Always Near as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A journey back in time that explores what happened-and what could have happened-from creator of the wildly-popular podcast Hardcore History and 2019 winner of the iHeartRadio Best History Podcast Award.

Dan Carlin has created a new way to think about the past. His mega-hit podcast, Hardcore History, is revered for its unique blend of high drama, enthralling narration, and Twilight Zone-style twists. Carlin humanizes the past, wondering about things that didn't happen but might have, and compels his listeners to "walk a mile in that other guy's historical moccasins." A political commentator, Carlin approaches history like a magician, employing completely…


Book cover of Language of Amarna - Language of Diplomacy: Perspectives on the Amarna Letters

Why this book?

Better known as Amarna Heresy, a philosophical discussion from Ancient Egypt's Babylon about Monotheism and Trinity written 3,000 years ago. “To the King, My Sun, My God, the Breath of My Life…” This remarkable collection contains requests for gold, offers of marriage, warning of a traitor, and promises of loyalty to the pharaoh – letters of correspondence, all written in Akkadian. The Amorite tribes from Babylonia, form part of this correspondence.

Akhenaten 1378 - 1361 BC, was the first Egyptian ruler in history, who has specifically written about Egyptian Gods, a practice usually kept behind the closed doors of the temples. The deity called Aten inspired such devotion in Pharaoh Akhenaten that he built a new capital city which he named ‘Horizon of the Aten’ (modern Amarna), dedicated to the AΘen. He spoke of a deity with no image, an omnipotent God/goddess that emanates aNX, holy spirits, served by all the other Ancient Egyptian Gods, as the ancient saints or angels, who all had their own role in the kingdom of God.

Language of Amarna - Language of Diplomacy: Perspectives on the Amarna Letters

By J. Jana Mynarova,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Language of Amarna - Language of Diplomacy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is a generally accepted presumption that during the Late Bronze Age the language accepted for the 'international' or 'diplomatic' written communication between the representatives or members of the particular polities within the Ancient Near East was Akkadian, or more accurately Peripheral Akkadian. Thus it is the aim of this publication to analyze the corpus of Amarna letters on the subject of diplomatic terminology and procedures.

Book cover of The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

Why this book?

Despite the rather off-putting title, I found this book really interesting. Written by a specialist psychologist, it presented a new theory about the way human thinking has developed from the earliest beginnings. I was particularly interested in his concept that ancient man ‘heard the voice of god’ inside his mind, but as ‘primitive’ humans became more individualised, the gods were heard less often, until they could no longer be heard at all. This resonates with the myths that in a Golden Age humankind ‘walked with God’ but as aeons passed, the gods retreated. At this juncture, people started to construct images of their gods and divination appeared as a way to contact ‘the divine’. But that is a tiny part of this thought-provoking work.

The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

By Julian Jaynes,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the heart of this classic, seminal book is Julian Jaynes's still-controversial thesis that human consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution but instead is a learned process that came about only three thousand years ago and is still developing. The implications of this revolutionary scientific paradigm extend into virtually every aspect of our psychology, our history and culture, our religion -- and indeed our future.


Book cover of London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets

Why this book?

I enjoy Ackroyd's novels as well as his biographies, the former almost always being set in London which he, as a noted flaneur, loves. London Under is not fiction, though it often references the literature and mythologies which have grown up around certain places and landmarks within London, from its earliest incarnation before it was even a city to the present day. Ackroyd chronicles how the London of one time reappears and impacts upon the London of another time, one stratum intruding upon another and shows how the world below mirrors and reflects the world above. This is not unlike how I wanted the clandestine and criminal world to mirror and reflect the above ground and above-board world in my novel Plague.

London Under: The Secret History Beneath the Streets

By Peter Ackroyd,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked London Under as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this vividly descriptive short study, Peter Ackroyd tunnels down through the geological layers of London, meeting the creatures that dwell in darkness and excavating the lore and mythology beneath the surface.
 
There is a Bronze Age trackway below the Isle of Dogs, Anglo-Saxon graves rest under St. Pauls, and the monastery of Whitefriars lies beneath Fleet Street. To go under London is to penetrate history, and Ackroyd's book is filled with the stories unique to this underworld: the hydraulic device used to lower bodies into the catacombs in Kensal Green cemetery; the door in the plinth of the statue…


The Iliad & The Odyssey

By Homer, Samuel Butler (translator),

Book cover of The Iliad & The Odyssey

Why this book?

These are epic poems that have been presented in the courts and amphitheaters from ancient Greece into the modern era. I first read The Iliad as a high-school summer-reading assignment. Later in college, I read The Odyssey for personal entertainment.

The Iliad begins during the siege of Troy (c.1200 BCE) and describes the personality conflicts among the Achaean besiegers as well as detailed descriptions of army and personal combat in this era. The Odyssey is the story of the return of the King of Ithaca and his retinue from the war. They inadvertently offend Poseidon which results in ten additional years of misadventures. By the time Odysseus returns to Ithaca, he is alone and he must reclaim his wife and his throne alone.

I first undertook to read these epic poems because they play such a huge role in Western culture but as I read them, I became fascinated by the interplay of the characters as well as the descriptions of battle in the Bronze Age. Also, I felt fascinated by the morality presented towards respecting the will of the gods.

The Iliad & The Odyssey

By Homer, Samuel Butler (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Iliad & The Odyssey as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Iliad and the OdysseyEpic Poem by Homer

Warrior Scarlet

By Rosemary Sutcliff,

Book cover of Warrior Scarlet

Why this book?

From her earliest years, Sutcliff knew firsthand what it was to live with and surmount painful disability. She understood what it was to be ‘the other’—to be looking from the outside on those able to live ‘normal’ lives. It is not surprising then that many of her stories include main characters who powerfully prove you do not need to be able-bodied to triumph over life. Set in the British Bronze age, this novel is one of those stories. Dem wants to take his place as a warrior of his tribe but must kill a wolf single-handedly to claim his warrior’s scarlet cloak. How can kill his wolf when he was born with a withered arm? With great sensitivity, skill, and prose often close to poetry, Sutcliff brings the Bronze age and its people alive in this wonderfully told story.  

Warrior Scarlet

By Rosemary Sutcliff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Warrior Scarlet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Drem longs for the day he will win his Warrior Scarlet. But with a withered spear arm, how will he take part in the ritual Wolf Slaying which will prove his worth as a man of the tribe?

With over forty books to her credit, Rosemary Sutcliff is now universally considered one of the finest writers of historical novels for children. Winer of the Carnegie Medal and many other honours, Rosemary was awarded a CBE in 1992 for services to children's literature.


Book cover of Age of Bronze Volume 1: A Thousand Ships

Why this book?

This graphic novel is an absolute gift to anyone interested in both many of the lesser-known but no less fascinating narrative digressions of the Trojan War cycle and the visual exploration of what the late bronze age might have truly looked like. Shanower has given so much attention to period details and clothing, to the settings and backgrounds of palace, ship, and landscape. If you’re like me and you struggle to really see what the archaeological record has presented to us in rough floor plans and surviving artworks as a whole picture of life and living, this is an absolute must-read as a gorgeously illustrated narrative of the Trojan War—and the people who existed in the period we often refer to as Mycenean.

Age of Bronze Volume 1: A Thousand Ships

By Eric Shanower,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Age of Bronze Volume 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This new, fully colored edition brings the historical action within the pages of AGE OF BRONZE to new, greater levels.

Daring heroes, breathtaking women, betrayals, love and death--the most spectacular war story ever told: The Trojan War. When a lustful Trojan prince abducts the beautiful Queen Helen of Sparta, Helen`s husband vows to recover her no matter the cost. So begins the Trojan War. From far and wide the ancient kings of Greece bring their ships to join the massive force to pledge their allegiance to High King Agamemnon. Featuring the greatest of the Greek heroes: Achilles, Odysseus, and Herakles,…

Book cover of Archaeology and the Religions of Canaan and Israel

Why this book?

Archaeological evidence suggests very strongly that the ancient Israelites were heavily influenced by the previous inhabitants of Syria-Palestine in many aspects of their life including religion and help to identify the integral part that religion played in the social and political worlds of the Israelites and Canaanites. The author examines current anthropological and sociological theories and compares them to ancient materials excavated over the past eighty years, then offers a new way of looking at the archaeological data suggesting the strong relations between archaeological remains from the Middle Bronze Age (Canaanites) to the Iron Age (Israelites).

Archaeology and the Religions of Canaan and Israel

By Beth Alpert Nakhai,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Archaeology and the Religions of Canaan and Israel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book seeks to demonstrate that archaeological data can provide a strong and independent witness to the religious practices of the ancient inhabitants of Syria-Palestine and help to identify the integral part that religion played in the social and political worlds of the Israelites and Canaanites. By applying current anthropological and sociological theory to ancient materials excavated over the past eighty years, the author offers a new way of looking at the archaeological data. Beth Alpert Nakhai summarises and analyses the archaeological remains from all known Middle Bronze Age through Iron Age temples, sanctuaries, and open-air shrines to reveal the…