I just finished an interesting book: 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric Cline.

It's about the Late Bronze Age Collapse and recent archaeological findings that shed light on the international trade system that had developed in the centuries leading up to it.

The most interesting thing is the connection to legendary events: Both the fall of Troy from the Iliad and the exodus from Egypt as described in the Bible are estimated to have originated in events from this era, but there are, of course, issues.

Regarding Troy, the problem is that the ancient Greeks didn't even exist at this point; the Minoans and Mycenaeans lived in that area, and the archaeological evidence argues against a smooth transition to the later Dorians or Danae. The city of Troy was found, and the destruction from warfare is well attested, but the Iliad was quite obviously a partial fabrication reconstructed centuries later and absorbed into the Greek cultural narrative.

The exodus is even worse; given Egyptian records from the time (and the centuries before, back to ~1500 B.C.), a large influx of refugees from a famine would have been noted, as would the death and destruction that allegedly accompanied their departure. Instead, we find an active incursion into Egypt by the same groups that destroyed Troy, who were then defeated, captured, and sent to serve as frontier soldiers..... in Canaan (modern day Palestine/Israel/Beirut).

Worse, from the point of view of biblical literalists, that area was extremely busy in previous centuries. From ~1500-1200, international trade between Egypt, Mycenae, the Hittites, Assyria and others traveled across Canaan, which was predominantly claimed by Egypt, although they had fought the Hittites half a dozen times in that area. No mention of Israelites, Hebrews or anything else that could possibly connect the Bible to reality has been found prior to the Late Bronze Age Collapse.


Of course, this makes perfect sense; if your ancestors had been members of a marauding horde who were defeated and exiled, you might make up a story that sounds better, too