Vol. 2: Archaeological and Documentary Evidence

Volume 2 of Bernal's Black Athena:  The Archaeological and Documentary Evidence, appeared in 1991. 
In this volume Bernal turns to detailed investigation of the movements of peoples and cultures around the Mediterranean and Western Asia from 7000 BCE to around 1150 BCE.  This volume focuses in particular on the interchange and relations between Minoan Crete, and its rivals and successors, the Mycenaeans in lower Greece.  He also discusses the relations and rivalries of the Mycenaeans with the Trojans of Asia Minor, the Egyptians and the Hyksos peoples and their intensive interactions between 1800 and 1150 BCE.  The book ends with the aftermath from the sacking of the city state of Troy, the saga of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan Wars. Soon after, there is a collapse of the Mycenaeans and a disruption of Egyptian rule.

Bernal suggests that Egypt was attempting to establish an empire into Asia Minor in an attempt to establish hegemony over the Aegean between 1475 and 1375 BCE.  The first Egyptian campaigns into the region dated from a much earlier period in the Middle Kingdom.  In an intriguing passage, Herodotus (2.104) speculates that the settlement of Colchis on the eastern shores of the Black Sea was an Egyptian colony settled after the campaigns of Sesostris (Senusret).  Bernal, in his reading of the Mit Rahina inscription and other sources, dates the Egyptian campaigns of Sesostris I, into this region to 1930-1920 BCE  (Bernal, Vol. 2, 228-229).

Bernal speculates on the possibility that Egyptians attacked and sacked the city of Troy around 1900 BC. The Mit Rahina inscription suggests that Sesostris and Amenemhe's destruction of a city could match that of Troy or an adjoining city. If so, this destruction would likely have taken place at the end of Troy V, or before the building of the next layer of walls that comprise Troy VI. In the Mit Rahina inscription, you can deduce the possibility that Wilusa or Troy was the actual site. (Bernal V. 2, 512).

If Bernal is correct, then Troy, also referred to as Wilusa by the Hittites and others, had been under several assaults in the 2nd millenium until its final fall during the Trojan War of Homer's epic between 1215 and 1205 (Bernal, 519).  This suggests a prolonged series of expansive wars and competition between Mycenaeans on the lower Greek mainland, the Cretans, the Trojans, the Hittites in Eastern Anatolia and Asia Minor, and the Egyptians led to a series of disastrous wars and environmental catastrophes around 1900 and 1150 BCE.  By the end of this period, most of the great administrative capitals, Troy, Mycenae, Knossos on the island of Crete, and Thebes in Greece (capital of the Hyksos) had all fallen and their empires broken and their rulers deposed. 

Figure 1:  Map of Conquests of Sesostris, Senwosre I and III (based on Bernal, Vol 2, 542)
Based on historical records and accounts of Herodotus and Diodorus Sikeliotes

Records:  _______
Herodotus - - - - - - -
Diodorus - - - - - -