Welcome to the iron age. Though the international system of the late bronze age has collapsed under the weight of countless invaders, the Babylonians and Assyrians in their much diminished empires still have eyes only for each other. For them, no era has really ended, the great struggle between the two Mesopotamian power centers has been ongoing for over a century now, and will continue for centuries more. Though the founding of the Isin dynasty in Babylon is shrouded in the mists of poor documentation, and the long lived Ashur-Dan has few surviving records, there are still things to look at as we kick off Season 2 of the podcast.
Putting a map together of this general period from 1200-1000 BCE is pretty tough, but here is a decent stab at it. We will be seeing the Arameans soon, and the map is missing the Neo-Hittites, though picking the Luwian Arameans apart from the Neo-Hittites is a bit of a challenge, as we will be seeing soon. If none of that makes sense to you, don’t worry, it will all get its own section after we spend a bit of time back in Mesopotamia.
Also, looking at this map, you may be wondering where are the people of Israel? But the answer is that no one seriously thinks that they were established by this point. A conservative biblical scholar would put King Saul a bit before 1000 BCE, so they are still in the time of the judges, and a severe skeptic would put the establishment of the Judean kingdom closer to 950-900-ish, so the tribes are barely even recognizable yet. This is another topic that will be covered, in exhaustive and exhausting depth, soonish.