I have been wanting to write a book like this for a long time, and so, first and foremost, my heartfelt thanks go to Rob Tempio, who got this project going and then actively helped to shepherd the manuscript through the usual growing pains and into press. He also exhibited tremendous patience in waiting for the final manuscript to be submitted, somewhat past the original anticipated deadline. I am very pleased to have it chosen as the first book in the new Turning Points in Ancient History series published by Princeton University Press, under the direction of Barry Strauss and Rob Tempio.
I am also indebted to the University Facilitating Fund of The George Washington University for summer stipend money, and to numerous friends and colleagues, including Assaf Yasur-Landau, Israel Finkelstein, David Ussishkin, Mario Liverani, Kevin McGeough, Reinhard Jung, Cemal Pulak, Shirly Ben-Dor Evian, Sarah Parcak, Ellen Morris, and Jeffrey Blomster, with whom I have had rewarding conversations about relevant topics. I would also like specifically to thank Carol Bell, Reinhard Jung, Kevin McGeough, Jana Mynářová, Gareth Roberts, Kim Shelton, Neil Silberman, and Assaf Yasur-Landau for sending materials upon request or providing detailed answers to specific questions, and Randy Helm, Louise Hitchcock, Amanda Podany, Barry Strauss, Jim West, and two anonymous reviewers for reading and commenting upon the entire manuscript. Thanks also go to the National Geographic Society, the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Egypt Exploration Society for permission to reproduce some of the figures that appear in this book.
Much of the material in this book represents an up-to-date and accessible rendition of my research and publications on international relations during the Late Bronze Age that have appeared over the course of the past two decades or more, in addition to presenting, of course, the research and conclusions of many other scholars. Grateful thanks therefore also go to the editors and publishers of the various journals and edited volumes in which some of my previous relevant articles and publications have appeared, for their permission to reproduce that material here, albeit usually altered and updated. These include especially David Davison of Tempus Reparatum/Archaeopress, as well as Jack Meinhardt and Archaeology Odyssey magazine; James R. Mathieu and Expeditionmagazine; Virginia Webb and the Annual of the British School at Athens; Mark Cohen and CDL Press; Tom Palaima and Minos; Robert Laffineur and the Aegaeum series; Ed White and Recorded Books/Modern Scholar; Garrett Brown and the National Geographic Society; and Angelos Chaniotis and Mark Chavalas, among others. I have made every attempt to clearly document within the endnotes and bibliography the publications in which my previous discussions of the data presented here may be found. Any phrasing or other borrowing, from either my own previous publications or those by any other scholar, that remains unattributed is purely unintentional and will be rectified in future editions, as necessary.
And last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank my wife, Diane, for many stimulating conversations about aspects of this material. Among other contributions, she introduced me to the topics of social network analysis and complexity theory, and created some of the images used here. I would also like to thank both her and our children for their patience while I worked on this book. As always, the text has benefited from the firm editing and critical feedback of my father, Martin J. Cline.