Who were the "Sea People"

#91
If you read the texts at Medinet-Habu, not many read all the texts, but if you do you will see where Ramesses III claims to have been given the sword (ie; authority) to invade that land of Hatti.
The reliefs show Egyptian forces besieging the island city of Arvad - a longtime Hittite supporter, and, attacking "Tunip of Hatti".
Therefore it was Ram. III who moved against the Hittites by crossing into Syria. The reliefs at Medinet-Habu show Hittites, identifiable by their long gowns, receding forehead, and long hair. Comparable with figures in the Seti reliefs.
Syrian Hittites were not Anatolian Hittites, it would appear this engagement by Ram. III was after the Hittite Empire had collapsed.
The list of 'nations' traditionally believed to have fallen victim to the onslaught of Sea Peoples, ie; Hatti, Kode, Carchemish, Arvad [not Arzawa] & Alishaya, are all Hittite.
[note: Arzawa is an error, Arzawa did not exist in the 12th century. Arzawa had been destroyed by Mursilis II some 200? yrs before Ram. III ]
What this list represents in my view is an alliance of Hittite states, their confederates were the Peleset, Danuna, Tursha, Sherden, Shekelesh, etc. (ie; the Sea Peoples).
It was Hatti, Kode, Carchemish, and Alishaya who will have presented the land forces.
Arvad (traditionally a naval concern), the Peleset, Danuna, Tursha, Sherden, Shekelesh, etc. provided the sea borne forces.
But then that doesn't explain why the Egyptians didn't know who the Sea peoples were or found them so alien, surely having had contact with all the former and knowings of what's happening in those regions, they would know who they are if they were Hittite / ex Hittite subjects?
 
Likes: Todd Feinman
Feb 2011
759
Kitchener. Ont.
#92
But then that doesn't explain why the Egyptians didn't know who the Sea peoples were or found them so alien, surely having had contact with all the former and knowings of what's happening in those regions, they would know who they are if they were Hittite / ex Hittite subjects?
Would you mind clarifying what makes you think the Egyptians didn't know who those enemies were?
 
Oct 2013
5,726
Planet Nine, Oregon
#93
I was thinking of the fact that depictions of their weapons and armour are absent from the rest of Egyptian history; if they were such a formidable and worrying group of peoples, and were nearby, one would expect to see more encounters with them, and more depictions. Instead, the depictions of nearby enemies or peoples in Syria basically have similar weapons and armour --even the Mitanni. Correct?
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,057
#94
But then that doesn't explain why the Egyptians didn't know who the Sea peoples were or found them so alien, surely having had contact with all the former and knowings of what's happening in those regions, they would know who they are if they were Hittite / ex Hittite subjects?
The sea people were likely no one single group, but a mix of different people's driven by economics and social unrest they were not led by any one leader or group, which made the mysterious. The mixture of different group would have made them seem unfamilar, even if the Egyptians had met the groups separate before. That is why the sea people disappeared to.complerely from history, isnthey simply decomposed to their existing ethnics groups
 
#96
Would you mind clarifying what makes you think the Egyptians didn't know who those enemies were?
Well the way the Egyptians present them from what I remember are like some strange foreign raiders who just turned up and the Egyptians never gave them an origin.

The same could be said for the Philistines, they just jump up out of nowhere, no migration history like there is with the Arameans or the Amorites, no pointers to whether they were Semitic or not, we just have this strange "Then there they were" type of history for them.

The only descriptions the Egyptians leave us is their appearance, some habits of war i.e the Egyptians used them in their war against the Hittites as mercenaries and they describe them as great warriors.
They left some of the names of the different groups of what they called the 9 tribes and that's it.

What information do you have in adverse to that? why would Egyptians give them individual group names like the Peleset and Sherdan if they knew where they were from?
 
Feb 2018
135
EU-Germany
#98
and that is exactly the fundamental !point
the srdn/sherden for example were part of the egyptian military already at kadesh aka a good century pre the repulsed sea-peoples invasion, the srdn/sherden were even stationed in garrisons in egypt and yet they like the other 'peoples of the sea' were described as deriving 'of the sea' or from 'the countries of the sea' _not exactly a detailed description if they derived from areas known to the egyptians specially in the case of the srdn/sherden who surly didnt frist their time in the military as deaf-mutes and yet nothing is recorded that their tongue was similar or exact as anything the egyptians knew 'from the midst of the sea' was the best/precise and that says alot;
http://www.enim-egyptologie.fr/revue/2017/2/Abbas_ENiM10_p7-23.swf.pdf
 
Likes: Todd Feinman
Feb 2011
759
Kitchener. Ont.
#99
I was thinking of the fact that depictions of their weapons and armour are absent from the rest of Egyptian history; if they were such a formidable and worrying group of peoples, and were nearby, one would expect to see more encounters with them, and more depictions. Instead, the depictions of nearby enemies or peoples in Syria basically have similar weapons and armour --even the Mitanni. Correct?
If you look at some of the reliefs in the Amarna period we can find depictions of Syrians or Asiatics wearing a large medallion strung around the neck, and a tunics with a tassel or group of tassels at four? points around the hem.

Top figure.



Some of the Sea Peoples are also depicted with this same medallion, and tunic hemmed with tassels at four? points around the hem.
2nd figure from left is wearing the medallion.


Center figure, wearing the medallion, tassles on the hem of tunic.


I'm aware these figures do not offer a complete answer to your question, but I hope you can see indications that some of these Sea Peoples were Asiatics, quite possibly Syrian.
 
and that is exactly the fundamental !point
the srdn/sherden for example were part of the egyptian military already at kadesh aka a good century pre the repulsed sea-peoples invasion, the srdn/sherden were even stationed in garrisons in egypt and yet they like the other 'peoples of the sea' were described as deriving 'of the sea' or from 'the countries of the sea' _not exactly a detailed description if they derived from areas known to the egyptians specially in the case of the srdn/sherden who surly didnt frist their time in the military as deaf-mutes and yet nothing is recorded that their tongue was similar or exact as anything the egyptians knew 'from the midst of the sea' was the best/precise and that says alot;
http://www.enim-egyptologie.fr/revue/2017/2/Abbas_ENiM10_p7-23.swf.pdf
Sorry but what point are you championing, I agree with what your saying hence why I'm on the side proclaiming that the Egyptians found them rather alien, as opposed to anyone from their immediate area of knowledge i.e Hittites, Syrians, Levant peoples .......... but what point are you stating?

Do you think they were Aegean or further afield like Sicily or Sardinia?

Does anyone know how strong the Egyptian contact was with lets say the Mycenae?
 

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