Who were the "Sea People"

Aug 2018
220
Italy
What do you mean the Ahhiyawa located in Cilicia? Did the Ahhiyawa go to Cilicia?

Is there really a distinction between "of the sea" and "of the countries of the sea"?
Pretty sure that "countries of the sea" refers to coastal Anatolia.

I'll comment on the Sherden. There isn't really any evidence that connects them with the Western Mediterranean. At best there is the claim of archaeological remains (pottery basically) in Greece which are supposedly from that area of Sicily and Sardinia. But that is easily explained as trade. One could just as easily claim that horned helmets and straight swords in these depictions are similar to that of various Anatolian cultures.
Yes that's true there is no concrete evidence, if we were to find Sardinian pottery in Egypt itself I'd consider that more or less a proof, but for now there is only evidence of indirect trade between Sardinian/South Italy and Egypt during the LBA, and the evidence of direct trade is for now only for Sardinia/South italy with Cyprus and the Aegean. However I have to specify one thing. The South Italian pottery found in Greece and the Levant is not only imported but also locally made suggesting the presence of individuals from those regions during the 12th-13th century bc. Of course this doesn't mean that since they were present in those places during that time period they were one of the sea peoples, they might as well have been peaceful merchants who came either aboard their ships or aboard Mycenaean or Cypriot ships.

Pretty sure that "countries of the sea" refers to coastal Anatolia.
There's no evidence for this either, the only people who we know for certain were from coastal Anatolia, that is the Lycians, were never called "of the countries of the sea", unlike some other sea peoples.


. One could just as easily claim that horned helmets and straight swords in these depictions are similar to that of various Anatolian cultures.
Unfortunately we only have figurative art from Cilicia and Eastern Anatolia during the early iron age, but almost none for the late bronze age, and none at for either period all for Western Anatolia except the Karabel relief from the LBA.
 
That is what current theory suggests, Ahhiyawa refers to part of Cilicia (the latter name being derived from the former).
No Ahhiyawa is to the West and across the sea. Obvious identification is simply with Achaean.
It is not a country in SE Anatolia such as Cilicia - Wikipedia

If you have any links to those 'current theories' I'm always happy to peruse them, but I have a stack of books including most of the original CTH texts that says otherwise. So I would be most surprised if there was anything there.
 
Likes: Todd Feinman
Oct 2013
6,077
Planet Nine, Oregon
Let me state again, that it is pretty inconceivable to me that the weapons and armour of the "Sea People" would have come from the levant. You don't see them in the rest of the iconography. All the way to Kadesh the armour seems to be pretty similar; we don't see round "ankle-tapping" shields, horned helmets, plate cuirasses, rapiers, or anything like them anywhere near Egypt. The remains that have been found = Crete and the Agean.
 
Feb 2011
769
Kitchener. Ont.
No Ahhiyawa is to the West and across the sea. Obvious identification is simply with Achaean.
It is not a country in SE Anatolia such as Cilicia - Wikipedia

If you have any links to those 'current theories' I'm always happy to peruse them, but I have a stack of books including most of the original CTH texts that says otherwise. So I would be most surprised if there was anything there.
Ahhiyawa & Hiyawa are taken to be the same.
Here's one link:
http://kubaba.univ-paris1.fr/recherche/antiquite/mopsoinglesem.pdf
 
Hi Wickerman,

That is not nearly enough. A seemingly partial name correspondence between a Late Bronze Age name Ahhiya/Ahhiyawa (as written in Hittite (Akkadian) cuneiform) and a mention of Hi-Ya-Wa in (late?) Iron Age Luwian Hieroglyphs many hundreds of years later does not suddenly move a known, major, LB political entity to an entirely other place.

Again Cilicia is in south-eastern Anatolia. Based on Hittite texts Ahhiyawa is located to the west of the most western Hittite vassal states during the Bronze Age and across the sea. Then in the Late Bronze Age the Ahhiyawans take parts of western Anatolia, including the island of Lesbos and the area around Millawanda (Miletos) on the western Anatolian coast. In the end they control a large part of the western Anatolian coast and most or all of the isles to the west.
And in the mean time they often attack western allies of vassals of the Hittites (Wilusa, Seha river land, Mira). There are no reports of any activities in the SE, except for raids against places like Alashiya (Cyprus), always places that can be reached by ship.

And they attack the land of Wilusa (Illios) and its capital Taruiša/Truwisha (Troy). We know that they attack it twice, one of these attacks in mentioned in the Hittite texts.
Wilusa is first known from a treaty between Muwatalli II of Hatti and Alaksandu of Wilusa. Sometime thereafter the Ahhiyawans attack Wilusa.
After this first attack (most likely in the reign of Ḫattušili III) a letter was exchanged between a king of Hatti (perhaps Ḫattušili III) and and the king of Ahhiyawa, who has a brother called Tawagalawa (likely a Hiitite rendering of the Greek name Eteocles / Etewoklewes ) and it refers to this first attack (sack of Troy VIh, about 5 generations before the 1st Heracleaid kings of Sparta):
"Now as we have come to an agreement on Wilusa over which we went to war..."
The famous sack of Troy is of course the later second sack of Troy (of Troy VII), about 3 generations before the 1st kings of Sparta, most likely towards the end of the reign of Suppiluliuma II or even a bit later.

The names of peoples mentioned, such as the early raider named Attarsiya (Atreus, but too early to be the like-named father of Agamemnon), the man of Ahhiya, are all Greek.
The city of Miletos (Millawanda/Milliwanda) is know to be one of the earliest Greek settlements in western Anatolia. The excavations in Greece, Crete (taken by the Acheans sometime mid reign Thutmose III) and western Anatolia (after capture of Crete and growing until end of Bronze Age) all agree on this.
 
Feb 2011
769
Kitchener. Ont.
Hi Wickerman,

........That is not nearly enough. A seemingly partial name correspondence between a Late Bronze Age name Ahhiya/Ahhiyawa (as written in Hittite (Akkadian) cuneiform) and a mention of Hi-Ya-Wa in (late?) Iron Age Luwian Hieroglyphs many hundreds of years later does not suddenly move a known, major, LB political entity to an entirely other place.....

The region we call Cilicia never seemed to be an independent state. This region was far outside Hatti-land (to the north), yet it was at one time controlled by the Hittites. Likewise, it was never close to Hurri-land, yet the Hurrians controlled it for a long period. We know this land was not part of the Greek world, yet there is sufficient archaeological & literary evidence to indicate Aegeans moved in to this region either as traders or as migrants - Ahhiyawa.
Some even point to the Greek traditions concerning Mopsus as a reflection of the arrival in Cilicia of Aegeans, date uncertain.

Your objection appears to dismiss the evidence because, in your opinion, there was only one Ahhiyawa, that being in the west. You do not seem to be prepared to entertain the idea that Ahhiyawa opened up a colony in Cilicia.
 
Feb 2018
153
EU-Germany
recent papers in the aDNA/genetics department made some headway by examing MBA and LBA inds from sicily and sardinia and neither could determine an east-mediterranean influx during the LBA(FBAIII) yet revealed that western sicily did have an 'aegean' influx during the MBA ~1700BCE but not the case for sardinia(continuity from neolithic>nuragicIII); hence the narrative of the sherden(š3rdn) and shekelesh(š3krš3) sailing to the west mediterranean islands from the east is not confirmed and leaves only that many other option(s) left;
 

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