Who were the "Sea People"

Aug 2014
3,382
Australia
#31
Wasn't Cyprus already divided shortly before the bronze age collapse?
There was no Bronze Age collapse. It, along with the so-called "Dark Age", was an artificial construct to try and reconcile the dodgy chronology was are using. If the chronology is revised and the Dark Age removed, we find an orderly transition into the Archaic Age as should be expected.
 
Mar 2014
20
Brazil
#32
Alashiya ceased to exist,like Mycenaean palatial system and the core cities of the Hittite empire.

The population was not killed or entirely replaced.
Must of hittite subjects were Luwians,and Luwians still lived in Anatolia afterwards; there were still some "Eteocrypiots"in Iron age Cyprus,but the old form of governement died,and the power structures changed.

It was certainly a type collapse,but maybe not so long as "our" middle ages one and it was far from "universal".Not only Egypt,but also Assyria survived and thrived for some time afterwards.

Internal strife is a good explanation for the downfall of some kingdoms (but not tje end of their civilizations),we now know that the Hitites faced a civil war and rebellions in the end.Some of the "sea peoples" were once Pharaoh's subjects.

Ancient greek writers even told us of a period of strife and war after the return of heroes of the trojan war in their home soil,and after that different attempts from the Dorians to sieze power (in more than one generation).
Different from the Hitties maybe it was a slow downfall,like the end of the Western Roman empire.

I agree in part with the thesis.But if we short the gap in the timeline wouldn't the collapse became parallel to the massive Aramean migrations ?

In that cause there is evidence linked to climate change.


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Feb 2011
741
Kitchener. Ont.
#33
Wasn't Cyprus already divided shortly before the bronze age collapse?We know that a influx of greek colonists came there during the last centuries of Mycanaean age,maybe they took the kingdom of Alashiya in the other side of the island (that was a main player in the time) by force during the collapse ....or shortly after.

We know that the last two Hittite kings made war to Cyprus,some cities showed layer of destruction,but they were rebuild shortly after.
Cyprus also turned to be an anomally in the iron age,showing lots of elements of the extinct Mycenaean civilization.

It'a a shame that Linear C and Eteocypriot,like Linear A ,are not decyphered maybe it should shed a light in all our conjectures.

Talking about conjectures :could the exploits of Piyama-Radu have been the inspiration of some legends related to Hercules in Anatolia?



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There doesn't appear to be a unified society on Cyprus in the Late Bronze to Iron periods. If Alishaya was on Cyprus it cannot have been the whole island. And, interestingly, there doesn't seem to be any archaeological evidence of a Hittite presence on the island.
If the king of Alishaya was fluent in cuneiform at the time of Akhenaten, where are the cuneiform texts on Cyprus now? None have been found.

I think Finkelstein, Na'aman, etc. will have to return to this issue in time. Identifying two locations on the island that may be Alishaya, when neither fit the requirements in total only means they have not found Alishaya.
Clay was a traded commodity in the ancient world, so any mainland city could have ruled Cyprus as an annex territory. In later centuries the island was known as Yadnana (Ia'Danuna) - isle of the Denyen. The mainland city on Adana has been proposed as the home of the Denyen/Danuna/Danoi. So Adana seems to have ruled over Cyprus at that time, which is consistent with the term "isle of the Denyen".
During the Late Bronze Alishaya may have used Cyprus as a source of clay, so the city-state it's self doesn't need to be on the island.

My view is we need to find cuneiform on the island, we need to find evidence of a Hittite presence, and we need a better isotope match for the clay, before we settle the question of whether Cyprus was Alishaya.
 
May 2017
219
Italy
#34
There doesn't appear to be a unified society on Cyprus in the Late Bronze to Iron periods. If Alishaya was on Cyprus it cannot have been the whole island. And, interestingly, there doesn't seem to be any archaeological evidence of a Hittite presence on the island.
If the king of Alishaya was fluent in cuneiform at the time of Akhenaten, where are the cuneiform texts on Cyprus now? None have been found.

I think Finkelstein, Na'aman, etc. will have to return to this issue in time. Identifying two locations on the island that may be Alishaya, when neither fit the requirements in total only means they have not found Alishaya.
Clay was a traded commodity in the ancient world, so any mainland city could have ruled Cyprus as an annex territory. In later centuries the island was known as Yadnana (Ia'Danuna) - isle of the Denyen. The mainland city on Adana has been proposed as the home of the Denyen/Danuna/Danoi. So Adana seems to have ruled over Cyprus at that time, which is consistent with the term "isle of the Denyen".
During the Late Bronze Alishaya may have used Cyprus as a source of clay, so the city-state it's self doesn't need to be on the island.

My view is we need to find cuneiform on the island, we need to find evidence of a Hittite presence, and we need a better isotope match for the clay, before we settle the question of whether Cyprus was Alishaya.
Alashiya ceased to exist,like Mycenaean palatial system and the core cities of the Hittite empire.

The population was not killed or entirely replaced.
Must of hittite subjects were Luwians,and Luwians still lived in Anatolia afterwards; there were still some "Eteocrypiots"in Iron age Cyprus,but the old form of governement died,and the power structures changed.

It was certainly a type collapse,but maybe not so long as "our" middle ages one and it was far from "universal".Not only Egypt,but also Assyria survived and thrived for some time afterwards.

Internal strife is a good explanation for the downfall of some kingdoms (but not tje end of their civilizations),we now know that the Hitites faced a civil war and rebellions in the end.Some of the "sea peoples" were once Pharaoh's subjects.

Ancient greek writers even told us of a period of strife and war after the return of heroes of the trojan war in their home soil,and after that different attempts from the Dorians to sieze power (in more than one generation).
Different from the Hitties maybe it was a slow downfall,like the end of the Western Roman empire.

I agree in part with the thesis.But if we short the gap in the timeline wouldn't the collapse became parallel to the massive Aramean migrations ?

In that cause there is evidence linked to climate change.


Enviado de meu E6603 usando o Tapatalk
Alashiya was likely a designation for either the whole island of Cyprus or a state located on the island because:

1)The tablets sent from the kings of Alashiya were made up of clay coming from the Troodos mountains in Cyprus, it wouldn't make any sense for a mainland king to import clay to make tablets from Cyprus, since clay is a common material found pretty much everywhere

2)The town of Alassa in Cyprus, located exactly in the Troodos mountain range area, was also settled in the late bronze age, in fact evidence of a large late bronze age site with well visible monumental ruins is present there



3)The king of Alashiya is treated as a great king (brother) by the pharaoh itself, and he is even called "father" by the king of Ugarit in some letters, thus we can safely conclude that Alashiya must have been a wealthy, influential polity. Well, we can also safely say that late bronze age Cyprus fits the picture perfectly, while coastal cilician sites dating to the bronze age do not fit the criteria at all: In Cyprus, large monumental structures were discovered, along with many refined ivory carvings and other precious artifacts attesting to their wealth, the city of Enkomi seems to have been a considerable city for the time, nothing of the sort was discovered in late BA coastal Cilicia; from the late bronze age to the early iron age it is very clear from the material record that the inhabitants of Cyprus were one of the main sea powers and merchants of the Eastern Mediterranean, out of the three late bronze age shipwrecks found yet in the E.Mediterranean, two were cypriot. The Cypriot merchants established their influence up to the Western Mediterranean, where hundreds of their imports were discovered, their influence was especially strong in Sardinia where their bronze tripods and other metallic objects were copied in large numbers. The cypriot "oxhide" ingots are another proof of their commercial and maritme prowess, as the main type of ingot, widespread all over the Mediterranean and found en mass in the cargo ships of the time, were created in Cyprus.


5) The king of Alashiya sent copper ingots to both the pharaoh and the king of Ugarit, and copper from Alashiya is mentioned in Mari documents too, that makes sense considering Cyprus was the greatest exporter of copper at the time as I've just mentioned

6)Alashiya has a fleet capable of facing that of the Hittite empire, that again fits late bronze age Cyprus perfectly, considering its extraordinary maritme vocation

7)Hittites banishing people to Alashiya makes sense considering that Cyprus is an island, and that banishment to islands has been very common throughout history, whereas banishing someone ti Cilicia or Northen Syria wouldn't have made much sense
 
Last edited:
Feb 2018
118
EU-Germany
#35
came across something that might underline the sherden with sardinia

gimenez 2015
The trade of ox-hide copper ingots in the Mediterranean changed drastically at the end of the Bronze Age, probably because of the Sea Peoples event, which critically affected many important sites involved in the trade routes in the Mediterranean
From the XII century BC, ox-hide ingots disappeared in the Oriental Mediterranean and were only found in Sardinia(...until their disappearance, during the XI century BC )


while the paper suggests a revamping of production solely for sardinia the use of the ingots on sardinia then makes it doubtful, all ingots were found in a hoard or cultic context none(unlike crete) at workshop sites _fitting with the find of 2001 begemann et al (n21) Of the bronzes(sardinia), none has lead with an isotopic composition characteristic of copper ingots from Cyprus. All contain local lead, suggesting the bronze implements were manufactured locally

so it seems that the appearance of cypriot ingots(oxhide) in sardinia is correlated to the period of its disappearance which inturn is correlated to the emergence of the sea people, with its useage in sardinia always in a votive/trophy like manner (?sherden loot);
 
Likes: Albertm
Feb 2011
741
Kitchener. Ont.
#36
Alashiya was likely a designation for either the whole island of Cyprus or a state located on the island because:

1)The tablets sent from the kings of Alashiya were made up of clay coming from the Troodos mountains in Cyprus, it wouldn't make any sense for a mainland king to import clay to make tablets from Cyprus, since clay is a common material found pretty much everywhere
If that circumstance were true, no-one would have traded in clay, yet they did.
It is a long established fact, supported by cuneiform records, that clay was a traded commodity.

2)The town of Alassa in Cyprus, located exactly in the Troodos mountain range area, was also settled in the late bronze age, in fact evidence of a large late bronze age site with well visible monumental ruins is present there
5) The king of Alashiya sent copper ingots to both the pharaoh and the king of Ugarit, and copper from Alashiya is mentioned in Mari documents too, that makes sense considering Cyprus was the greatest exporter of copper at the time as I've just mentioned
I lumped those two comments together because the latter argues against the former.
Alishaya did indeed send copper to Mari, these contracts took place in the 19th-17th century BCE, long before Alassa existed.
So Alassa was not Alishaya in that period, so why should it be so in a later period?

3)The king of Alashiya is treated as a great king (brother) by the pharaoh itself, and he is even called "father" by the king of Ugarit in some letters, thus we can safely conclude that Alashiya must have been a wealthy, influential polity.....
Not all kings were regarded as equals, you & I both know this.
We have Great Kings, we have hereditary kings, and we have vassal kings - one appointed to rule by an overlord.
A hereditary king can be reduced to a vassal king if he surrenders his domain to an overlord.

Ugarit was a vassal kingdom. At one point Ugarit was beholden to Egypt, in later years to the Hittite king.
Alashiya, prior to Tudhaliya IV, was an independent kingdom, presumably by a hereditary king.
At the time of the Amarna kings, Alishaya was ruled by an independent king, which means he is superior to the vassal king of Ugarit.
This can be why the king of Ugarit refers to the king of Alishaya as 'father'.
As Alishaya was independent, he is the equal to the independent ruler of Egypt. This is not an issue of value, Alishaya was not an Empire like Egypt or Hatti, but more an acknowledgement that the rulers were equal in the eyes of the gods.
These kings were not usurpers, not vassals, but rightful hereditary kings - equals.

6)Alashiya has a fleet capable of facing that of the Hittite empire, that again fits late bronze age Cyprus perfectly, considering its extraordinary maritime vocation
How big was this Hittite fleet?
Can you provide any academic sources who have written on this fleet and its size, where it was kept, and any records demonstrating it's existence?
Ugarit was contracted to send grain to the Cilician port of Ura via ship, which doesn't suggest the Hittites had their own ships.
I understand Suppiluluima did face ships from Alashiya, but we have no indication any Hittite 'fleet' was involved, and certainly no clue the Hittites went anywhere by ship at any time.

7)Hittites banishing people to Alashiya makes sense considering that Cyprus is an island, and that banishment to islands has been very common throughout history, whereas banishing someone ti Cilicia or Northen Syria wouldn't have made much sense
Not necessary. Typically banishment by rulers are always to some foreign country, not an island.
In fact, if Alishaya was Cyprus, this might be the only banishment to an island that we know of.

I'm more inclined to see the ancient port of Rhossus (modern Arsuz) in the Hatay, as being the ancient city-state of Alishaya. The name even retains the original consonants A-R-S from which we read Alishaya.
 
May 2017
219
Italy
#37
You think that a country whose king was considered an equal by that of Ugarit and even by the phraoh could be a microscopic country which left almost no archaeological trace of its existence or influence anywhere?

How big was this Hittite fleet?
Can you provide any academic sources who have written on this fleet and its size, where it was kept, and any records demonstrating it's existence?
Ugarit was contracted to send grain to the Cilician port of Ura via ship, which doesn't suggest the Hittites had their own ships.
I understand Suppiluluima did face ships from Alashiya, but we have no indication any Hittite 'fleet' was involved, and certainly no clue the Hittites went anywhere by ship at any time.
How do you think that he faced his fleet/fought with them at sea? By swimming?


Not all kings were regarded as equals, you & I both know this.
We have Great Kings, we have hereditary kings, and we have vassal kings - one appointed to rule by an overlord.
Correct

As Alishaya was independent, he is the equal to the independent ruler of Egypt. This is not an issue of value, Alishaya was not an Empire like Egypt or Hatti, but more an acknowledgement that the rulers were equal in the eyes of the gods.
And it would've been impossible for a kingdom located where Arsuz is to be independent at the time of the egyptian empire.


Alishaya did indeed send copper to Mari, these contracts took place in the 19th-17th century BCE, long before Alassa existed.
So Alassa was not Alishaya in that period, so why should it be so in a later period?
Why do you say that Alassa did not exist back then?
 

MrKap

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
2,347
#38
I thought they were red headed phoenicians, however I am starting to consider the thules as trade routes around the world are sometimes associated with guardians or we'evils that serve the best interest with seafarers.

As the bronze helmet point out, it's probably popular slang terminology to group together a much larger and more complex social organization.

The proof that seafarers and traders existed can probaqbly be found in the swirl and other star map ethcing on rocks. They were upward facing so leather could be stretched and tanned over top, thus giving you at least some ideas as to where people who would call them selves "sea peoples", might be interested in travelling to.

See my larger post on the subject here... Massive 1,100+ year old Maya site discovered in Georgia's mountains
 
Last edited:
May 2017
219
Italy
#39
If that circumstance were true, no-one would have traded in clay, yet they did.
It is a long established fact, supported by cuneiform records, that clay was a traded commodity.



I lumped those two comments together because the latter argues against the former.
Alishaya did indeed send copper to Mari, these contracts took place in the 19th-17th century BCE, long before Alassa existed.
So Alassa was not Alishaya in that period, so why should it be so in a later period?



Not all kings were regarded as equals, you & I both know this.
We have Great Kings, we have hereditary kings, and we have vassal kings - one appointed to rule by an overlord.
A hereditary king can be reduced to a vassal king if he surrenders his domain to an overlord.

Ugarit was a vassal kingdom. At one point Ugarit was beholden to Egypt, in later years to the Hittite king.
Alashiya, prior to Tudhaliya IV, was an independent kingdom, presumably by a hereditary king.
At the time of the Amarna kings, Alishaya was ruled by an independent king, which means he is superior to the vassal king of Ugarit.
This can be why the king of Ugarit refers to the king of Alishaya as 'father'.
As Alishaya was independent, he is the equal to the independent ruler of Egypt. This is not an issue of value, Alishaya was not an Empire like Egypt or Hatti, but more an acknowledgement that the rulers were equal in the eyes of the gods.
These kings were not usurpers, not vassals, but rightful hereditary kings - equals.



How big was this Hittite fleet?
Can you provide any academic sources who have written on this fleet and its size, where it was kept, and any records demonstrating it's existence?
Ugarit was contracted to send grain to the Cilician port of Ura via ship, which doesn't suggest the Hittites had their own ships.
I understand Suppiluluima did face ships from Alashiya, but we have no indication any Hittite 'fleet' was involved, and certainly no clue the Hittites went anywhere by ship at any time.



Not necessary. Typically banishment by rulers are always to some foreign country, not an island.
In fact, if Alishaya was Cyprus, this might be the only banishment to an island that we know of.

I'm more inclined to see the ancient port of Rhossus (modern Arsuz) in the Hatay, as being the ancient city-state of Alishaya. The name even retains the original consonants A-R-S from which we read Alishaya.
Another clue of Alashiya being Cyprus or in Cyprus is that the king of Biblos had to send his evoy to Egypt by way of Alashiya when the Syro-Palestinese route was controlled by enemy ships, this would make no sense if Alashiya was in Northen Syria or Cilicia, since his envoy would never reach Egypt from there, but it would make perfect sense if his envoy first reached Cyprus, avoiding his enemies and then reaching Egypt with the Northwest winds and avoiding the enemy ships in patrolling the coasts of Lebanon.
 
Feb 2011
741
Kitchener. Ont.
#40
You think that a country whose king was considered an equal by that of Ugarit and even by the phraoh could be a microscopic country which left almost no archaeological trace of its existence or influence anywhere?
The king of Alishaya was not considered an equal by the king of Ugarit, thats why the latter called the former - father.

Correspondence between royal kings required a degree of respect no different than today.
There is an absolute monarch ruling Saudi Arabia, just the same as the absolute monarch ruling the island of Tonga. The kings of Saudi & Tonga are equals, which has nothing to do with the number of citizens they rule over or the size of their economy.


How do you think that he faced his fleet/fought with them at sea? By swimming?
The suggestion that Suppiluliuma used ships does not mean the Hittites had a fleet.

The letter ends with Suppiluliuma claiming the enemies from Alishaya came against him (in multitude) when he landed on dry land.
This line appears to suggest he landed on Cyprus (Alishaya) - where else would people from Alishaya be "in multitude"?
Yet Suppiluliuma does not say that. To land on the enemy country would be a claim worthy of mention, it would be a successful invasion. Yet Suppiluliuma fell short of claiming he landed on Alishaya, just "on dry land", implying the mainland.
From this text alone we can see the Alishayan's were coming against the Hittites somewhere on the mainland, so this text does not support a claim that Alishaya was an island.

And it would've been impossible for a kingdom located where Arsuz is to be independent at the time of the egyptian empire.

It wasn't, Alishaya offered tribute to Thutmosis III.


Why do you say that Alassa did not exist back then?
I don't believe strata exists going back that far.
 

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