Who were the Sea Peoples?

Feb 2011
833
Kitchener. Ont.
With all due respect ....... you seem to be doing all you can to ignore the evidence.

There are major marked differences between the Hittites and the Sea Peoples.

1) The Egyptians knew exactly who the Hittites were and so did every Kingdom in the Middle East, they were a major power, there would be no mystery or confusion if the Hittites took over Palestine, they would not be called Philistines they'd be called Hittites!
Ok, so you seem to be saying the Egyptians knew who the Hittites were, but didn't know who the foreign invaders were?
I think you're confused on this point, it is us "we" who do not know who the Sea Peoples were, not the Egyptians.


2) You stating "All this is shown in relief at Medinet-Habu and cannot, in my opinion, be separated from the Sea Peoples activity." is complete conjecture .......... the Hittites attempted one invasion from my recollection, Egypt recorded 3-4 waves of Sea peoples all with different tribal names so how do you even attempt to make out they are one or a linked entity, even the Egyptians identified them as different.
"3-4 waves"?
The idea of "waves" is conjecture, this has been proposed because it seems Merneptah fought some foreign peoples who could be called Sea Peoples, but where Merneptah fought them, and whether these foreigners tried to invade Egypt is completely unknown.
You may not be aware of this but the Egyptians identified groups of Sea Peoples as "rebels'.
Foreign warriors are not rebels, a rebel is one who is acting against the will of his acknowledged king.
There's a valid reason for Ramesses III calling the Sea Peoples "rebels", but historians have not addressed it.

3) The Hittites although they probably had some maritime were vastly almost exclusively a land based force.
The Hittites attempted an Imperial invasion not a sea based raid, they came with an army, chariots, spear men, archers, not the fast hitting marine warriors sporting melee weapons and javelins, the Hittites had a balanced army and cavalry.
Absolutely, and we read there was a "conspiracy" involving the Sea Peoples and the king of Amor, who at this time was a Hittite vassal. The Hittite army descended south and made a camp in Amor, of course, Amor was a vassal state.
Rameses speaks about Re-Harakhty authorising him to take up the sword and move against that land of Hatti.
Ramesses attacked Amor, and "Tunip of Hatti", as well as the longtime Hittite supporter state, the island of Arvad.

4) Are the Hittites DNA European? they were local Anatolian's.
You're talking about ethnicity, this was a political enterprise, ethnicity has little to do with it.

5) "It's almost like you see Aegeans as the sole players among the enemy forces." that's your assumption and a ridiculous one, I never said such a thing I'm saying they were separate peoples / incidences, please don't put words in my mouth.
You didn't mention anyone else, these are your words:
"I am pointing more towards the outer Greek peoples on satellite states like Crete or the settlements around the West Anatolian coast or upper Greek coastlines."

Collectively, I'd call them Aegeans, wouldn't you?

So to summerize with all the evidence we have, you have nothing but empty conjecture, I'm not going to entertain someone dismissing evidence after evidence when your not bringing anything to the party as it just seems your being argumentative for the sake of it?

If the Sea peoples were Hittite forces then there would be no mystery, now with the DNA ....... there isn't even that anymore.
The mystery only exists because of people like Maspero and his like-minded followers.
The foreigners were not coming from so far away, they were on the doorstep of Egypt, and in collaboration first with the Libyans, then the Hittites.
 

Todd Feinman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
6,872
Planet Nine, Oregon
I don't think it's tenable that a bunch of folks living in the Nile Delta imported enough Greek armour (elite armour too) and Aegean weapons , to equip a small army in the Delta with the Egyptians just turning their heads and ignoring it and the shipbuilding (which would also have to be imported to create the ships depicted). It was a confederation of peoples equipped with their native arms and armour together invading Egypt. Ramses III waited for them in the Delta, and destroyed them as they came. The invaders were unaware of the range of Egyptian archers and other defenses, and so fell right into the Egyptians' hands. There is no evidence that plate armour was used anywhere near that area, all the way north. Even the Hittites didn't seem to have it. If it was available, I think we'd see more Egyptian armies with it (Egyptians traded with the Greeks), and they wouldn't have been surprised at the Greek "men of bronze" later, if they were already familiar with the technology to create bronze plate armour. None of wealthy Greeks migrating to the Delta, creating foreign ships and importing Greek arms and armour would have been tolerated by the Egyptians, who were perfectly capable of heading north, and they would have known about the preparations for invasion, especially if other peoples were involved too. Some Sea Peoples were invading Greeks, involved ion large-scale piracy. Even Occam's razor would be applicable here..
 
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Feb 2011
833
Kitchener. Ont.
I don't think it's tenable that a bunch of folks living in the Nile Delta imported enough Greek armour (elite armour too) and Aegean weapons , to equip a small army in the Delta with the Egyptians just turning their heads and ignoring it and the shipbuilding (which would also have to be imported to create the ships depicted).
Do you think it tenable for Libyans to occupy some west delta islands, arm themselves, and become a nuisance to Pharaoh?
Do you think it possible for Asiatics to move into the eastern Delta, arms themselves and rebel against the pharaoh and set up their own rulers?

Both of these incidents happened, so why couldn't Aegeans have taken the same initiative?
When it's already happened, any rationale you choose to adopt to argue against it becomes meaningless.

What is being suggested here are colonies of Aegeans, and we already know Aegeans set up colonies across the east Mediterranean, south coast of Anatolia, Cyprus & Levantine coast, throughout the 2nd millennium.


It was a confederation of peoples equipped with their native arms and armour together invading Egypt.
Just as a point of interest. Weapons were very expensive, the steel was manufactured, mined, smelted, forged.
The ships are even more expensive. Bands of homeless migrants cannot possibly afford to buy fleets of ships, this is a national expenditure.
How were the marauding Aegeans able to find the money to buy all this equipment, especially as we are told, they had no homeland so were forced to migrate to find new lands?
Have you ever seen thousands of extremely rich migrants?

Typically, migrants don't have two pennies to rub together. Yet these migrants are suposed to have been able to buy all this equipment; arms armour, ships, and provisions, and advance against larger nations, destroying them in their wake, then set up shop on some deserted beach in the Levant, to take up farming!!!!
What kind of ludicrous idea is this?

Ramses III waited for them in the Delta, and destroyed them as they came. The invaders were unaware of the range of Egyptian archers and other defenses, and so fell right into the Egyptians' hands.
Absolutely he did, Ramesses set a trap for these "rebels".
But this encounter did not take place on the Delta coast, there were no harbors on the coast. All the Egyptian harbors were deep inside the Delta. We have Egyptian texts that tell us Ramesses built ship in at his harbors within the Delta.
So, these "rebels" were able to sail some considerable distance south into the middle of the Delta before being engaged by the Egyptian forces.

There is no evidence that plate armour was used anywhere near that area, all the way north. Even the Hittites didn't seem to have it. If it was available, I think we'd see more Egyptian armies with it (Egyptians traded with the Greeks), and they wouldn't have been surprised at the Greek "men of bronze" later, if they were already familiar with the technology to create bronze plate armour.
Are you talking about Amasis, this was 600+ years later. Who would remember?

None of wealthy Greeks migrating to the Delta, creating foreign ships and importing Greek arms and armour would have been tolerated by the Egyptians, who were perfectly capable of heading north, and they would have known about the preparations for invasion, especially if other peoples were involved too. Some Sea Peoples were invading Greeks, involved ion large-scale piracy. Even Occam's razor would be applicable here..
What you are missing here is the fact we have records of foreigners occupying the outer limits of the Delta, as I mentioned before, the Libyans & Asiatics. In later centuries the Egyptians allowed, or even invited Greeks to settle, like Naucratis, as one example.

What we have not discussed here, it may help you understand is, Egyptian territory does not seem to have extended all the way north to the Med. sea.
All those Lower Egyptian Nomes that are typically drawn on to modern maps are assumed to reach all the way north to the sea. Yet, modern cores samples and soundings are showing that the Delta did not extend so far north as we have on our modern maps. Therefore, those Nomes were not any thing like as big as are shown in modern history books. The idea is false. Yet the islands still did exist. Pelusium was an island, today it is well inland, but the actual Mediterranean coast in the 2nd millennium ran south of Pelusium, and the Lake Manzela didn't even exist.
We still know very little about the geography of this region in ancient times.
Islands there were, that much we know, hundreds of them. But what was the known northern border of Egypt in the 2nd millennium?
That is not known.
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
3,047
Crows nest
It was a confederation of peoples equipped with their native arms and armour together invading Egypt.
I can see a potential analogy with the Vikings. They did not start their raids at the level of nation states, that came later, and in those earlier times did not seem to suffer from a lack of weapons of ships. While we don't know about the Sea Peoples to anything like the extent we know about the Vikings, I don't see a compelling reason to discount a similar situation occuring in the eastern Mediterranean nearly two thousand years earlier.
 
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Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
5,145
Australia
Initially I thought they were raiders like many other people, but more recent evidence and better translations suggest that they were rebels. They were a bunch of minorities who had lived in the region for centuries and periodically attempted to shake off the rule of the Pharoah. The recorded "Sea People" attack wasn't the first nor the last of these rebellions. It has been fixated upon by some historians in an attempt to rationalise their "collapse" theory.

There was no Collapse. There was no Dark Age. It only looks like one because of the dodgy chronology we've been saddled with.
 
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Todd Feinman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
6,872
Planet Nine, Oregon
I can see a potential analogy with the Vikings. They did not start their raids at the level of nation states, that came later, and in those earlier times did not seem to suffer from a lack of weapons of ships. While we don't know about the Sea Peoples to anything like the extent we know about the Vikings, I don't see a compelling reason to discount a similar situation occuring in the eastern Mediterranean nearly two thousand years earlier.
QP Jeffrey P. Emanuel, Cretan Lie and Historical Truth: Examining Odysseus’ Raid on Egypt in its Late Bronze Age Context
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
5,145
Australia
There is no evidence that plate armour was used anywhere near that area, all the way north. Even the Hittites didn't seem to have it. If it was available, I think we'd see more Egyptian armies with it (Egyptians traded with the Greeks), and they wouldn't have.
So what evidence do we have that anyone in these battles had bronze plate armour?
 

Todd Feinman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
6,872
Planet Nine, Oregon
Initially I thought they were raiders like many other people, but more recent evidence and better translations suggest that they were rebels. They were a bunch of minorities who had lived in the region for centuries and periodically attempted to shake off the rule of the Pharoah. The recorded "Sea People" attack wasn't the first nor the last of these rebellions. It has been fixated upon by some historians in an attempt to rationalise their "collapse" theory.

There was NO COLLAPSE. There was NO DARK AGE. It only looks like one because of the dodgy chronology we've been saddled with.
I'm open to no collapsr, but many places were destroyed or abandoned, or at least there was a lot of change.
And then the end of Linear b and the rise of an oral tradition that became the works of Homer.
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
5,145
Australia
I'm open to no collapsr, but many places were destroyed or abandoned, or at least there was a lot of change.
No more than at any other point in time. The settlements typically listed as being destroyed/abandoned during this time occurred over a period of several centuries, not all at once.

And then the end of Linear b and the rise of an oral tradition that became the works of Homer.
There was no "rise of an oral tradition". Linear B was only ever used by bureaucrats. The rest of the population always had an oral tradition.
 
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Todd Feinman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
6,872
Planet Nine, Oregon
So what evidence do we have that anyone in these battles had bronze plate armour?
Well, that's the thing; I look at the Medinet Habu reliefs and see cuirasses with pauldrons, similar to a hypothetical armour between the Thebes Cuirass and early Archaic armour, that being the stuff in the Iliad, too. And then the big round shields and horned and Tiara helmets (found in Crete), and even rapiers, and foreign ships (from cultures that had bronze plate armour) all add up to one thing, and now with the recent tests on remains..