Who were the Sea Peoples?

Feb 2011
846
Kitchener. Ont.
It seems that bichrome Mycenaean LHIIIb ware was found in the Pentapolis, and after the destruction of Mycenae, it appears that it was produced in different areas showing regional variation.. This would make sense if the fall of the mainland into chaos caused peoples to move into the Levant area and their styles became integrated into the local styles. Incidentally this could also be the period of the Trojan War, with Odysseus mentioning that he had gone to Egypt before joining the attack on Troy. Excavated Philistine burials have been described as in the 'Aegean tradition".
Is this informatin obsolete? Because it would seem to tie into recent tests:
The Archaeology of Ancient Israel
The page you linked to doesn't mention Late Helladic wares, just Mycenean IIIc:1b. This is otherwise known as Monochrome.
Myc. IIIc:1b appeared in the Levant a long, long time after the fall of Mycenae.

LHIIIb is not the same as Myc. IIIc:1b, there is no LH pottery discovered in the time of the Philistines, that is to say above the destruction layers.
Myceneaen pottery means 'pottery made in the Mycenean style but not from the mainland'. Mycenaean pottery was made at various sites across the east Meditrranean.
The distinction is Helladic wares are made on the Greek mainland, Mycenaean wares are stylisitc copies made elsewhere.
 
Feb 2011
846
Kitchener. Ont.
"so if there were any sizeable movements, how did they get from Greece to the Levant?" ............. by boat?? obviously.
Thats just the point, to come by boat they had to pass through the south east Aegean, Dodecanese & Rhodes. Yet Georgiadis published research on the tombs across this region and there is no evidence of a mass movement or influx of outsiders through out these islands.

"The south-eastern Aegean is a vital stepping stone if one wishes to sustain a hypothesis for a massive movement to the east, but the burial evidence from this region demonstrates a period of contimuity of older practices and traditions."

"The evidence presented here for the 12th century does not support a migration influx, nor can any new major mainland cultural influence be observed in the south-eastern Aegean."

Mercourios Georgiadis

If they were from Crete that just shuts down your "large movement" theory anyway.
Why?

Fact is your picking holes yet what are your alternatives, for some reason you refuse to be convinced but with the DNA evidence your confusion is just a side show.
I'm sharing 'holes' picked by others. I'm just aligning all the observed 'holes' together, and they show an hypothesis that doesn't hold water.

The Sea Peoples were SE European, who at this time means they were Greek or Western Anatolian ......... that's it.
That is not a view supported by the evidence, by all means believe what you want. But, theories are put together from an accumulation of facts, and this invasion hypothesis was first suggested years before archaeology had even looked at the problem.

The Egyptians stated the Peleset were pushed to settle on the Levant....
This view is what comes of following what others believe without checking the original texts yourself.
The entire subject is crippled by authors & historians writing their personal views as if they are facts.

The Egyptians never claimed to settle the Peleset (Philistines), what the texts say is:

"The Sherden and the Weshesh of the Sea they were made as those that exist not, taken captive at one time, brought as captives to Egypt like sand on the shore. I settled them in strongholds bound in my name. I taxed them all in clothing and grain from the storehouses and granaries each year."

So, there you are. No mention of taking the Philistines captive, or settling them anywhere. It's a fallacy invented by scholars intent on making the presence of what they call 'Philistine pottery' fit the narrative of an invading force of foreigners in Egyptian texts.
The two are very likely unrelated.

.... the Hebrews said the Philistines were from Crete or at least alluded to that.
Again, no they didn't.
The Hebrew texts say Caphtor. The only known name for Crete is found in a Ptolemaic text, it is Gerty. Yet in the Canopus Decree Capthor was equated with the Phoenician coast.

If you don't believe all the evidence then what is your theory because I'm struggling to work out what it is you think is a credible alternative? ......... considering we now know who they were via DNA.
When what you offer is not correct, it is not evidence of anything but your own belief.
 
Dec 2009
970
UK
Thats just the point, to come by boat they had to pass through the south east Aegean, Dodecanese & Rhodes. Yet Georgiadis published research on the tombs across this region and there is no evidence of a mass movement or influx of outsiders through out these islands.

"The south-eastern Aegean is a vital stepping stone if one wishes to sustain a hypothesis for a massive movement to the east, but the burial evidence from this region demonstrates a period of contimuity of older practices and traditions."

"The evidence presented here for the 12th century does not support a migration influx, nor can any new major mainland cultural influence be observed in the south-eastern Aegean."
Mercourios Georgiadis



Why?



I'm sharing 'holes' picked by others. I'm just aligning all the observed 'holes' together, and they show an hypothesis that doesn't hold water.



That is not a view supported by the evidence, by all means believe what you want. But, theories are put together from an accumulation of facts, and this invasion hypothesis was first suggested years before archaeology had even looked at the problem.



This view is what comes of following what others believe without checking the original texts yourself.
The entire subject is crippled by authors & historians writing their personal views as if they are facts.

The Egyptians never claimed to settle the Peleset (Philistines), what the texts say is:

"The Sherden and the Weshesh of the Sea they were made as those that exist not, taken captive at one time, brought as captives to Egypt like sand on the shore. I settled them in strongholds bound in my name. I taxed them all in clothing and grain from the storehouses and granaries each year."

So, there you are. No mention of taking the Philistines captive, or settling them anywhere. It's a fallacy invented by scholars intent on making the presence of what they call 'Philistine pottery' fit the narrative of an invading force of foreigners in Egyptian texts.
The two are very likely unrelated.



Again, no they didn't.
The Hebrew texts say Caphtor. The only known name for Crete is found in a Ptolemaic text, it is Gerty. Yet in the Canopus Decree Capthor was equated with the Phoenician coast.



When what you offer is not correct, it is not evidence of anything but your own belief.
- Sherden are quoted by the Egyptians as being "captured", the depiction of their dress is non-Egyptian and said "Not of Egypt" the sea is mentioned, they were obviously foreign.

- Hebrew texts also state the Philistines are uncircumcised, foreign to the region.

- DNA evidence .......... which your willfully trying to brush under the carpet is asinine, this new evidence is one your simply trying to ignore and act like it hasn't happened to prop up your crumbling objections.

- You state "why" to my mention of Crete defeating your argument of migration ......... yet you don't need to migrate to go from Crete to Egypt, its direct sailing distance ........ so that's the "why".

You are not offering anything, your not stating who you believe the Sea Peoples were or why they are described in Egypt and by other locals of the Levant as being a foreign element.

The DNA evidence finally is not only damning to your non existent alternative ........ it closes the book.

They were SE European, end of story.

.......... and the only SE Europeans local enough to travel via boat in this era in large enough numbers to be a problem are the Aegean's, pirates from Crete or Rhodes or even coastal Anatolia etc don't need your massive migration theory, its a few days sailing directly via boat from these coastal settlements to Egypt or Canaan just like the Vikings did from Norway and Denmark to Britain and Northern France ......... no migrating, just sailing.

Its not difficult, no matter how much your trying to make it, I think its time you realised that your inherit bias is clouding your reason and judgement ......... disprove the DNA for example, makes you look ridiculous.
 

Todd Feinman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
7,064
Planet Nine, Oregon
The page you linked to doesn't mention Late Helladic wares, just Mycenean IIIc:1b. This is otherwise known as Monochrome.
Myc. IIIc:1b appeared in the Levant a long, long time after the fall of Mycenae.

LHIIIb is not the same as Myc. IIIc:1b, there is no LH pottery discovered in the time of the Philistines, that is to say above the destruction layers.
Myceneaen pottery means 'pottery made in the Mycenean style but not from the mainland'. Mycenaean pottery was made at various sites across the east Meditrranean.
The distinction is Helladic wares are made on the Greek mainland, Mycenaean wares are stylisitc copies made elsewhere.
Apologies. I meant the Mycenaean III, not LHIII, I think! I will certainly need to do some reading on the pottery chronology before I can offer anything useful for discussion.
 

Todd Feinman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
7,064
Planet Nine, Oregon
Perhaps it would be useful to make a distinction between the mass migration hypothesis and the possibility of periodic raids on Egypt from Aegean pirates working with elements from the Levant. The Egyptian battle with the Sea Peoples just seems like a large raid; it doesn't take years to get to Egypt, and a big raid wouldn't really leave much evidence. The BA collapse, mass migration could be a different issue.
 
Feb 2011
846
Kitchener. Ont.
- Sherden are quoted by the Egyptians as being "captured", the depiction of their dress is non-Egyptian and said "Not of Egypt" the sea is mentioned, they were obviously foreign.
Yes of course, but Sherden are mentioned in the northern Levant as far back as the Amarna period. They are still called Asiatics by Ramesses III.

- Hebrew texts also state the Philistines are uncircumcised, foreign to the region.

- DNA evidence .......... which your willfully trying to brush under the carpet is asinine, this new evidence is one your simply trying to ignore and act like it hasn't happened to prop up your crumbling objections.
If you read the articles carefully you will see they found traces of European DNA mixed with local DNA which does not mean they came directly from the west Aegean, but had mixed with local peoples for generations before they arrived in the Levant.
This is what I have been saying, Aegeans inhabited the east Mediteranean all through the 2nd millennium, first by establishing colonies then likely mixing with the local inhabitants. The inhabitants of Cilicia were part Aegean, part Hurrian, part Luwian speakers and very likely part Semite.

- You state "why" to my mention of Crete defeating your argument of migration ......... yet you don't need to migrate to go from Crete to Egypt, its direct sailing distance ........ so that's the "why".
The ships in this period were not open-sea going vessels. All ships clung to the coast or went island hopping. Anyone from the west Aegean sailed through the Dodecanese and along the south coast of Anatolia, then south down passed Lebanon, the southern Levant and to Egypt. All in a clockwise direction.
To try otherwise would be sailing against the winds and sea currents.
Likewise Egyptians going to the west Aegean would sail west towards Libya then north across the Crete.
There's a number of books about sailing the east Mediterranean and the dangers it presents.

You are not offering anything, your not stating who you believe the Sea Peoples were or why they are described in Egypt and by other locals of the Levant as being a foreign element.
On the contrary, I've clearly stated who I think they were and where they came from, and why.
My argument suggests this attack against Egypt was a political enterprise. Those who we call "Sea Peoples" (a misnomer to begin with) were in collaboration with the Hittites.
Ramesses III was fighting a Hittite war in Syria - "None could stand before their arms from Hatti, Kode, Carchemish, Arvad & Alishaya". This was an alliance of Hittite states who, we are told, assembled in Amor - "........their main support were the Peleset, Thekker, Shekelesh, Denyen & Weshesh, lands united".
The Tursha & Sherden are also mentioned in the texts, all Asiatics in collaboration with Hatti.

The DNA evidence finally is not only damning to your non existent alternative ........ it closes the book.
Not in the slightest.
As I pointed out in an earlier post. These DNA studies cannot provide a date when the foreigners arrived, and as there are two schools of thought then the DNA could at a stretch support either view, but I think view 2 is the most likely fit.
View 1 - Foreigners invaded Egypt but were repulsed by Ramesses III.
View 2 - Following the end of the hegemony of Egypt over the southern Levant, circa 1135 +/- or shortly after, foreigners filtered back in to the southern Levant abandoned by Egypt at the end of the 20th dynasty.


.......... and the only SE Europeans local enough to travel via boat in this era in large enough numbers to be a problem are the Aegean's, pirates from Crete or Rhodes or even coastal Anatolia etc don't need your massive migration theory, its a few days sailing directly via boat from these coastal settlements to Egypt or Canaan just like the Vikings did from Norway and Denmark to Britain and Northern France ......... no migrating, just sailing.
Once again, "they" didn't comes from SE Europe, their ancestors included some SE Europeans.

Its not difficult, no matter how much your trying to make it, I think its time you realised that your inherit bias is clouding your reason and judgement ......... disprove the DNA for example, makes you look ridiculous.
You're not following the argument, I wrote several posts ago that this DNA can support both views. However, the first view (foreign invaders repulsed by Ram. III) would not allow foreigners to settle in the Pentapolis, it remained firmly under Egyptian control for the duration of the 20th dynasty.
So, provisionally, until more information is published I would argue the DNA supports the 2nd view. The view I have been proposing, first published by Finkelstein.
 
Feb 2011
846
Kitchener. Ont.
Perhaps it would be useful to make a distinction between the mass migration hypothesis and the possibility of periodic raids on Egypt from Aegean pirates working with elements from the Levant. The Egyptian battle with the Sea Peoples just seems like a large raid; it doesn't take years to get to Egypt, and a big raid wouldn't really leave much evidence. The BA collapse, mass migration could be a different issue.
Pirates, primarily from the south coast of Anatolia, were a constant menace in the east Mediterranean. Egyptian shipping had to deal with piracy on arriving at the delta, those islands were the domain of foreign pirates.
Pirate raids were common but this "Sea People" enterprise was on another scale altogether.
The Bronze Age collapse is a dubious issue in itself, historians all too often go for the grand scenario rather than look at the specifics in detail.
 
Feb 2011
846
Kitchener. Ont.
Isn't this what I've been saying.....

Moreover, the link to southern Europe "doesn't mean that the Philistines [themselves] came from these regions," she added. But the southern European signal is undeniable, so "we can say that the ancestors of the Philistines probably came from southern Europe and arrived into Ashkelon some time either at the end of the late Bronze Age or the beginning of the Iron Age."
Philistines, Biblical Enemies of the Israelites, Were European, DNA Reveals
 
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Todd Feinman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
7,064
Planet Nine, Oregon
Isn't this what I've been saying.....

Moreover, the link to southern Europe "doesn't mean that the Philistines [themselves] came from these regions," she added. But the southern European signal is undeniable, so "we can say that the ancestors of the Philistines probably came from southern Europe and arrived into Ashkelon some time either at the end of the late Bronze Age or the beginning of the Iron Age."
Philistines, Biblical Enemies of the Israelites, Were European, DNA Reveals
That makes sense!
 
Feb 2011
846
Kitchener. Ont.
And now to address the attitude...

I've adressed your penchant for cherry-picking and/or misinterpreting sources before. Although, to be frank, I'm not even sure you've actually read them yourself and you may have just gotten these little "talking points" from somewhere on the internet.
Really, well I find it quicker to reach for the bookcase than search the internet.



I can't possibly list all the hundreds of monographs and publications from the Oriental Ins. of Chicago, but you do happen to be debating with someone who has done the research. Unike many I suppose who just have a bee in their bonnet about defending long held beliefs without looking anything up themselves.

For instance, I believe your mention of Lion-Headed cups comes from a work that Killebrew contributed to and edited but she didn't write the particular article in question. Rather, it was authored by Linda Meiberg. I would note that Meiberg disagreed with Zevulun's conclusion (northern Levant/Syria stylistic origin) and, while she personally believed they were rooted in an Anatolian tradition, she also accepted the possibility that they could have been part of the Aegean-derived repertoire as well. Actually, she eventually asserted this style of cup diffused from Anatolia to both Mycenaean Greece and Syria during the Middle Bronze Age. Even though she acceded to the possibility of an Aegean origin for the Philistines, she preferred the Syrian/Levantine derivation...but merely because those cups, like the Philistine examples, had only one hole instead of two as was common in Mycenaean Greece. Although, to me, that's a pointless distinction because, clearly, cross-pollination was a two-way street as the Philistines incorporated local stylistic elements into their own work.
So, jumping to conclusions again.
My reference was Killebrew from Scripta Mediterranea 2006/2007, and she agrees with Meiberg & Zevulun.

"However, as pointed out by Meiberg, several morphological and functional features of these vessels distinguish them from west Aegean prototypes. These include the lack of an opening for the flow of liquids, a feature which is present in west Aegean Rhyta, thus pointing to the northern Levant and Anatolia as the source of inspiration.
These observations provide irrefutable evidence that the lion-headed cups found at Philistine and other south Levantine coastal sites were part of a long standing Anatolian and North Syrian tradition."

Scripta Mediterranea, 2006/2007, Killebrew, p.254.

Then we get to the crux of the matter, it isn't that there is disagreement between the authors, but you who disagrees with the rationale.
"Although, to me, that's a pointless distinction because, clearly, cross-pollination was a two-way street as the Philistines incorporated local stylistic elements into their own work."

Neither Amiran, in her Ancient Pottery of the Holy Land, nor Dothan in her The Philistines and their Material Culture were able to unearth this fictitious two-hole Rhyta in the southern Levant.
It's clear where the contention lies.

So, who can "prove" they didn't previously know them in a 2-hole style but chose to accommodate their local customers by producing them in a one-hole style? As far as I'm concerned, this sort of debate is pointless, particularly when the people claiming to advocate one side can't even be bothered to give it their full-throated endorsement. So, it's clear that point of minutiae isn't nearly as clear-cut as you've made it out to be. Likewise, you've handled Mazow's claims concerning bathtubs and loom weights in a similar ham-handed fashion. I could go down the list.
They didn't "previously know them in a two hole style" because nothing has been found to indicate this. Let me remind you, theories are the product of evidence. You are trying to dismiss the evidence and replace it with conjecture "what-if this", "what-if that".

Conjecture does have a role to play, but it is always the first step.
First comes Conjecture, followed by Investigation, which (hopefully) produces Evidence, from which we get Theory.
Thats the procedure, not jumping from Conjecture straight to Theory.