Who were the Sea Peoples?

>> The Egyptians stated that the Peleset settled the Levant, which we know are the Philistines, who we know have SE European DNA.

Oh, where? Ramesses III didn't, to name one.

He was talking about several distinct groups who attacked (or were attacked) during several of his early years:
1. Libu tribes from the west (Libya),
2. Peleset/Philistines from their towns in Canaan (they had already settled there 200+ years before they tried their luck next door) and
3. a mixed band of various groups often called 'Sea Peoples'.
There is a big difference between civilized people living next-door, albeit in the coastal areas with ports & ships and the quite uncivilized 'Sea Peoples' from various places in the SE Mediterranean.

The Philistines are already in Canaan in the early to mid 18th dynasty (circa Thutmose III) according to excavations by a.o. Dothan (see Digging up Ashdod).
They may have come from SE Europe, and they may be one of the sources of that European DNA found in coastal trading cities from Canaan to Lebanon.

The problem is that later people like Dothan decided to call any Iron Age 'Philistine' find Philistine and exclude anything that predates Ramesses III. Even when it is clearly exactly the same.
Even when people know Egyptian iconography and understand how to read Ramesses III's pictures.

An example of this issue:
Hasel, M. G. (1998). New Discoveries Among the Philistines: Archaeological and Textual Considerations. Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, 9(1), 9.
https://www.southern.edu/administration/archaeology/doc/scholarly_publications/Discoveries.pdf
"According to the reliefs, the Philistines wore a plain shirt jerkin under some armor. All wore elaborate feather headdresses similar to a mohawk haircut. They are clearly fighting against the Egyptians, and by the look of it they are not winning.
The same hairstyle or feathered headdress appears as a coffin lid from Beth Shan, an Egyptian stronghold in Palestine during the Late Bronze Age.16 Other ceramic coffins of this type occur at coastal sites like Tell Far’ah (S) and Lachish.17 Some scholars have made a connection between these coffin lids and various early “Sea Peoples”18 or Philistines.19 However, Larry Stager, of Harvard University, has pointed out that the dating of coffins found at the Egyptian garrison site of Deir el-Balah20 may preclude an association with the Philistines since they appear a century or two before the “Sea People” invasion described in the records of Ramses III.21 ""


Those warriors with feathered headdress appearing in Canaan are found starting from 18th dynasty contexts, and several appear in D18 and D19 military contexts (and later develop Egyptianized anthropoid coffins, that and their locations indicate that they by that time in the employ of the Egyptian military in Canaan).

They look the same and probably are the same, yet they are now classified as something else because the current dogma is that the Philistines only arrived at the time of Ramesses III ...
 
Feb 2011
822
Kitchener. Ont.
.....


No, that's clearly not what you've been saying. ...
I've been saying the same thing for at least a decade, and on this thread for four years.
Who were the Sea Peoples?
The Philistines did not come from SE Europe to invade anyone, the Levant or Egypt.
My view has always been they were local to the region, which does not rule out a SE European ancestry, as that is not a "Sea Peoples" issue as it happened long before the end of the Late Bronze.


This quote paraphrases exactly what I've been saying: people from Europe migrated to the Levant and procreated with the locals when they got there...the Philistine culture we find in archaeology is the sum product of this event. I would further quote a statement from the Max Planck Institute which was linked in the same article (translated by Google):

Another example of you misinterpreting a source to suit your own purposes...
I suggets you are not following the argument. The same article also tells you that:
"The Egyptians claimed that the Peleset travelled from the “the islands,” attacking what is today Cyprus and the Turkish and Syrian coasts, finally attempting to invade Egypt."

Egyptian texts claim no such thing.
What I think you need to do is realize that Max Plank Inst. article is built on the premise of the original paradigm, another case of moulding the evidence to fit the theory.

How do they know their SE Europen invaders arrived in year 8 of Ramesses III?, they tell us:
"This timing is in accord with estimates of the Philistines arrival to the coast of the Levant, based on archaeological and textual records,”

In plain English then, they adopt the timing of the original paradigm to claim the arrival date, the arrival date was not discovered scientifically, it was chosen.
An arrival date no more than 50 years later, at the end of the 20th Dynasty (following Finkelstein) is not mentioned nor considered, but certainly well within reason to produce the same scientific results.
 
Feb 2011
822
Kitchener. Ont.
...

Those warriors with feathered headdress appearing in Canaan are found starting from 18th dynasty contexts, and several appear in D18 and D19 military contexts (and later develop Egyptianized anthropoid coffins, that and their locations indicate that they by that time in the employ of the Egyptian military in Canaan).

They look the same and probably are the same, yet they are now classified as something else because the current dogma is that the Philistines only arrived at the time of Ramesses III ...
It's very possible yes, but bare in mind the Egyptian reliefs also show the Shekelesh, Denyen, & Tjekker wearing those same plumed headdresses.
The 18/19th dynasty coffins, as best I recall, carry no identification as to which 'peoples' were interred within.
 
Feb 2013
4,321
Coastal Florida
I've been saying the same thing for at least a decade, and on this thread for four years.
Who were the Sea Peoples?
The Philistines did not come from SE Europe to invade anyone, the Levant or Egypt.
My view has always been they were local to the region, which does not rule out a SE European ancestry, as that is not a "Sea Peoples" issue as it happened long before the end of the Late Bronze.
The problem with this is that no evidence exists which supports the idea of a significant presence of Aegean peoples in or near the Levant "long before the end of the Late Bronze" Age. Prior to the very late Bronze Age, we have little evidence of any potential permanent presence of Aegean people except for things like long-distance trade in commodities and artwork such as Minoan-style murals at a handful of urban sites. Only a small number of merchants and artisans would be necessary to facilitate these sorts of things. And, in actuality, I'm not sure we have enough evidence to demonstrate that even this small number of people were all permanent residents. Even if one interprets the archaeology in a fashion most sympathetic to this idea, there is simply no evidence of a large Aegean population permanently settling anywhere in this region prior to the Bronze-Iron transition period. That doesn't appear to have occurred on Cyprus either.

I suggets you are not following the argument. The same article also tells you that:
"The Egyptians claimed that the Peleset travelled from the “the islands,” attacking what is today Cyprus and the Turkish and Syrian coasts, finally attempting to invade Egypt."

Egyptian texts claim no such thing.
What I think you need to do is realize that Max Plank Inst. article is built on the premise of the original paradigm, another case of moulding the evidence to fit the theory.

How do they know their SE Europen invaders arrived in year 8 of Ramesses III?, they tell us:
"This timing is in accord with estimates of the Philistines arrival to the coast of the Levant, based on archaeological and textual records,”

In plain English then, they adopt the timing of the original paradigm to claim the arrival date, the arrival date was not discovered scientifically, it was chosen.
An arrival date no more than 50 years later, at the end of the 20th Dynasty (following Finkelstein) is not mentioned nor considered, but certainly well within reason to produce the same scientific results.
They're merely saying the findings are in accord with the general outline of a conventional archaeological interpretation, which is still widely held. An argument over the fine details spanning 50 years is largely insignificant at this point in history as we will probably never definitively know the exact order in which all of these events occurred. And, to be quite frank, it's not terribly important. I would also note that Finkelstein's views on the matter are not generally accepted. In fact, no particular view is generally accepted as the exact timing and order of events remains the subject of significant debate. However, most of these folks seem to agree the Philistines settled the Levantine coast at some point during the 12th century. Barring the discovery of some fantastic new evidence which definitively settles this question, I'm not sure we will ever achieve greater resolution than that.

Book arrived, and I've seen a few of the essays online earlier; as usual it appears to be a complex period with no easy answers.
With the exception of this new empirical evidence concerning the Philistines, conflicting opinions are all one ever finds when it comes to this subject. And the further one delves into the minutiae, the more conflicting it becomes.
 
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Likes: Todd Feinman
Feb 2011
822
Kitchener. Ont.
The problem is and what we're seeing is one its down to interpretation, two Wickerman is also being extremely selective and entertaining his selectivity is allowing him to sidestep the evidence, three the physical evidence, DNA, Pottery, Weapons, Scriptures from Hebrews and depictions of them in Greek style by the Egyptians.

These people were not Semetic.
Scholars will point out to you that the typical Semite is depicted by the long pointed beard & hooked nose, many wear a medallion around the neck.
These reliefs show two Semites, a Sherden on the left, and a Sh-a......(incomplete) on the right.



Insist all you like that these enemies were not Semite, but you cannot change the reliefs. Sooner or later you will have to change your opinion.
 
Feb 2011
822
Kitchener. Ont.
The problem with this is that no evidence exists which supports the idea of a significant presence of Aegean peoples in or near the Levant "long before the end of the Late Bronze" Age. Prior to the very late Bronze Age, we have little evidence of any potential permanent presence of Aegean people except for things like long-distance trade in commodities and artwork such as Minoan-style murals at a handful of urban sites. Only a small number of merchants and artisans would be necessary to facilitate these sorts of things. And, in actuality, I'm not sure we have enough evidence to demonstrate that even this small number of people were all permanent residents. Even if one interprets the archaeology in a fashion most sympathetic to this idea, there is simply no evidence of a large Aegean population permanently settling anywhere in this region prior to the Bronze-Iron transition period. That doesn't appear to have occurred on Cyprus either.
It is the fault of the accepted paradigm that causes you to keep looking for Aegeans as the invaders, they weren't Aegeans, they didn't come from Crete or mainland Greece. They are consistently described in texts as Aimu & Setetui, they were Asiatics.
As to the question of an Aegean ancestry, or partial ancestry, a mixed blood, fair enough, but that occurred long before the end of the Late Bronze Age.
What would you choose to call peoples from Cilicia?
Do you want to call them Luwian, or Hurrian, or Aegean, or Semite?
What does it matter?, the political situation dictates these 'peoples' were part of a Hittite alliance moving against Egypt. That is how their role is described if we put aside the accepted paradigm for a moment.

After introducing the alliance of Hittite states (Hatti, Kode, Carchemish, Arvad & Alishaya), we read "their confederacy were the Sherden, Shekelesh, Peleset, " etc..etc...
The connection is right there for all to read, and has been for thousands of years.
These lines have just been read differently with little justification, Ramesses even told the reader that he slew the king of Hatti, and the king of Kode, that he destroyed? Carchemish & Arvad, plus five cities on Cyprus (Alishaya?)
Ramesses actually claimed to have destroyed Hatti, Kode, Carchemish, Arvad & Alishaya on the Osirid bases in the first court of Medinet Habu yet, scholarship has consistently ignored this part of his text and asserted those 'nations' were destroyed by Sea Peoples!
There is absolutely no evidence, textual or tangible, to support such a claim. In fact textual evidence has always existed that Ramesses slew the Hittites.

It's all very well for some posters to state this or that scholar doesn't agree with my view, but it might shock some posters to learn just how few scholars have actually read all the inscriptions at Medinet Habu, many just focus on the well advertised sections that most people know off by heart.
There is more to this encounter than meets the eye.


...... I would also note that Finkelstein's views on the matter are not generally accepted. In fact, no particular view is generally accepted as the exact timing and order of events remains the subject of significant debate.
Of course, there are a wide range of interpretations, not only of where these invaders came from, but on the subject of what triggered them to assemble as a migrating hoard in the first place.
Yet, the most interesting observation, to my mind at least, is the question now being asked, "was there even a real migrating hoard?"
Several scholars have raised considerable doubts on that question.


However, most of these folks seem to agree the Philistines settled the Levantine coast at some point during the 12th century. Barring the discovery of some fantastic new evidence which definitively settles this question, I'm not sure we will ever achieve greater resolution than that.
Well thats a given - yes we all accept some foreigners (foreign to the region) moved in to settle the coastal Levant at some point, but were they the invaders of year 8 (per Dothan, et.al), or were they unrelated to the confrontation by a couple of generations? (per Finkelstein)
 
Scholars will point out to you that the typical Semite is depicted by the long pointed beard & hooked nose, many wear a medallion around the neck.
These reliefs show two Semites, a Sherden on the left, and a Sh-a......(incomplete) on the right.



Insist all you like that these enemies were not Semite, but you cannot change the reliefs. Sooner or later you will have to change your opinion.
............ and what? did the Egyptians ever depict Semites wearing head gear like that at any other point in history? no! these depictions are distinctly different as are the feathered helmet variety however both horned and feathered can and are found in Mycenean and Agean style head wear.

Your boring mate, that Helmet is typical of the flamboyant bronze helmets of the Greeks.

No Semite wore horned helmets, not the Assyrians, not the Babylonians, not the Arabs, not the Yemeni, not the Levant arabs, none of them ..........oh and theres the small matter of the DNA lest we forget.

Funny thing is all you have is theoretical conjecture where as I present hard evidence and your persistence on ignoring them is border line trolling at this point.

Nothing your unqualified opinion is going to change the evidence at hand and it never will so I'm not sure why your carrying on .......... I mean for the love of god, do you think Greeks didn't have medallions lol, this is the sum of your evidence, its beyond ridiculous.

Here's your helmet (a version of it) funnily enough both a horned and a feathered type and oh look its a greek wearing it .................

 
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