sea peoples

Banyai Banyai at
Mon Mar 19 10:42:51 EST 2001

Ian Hutchesson wrote:

> >I am perfectly on your side. Please note the presence of
> >the Turusha, probably Taruisa (Troy?), in the second
> >movement.
> I know of the Taruisa (from Hittite) who are recorded by the Egyptians as the
>  Teresh
> and who have been associated with the Etruscans (and the Tyrsenoi) -- though
>  the
> hypothetical connection with Troy is based on a slight linguistic similarity
>  (the
> Hittites knew Troy as Wilusa [Ilios]).

And as Taruisa probably too, mentioned in an anti-Hettite aliance of the 
Assuwa-lands by the time of Tutchalijas IV. Taruisa and Wilusa may perhaps not be 
denoting exactly one and the same thing, may be one being the city of Troy, the 
other the name of the country around, who knows. It is mysterious enough that 
Homer used two names for a single city.

> And I don't think the Meshwesh were Libyan, as apparently the Egyptians didn't
> either, naming them in conformity with other sea peoples with the gentilic
> ending -sh. And note we have another reflection of two separate components
>  within
> the sea peoples: Peleset, Denyen and Tjekker on the one hand linked by
>  clothing and
> head gear, many of the others linked by the same naming convention. This of
>  course
> includes the Ekwesh (Achaeans).

Nothing against, since some of the Lybian names, for example Pimay = 
Piama stimulated to Anatolian parallels. There is however an early mention of the 
Meshwesh, "fat from the bulls of Meshwesh", I think I remember from the time of 
Sethos I or so. Of course it is a seducting possible reading of Meshwesh as 
Mysies, that is Anatolian Myssians, but I don´t beleave this to be easily 

> There was already a Greek trading bridge on the Cyrene coast, which made that
>  area a
> natural destination for Greek and related peoples to land.

I don´t know anything about.

> >These Ahhiyawa can not be the hebr. Hivite since this
> >small coalition came to Egypt from Lybia and not from
> >Canaan.
> You're depending solely on the accuracy of the Egyptians to include only those
> people who were involved, not one more, not one less.
> But the Ahhiyawa were not the only "Canaanite" tribe mentioned in the OT/HB.
>  One
> should also see the Perezzites as Peleset. (See Garbini's "I Filistei".)

Well I maintain that the Peleset were already in Canaan well before Ramses III. 
Don´t forget, all we know about the ethnical composition of Canaan before Ramses 
III is to be called a single big lacuna. They could have been called Peleset as 
well as Erewhonites, we can make no statements about.

> >There is a step too much you take. There is at Ugarit still
> >no coalition.
> I don't think that this is correct. There was already a type of coalition on
>  record
> from the time of Merneptah: Teresh, Lukka, Sherden, Shekelesh, and Ekwesh. The
> Teresh and the Shekelesh continue in their activities and are joined by the
>  Tjekker,
> Pelest and the Denyen. 

Well, in Ugarit we have the mention of a single name, of the Shekelesh.

> Ramses III places these last five together on the
>  plain of
> Amur, which is just south of Ugarit.

Well since Ramses III said the Peleset would hide in their cities, the battle was 
fought on neutral ground.

I may explain: Peleset + Denjen + Tjekker covered geografically the sea-coast 
between Egypt and Amurru. It is so much clear, that Ramses maneuvered them out by 
attacking the coalition by surprise from the north (after winning the sea-battle) 
instead from the south flank, where they were waiting on him.

> The two groups indicated above, Teresh and Shekelesh on one hand, and the
>  Tjekker,
> Peleset and Denyen on the other, can be separated by cultural traits on the
>  walls of
> Madinat Habu. (The Egyptian artists seem to have had a great interest down to
>  small
> details in the exact representation of the people they portrayed.) The
>  Tjekker,
> Peleset and Denyen all wore the same clothing and head gear -- the only thing
> separating them was the Egyptian captions. One would need to conclude then
>  that
> these three were culturally linked.

Yes, exactly. I would however make a distinction between these doubtless ethnical 
traits, which one may attribute to the Peleset/Denjen/Tjeker and the ceramical 
association, which is by no means demonstrated. There is no proof that the 
Peleset were the creators of the Philistine ceramic.

> >Mopsos, was according to these archives also active in
> >Cyprus, at the side of the Achiyawan king. Same problems with
> >Cyprus may be heared from the Ugarit kiln correspondence.
> >Later on tryed the last Hittite king to reestablish his
> >hegemony over Cyprus. We know from the Troyan legends cyclus,
> >Agamemnon did oust the king of Cyprus, Kyniras, who tryed to
> >cheat him, sending instead of the promissed boats, miniature
> >reproductions of.
> Tradition as history is something you'll never be able to support per se.

Well, I am quite cautious about, but the traditions are punctually quite well 
checked. We see for example a Mopsos associating himself with the Ahiawwan king, 
whose name  might be according to other Hettite sources Akagamunas 

> Azitawadda only talks of the "house of Mupsh" so this reference is no help to
>  the
> matter. The Hittites sources, I haven't been able to track down as yet. (What
>  are
> they?)

A plenty of Hittite documents complaining about 

> >he led his troops, to which associated following the
> >Troyan war also a small Thessalian contingent, against
> >Ashkalon, were he died while droping the statue of the
> >godess of Ashkalon in the sea.
> As we are dealing with legend, how can we use it as history? We *might* be
>  able to
> extract a kernel of history, but heroes tended to spawn new variations as the
> tradition
> >The Thessalian link is interesting since the so called
> >Philistine pottery displays some northern Greek
> >influences (Metopen-Styl).
> Interesting.
> >So we can assume from this information (cum granum
> >salis) the Shekelesh were more or the less foreign
> >mercenaries selected from the defeated troops of
> >Mopsos (we have a single destruction of Ashkalon, and
> >it dates before the reign of Ramses III - so the defeat
> >of the Shekelesh is the work of the Philistine and not
> >of the Egyptians). This is a 50% percent argument, but
> >since we have no first hand information about what
> >happened in Philistea, we should tentatively accept
> >second-hand information, till we may judge better.
> Naaa. Ya gotta be kidding me. We start with what we can show, not with this
>  sort of
> guessing game.
> >> Ramses III records an invasion which had at its head
> >> the Peleset (Philistines/Pelasgiotis), followed by
> >> the Weshesh (?), Denyen (Danaoi/Danuna/Dan), Tjekker
> >> (Teucri, may linguistically be the same as), the
> >> Shekelesh (Siculi or Sicilians). These peoples made
> >>a two pronged attack by sea and by land as depicted
> >> on the walls of Madinat Habu.
> >
> >There is nothing what makes the Peleset/Danuna/Tjeker
> >to Sea-Peoples (they are never called Sea-Peoples by
> >Ramses) and nothing which should derive them from
> >Anatolia.
> Umm, why insist on "there are never called Sea-Peoples" stuff when no-one is
> claiming that they were called exactly that or its translation? We do know
>  however
> from Madinat Habu that "foreign countries made a conspiracy in their islands"
>  and
> this is the movement which produced the Peleset, Danuna, and Tjekker. In the
>  Papyrus
> Harris I, Ramses III talks of "the Denyen in their islands" and the "Sherden
>  and the
> Weshesh of the Sea". Merneptah talks of the Sherden, Shekelesh and Ekwesh as
>  being
> from "the countries of the sea".
> The term "sea peoples" (etc) is not a misguided term. It is merely an easy
>  handle to
> talk about all the peoples involved.
> As to the Peleset et al. not being sea peoples, one should note that they are
>  on
> many of the ships represented on the walls of Madinat Habu. One should also
>  note
> that they are up in Amurru at the start of Ramses III's narrative at Madinat
>  Habu.
> >This group represents an ethnic unit, as we may
> >observe it at least at their feather-crowns. The
> >feather-crown is typical for the Asiatics in (maybe
> >only coastal) Canaan.
> Got anything at all to connect this head gear with Canaan? The representation
>  of
> Asiatics that I have nothing in common with the feathered head gear.
> >They appear already in the
> >Beni-Hassan murals as such (second intermediate
> >period). God Sopdu (otherwise depicted as an
> >Asiatic) wears the feather crown already in the
> >time of Sahure.
> I agree, as I've already indicated, that there was a close relationship
>  between the
> Tjekker, the Peleset and the Denyen. However, the feathered head gear cannot
>  be seen
> as Asiatic per se. One finds the Greek helmets of a later age
> >By the way, while the "Sea-Peoples" and consequently
> >the islands are presented as tormented (Medinet-
> >Habu), the Peleset are said to be in their towns.
> >They are sedentary.
> That's P. Harris I, not Madinat Habu, which talks of the Tjekker and the
>  Peleset
> being "made ashes".
> >The so-called "Philistine" pottery is statistically
> >a marginal production, about 10% percent of the
> >grave goods, and entirely lacks in the household.
> >90% percent of the ceramic prduction is still the
> >local ware.
> The Aegean style pottery is of local origin; production of analogous ceramics
> changed in the Aegean, but continued on the Philistine coast; and one can
>  notice a
> local development. As to them being only grave goods, we mainly only have
>  grave
> goods to go by.
> >First one was produced to probably
> >replace the ceasing Mycenian imports of certain
> >products in conection with the burial rytes. You
> >know "die Botschaft ist die Verpackung".
> This doesn't explain the wide spread use of these wares.
> >> It took a number of years for them to move from
> >> an area south of Ugarit down to the doors of Egypt,
> >> so they dwelled at various locations on their way.
> >> Probably in anticipation of a well-prepared and
> >> co-ordinated invasion of Egypt they occupied the
> >> coast of southern Palestine for some years.
> >
> >There are no known intermediary stations for the
> >"Sea peoples". This is an archaeologically not
> >defensible position.
> The "station" in Amurru as mentioned by Ramses III regarding all five peoples
>  is an
> example. How many more were needed before the arrival in sourthern Palestine?
> >Quite on the contrary, the archaeology can not
> >contribute anything to document it.
> Agreed, but what would you hope to see, given a stop of enough time to provide
> oneself with enough food to continue one's journey?
> >> [..]
> >> The OT/HB tells us that there were Philistines
> >> at the time of Abraham. If one wants to attempt
> >> to do history with this data then we find that
> >> there were no Philistines in Palestine at the
> >> time(s) attributed to Abraham. What we have is
> >> the confluence of two traditions, one which we
> >> can reclaim and date regarding the Philistines,
> >> but two traditions which were originally
> >> independent of each other.
> >
> >You made a good point. However I must draw your
> >attention upon the fact that our present
> >interpretation of the "Sea-Peoples" texts is
> >heavily indebted to the Bible.
> How one first comes upon an idea and how one maintains an idea are not
>  necessarily
> the same. This is not a useful argument for anything.
> >The first
> >archaeologists, who reading about Pi-Ramesse in
> >the Genesis, were sensibilised for a particular
> >Ramses as the Pharaoh of the Exodus, have,
> >reading about the Peleset from the hand of the
> >same Ramses, connected this inscriptions with
> >the Biblical account about the coming of the
> >Kaftorites.
> My previous statement also applies here. Traditions may maintain some kernel
>  of the
> past.
> >There is however nothing Kaftoritic about the
> >archaeological Philistine of the time of Ramses.
> I don't know if that is significant. What do you want Kaphtor influence to
>  have
> been?
> >And the whole is the kind of unproper argument
> >you usually reject, made of a naive mixture
> >between Bible and fragmentary antique sources.
> My sources are contemporary. I merely show how they are reflected in the
>  OT/HB.
> While one can see how contemporary evidence can be reflected in later
>  tradition, one
> cannot start with the later tradition and create an earlier history.
> >The first historians dealing with the Medinet-
> >Habu inscriptions overlooked therefore
> >generously the aspect, that these inscriptions
> >never speak about the Philistine as about
> >imigrants, but instead about "the Peleset in
> >their cities".
> As the Philistines, Danuna, Teucrians, Sicilians and Etruscans, were already
>  in
> league up in Amurru, your idea here doesn't seem to consider the northern
>  origin of
> the Philistines. What would you like for there to have been Philistine cities
>  in
> southern Palestine? Encampments? There were surely those.
> >They went so far even to invent Peleset
> >representations outside Palestine, that is
> >on the Enkomi chest. A close look and
> >comparition with the rest of the
> >representations on the chest reveals: there
> >is no feathered warrior on the Enkomi
> >chest.
> Actually, there was an ivory carving from Enkomi which featured feathered
>  head gear
> and the typical Philistine/Danuna/Tjekker robe (A.S. Murray, "Excavations in
>  Cyprus,
> plate i).
> As I'm back to full-time work I won't have the time to keep up a full-time
>  response
> on this subject. I have at least two others I've got to follow. Give me a
>  little
> time!
> Ian
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