sea peoples

Banyai Banyai at t-online.de
Mon Mar 19 11:57:50 EST 2001


I owe excuse to the list, since precedent answer to Ians "sea peoples" escaped my 
hands before being beended.

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 
feasible.

> 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 plea 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 
(Agamenon-Agamemnon?).


> 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?)

Take the Madduwattas text (quoted as Muksus). Azitawaddas name is identicail with 
the archaic name of Aspendos=Estewedia on Greek coins, a city-foundation of 
Mopsos.

> >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

Well, its the same what we are doing with the contradicting Biblical traditions 
pertaining to the Philistines, when we try to coroborate one or other with one or 
other Egyptian source. Some tradition or other will do. With the consequence that 
some or other scholar will behold right against the other ones. 

No risk, no fun.

> 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".

Nothing against. And it speaks of the Philistines in their towns, and so on. So 
there must be ground for the distinction, why some members of the aliance are 
called "Sea-Peoples" and the other not. And not in the last, that (these last 
ones) display clearly common ethnic traits. Why do you think, have the Egyptian 
made such painfull distinction. Because some of the group come from over the sea, 
the others are residents.

> 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. 

Of course, the Egyptians were on the ships too, and nobody supposes they were 
some "immigrants". 

Small scale naval operations, lifting the troops at a place on the coast, to land 
in the rear of the enemy were employed even by the Egyptians, by the time of 
Thutmosis III, in the first Retenu war. 

The front line, according to Thuthmosis, ran at the beginning of the war by 
Sharuchen and Gaza, along the brook Besor. 

The Egyptian troops were amassed by Gaza (see the campaign journal of Thutmosis). 
In the mean time dis as merchants disguised Egyptian troops under general Djehuty 
take Joppe by a trick, thus permiting the rapid naval landing of the Egyptians. 
They met on no resistence and could advance rapidly, behind the enemy front 
lines. He surprised the contingents from Upper Retenu, which he than besieged at 
Megiddo. 

> One should also note that they are up in Amurru at the start of Ramses III's 
narrative at Madinat Habu.

Not so much the "Sea-Peoples" as the Egyptians, who once more used this war russe 
to surprise by an attack from the north.

> 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.

Look my reproduction of the Beni Hasan murals, for the feather crowns.

> 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

Exactly, what I mean: Greek helmets of a later age. But older Canaanite helmets.

> 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.

Yes, I confirm. As the Mycenian imports ceased, begun the Philistine workshops 
producing imitation of this luxus imports (what really mattered was the contents, 
the typical pottery being just its label). The "philistine" ceramic was thus the 
"hallmark" of imitated luxury ware (in the way you are offered today false Swiss 
clocks - you know they won´t function longer as half an year, but you buy them 
as a status symbol).

> This doesn't explain the wide spread use of these wares.

The widespread use of the original imports is the explanation for the widespread 
use of the imitation, as soon as the originals became unavailable.

> 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?

Exactly this is what no archaeologist could demonstrate.

> 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?

Well, may I use this kind of argument to assume an Israelite Exodus of some 
600.000 persons over the Sinai? Thanks in advance.

> >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.

But which ones?

> >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?

I suppose, one knew very well which is the difference between a Kaphtorite and an 
Anatolian. Some modern historians consider a giraffe would do as well as a bear, 
so long it also has four legs.
The same we see for a Kaphtoritic presence at the end of the MB, in the same 
region. Cretan frescoes, Cretan style pottery produced from local 
South-Palestinian material (the Dolphin jug from Lisht), Kaphtor mentioned at the 
border of Egypt (in the Ipuwer papyrus) or at least in the Levante (the Mari 
archive), Kaphtorites taking slowly, by assymilation, the local Asiatic habits 
(as documented at the beginning of the New Kingdom and than towards the end of 
the New Kingdom). That would be a minimal standard. 

To this assimilation, which took place according to the Egyptian iconography 
during the New Kingdom, we owe the identification of the Philistine with the 
Kaphtorites in the prophetical literature, while earlier historical references in 
the Bible still use to distinguish between them.

> 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.

Mine too. We have not a single one appearance of Aegeans in the Levante. But if 
our sources speak about Cretans, I preffer refences Cretan Aegeans.

> 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!

You´ll have plenty of time since I next leave for Prague.

Best regards,

Michael Bányai




More information about the b-hebrew mailing list