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Sea Peoples The Sea Peoples are a purported seafaring confederation that attacked ancient Egypt and other regions of the East Mediterranean prior to and during the Late Bronze Age collapse (1200– 900 BC).[1][2] Following the creation of the concept in the nineteenth century, it became one of the most famous chapters of Egyptian history, given its connection with, in the words of Wilhelm Max Müller: the most important questions of ethnography and the primitive history of classic nations .[3][4]
  Sea Peoples The Sea Peoples  are a purported seafaringconfederation that attacked ancient Egypt andother regions of the East Mediterranean prior toand during the Late Bronze Age collapse (1200– 900 BC). [1][2]  Following the creation of theconcept in the nineteenth century, it became oneof the most famous chapters of Egyptian history,given its connection with, in the words ofWilhelm Max Müller: the most importantquestions of ethnography and the primitive history of classic nations . [3][4]  Their originsuncertain, the various Sea Peoples have beenproposed to have srcinated from places thatinclude western Asia Minor, the Aegean, theMediterranean islands and Southern Europe. [5] Although the archaeological inscriptions do notinclude reference to a migration, [2]  the SeaPeoples are conjectured to have sailed around theeastern Mediterraneanand invaded Anatolia, Syria, Canaan, Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Egypt toward the end of the Bronze Age. [6] French Egyptologist Emmanuel de Rougéfirst used the term  peuples de la mer  (literally peoples of the sea ) in 1855 in a descriptionof reliefs on the Second Pylon at Medinet Habu documenting Year 8 of Ramesses III. [7][8]  Gaston Maspero, de Rougé's successor atthe Collège de France, subsequently popularized the term Sea Peoples —and an associated migration-theory—in the late 19thcentury. [9]  Since the early 1990s, the theory has been brought into question by a number of scholars. [1][2][10][11] The Sea Peoples remain unidentified in the eyes of most modern scholars, and hypotheses regarding the srcin of the various groupsare the source of much speculation. [12][13]  Existing theories variously propose equating them with several Aegean tribes, raiders from Central Europe, scattered soldiers who turned to piracy or who had become refugees, and links with natural disasters such asearthquakes or climatic shifts. [2][14] 1 History of the concept2 Primary documentary records 2.1 Reign of Ramesses II2.2 Reign of Merneptah2.3 Reign of Ramesses III2.4 Onomasticon of Amenope 3 Other documentary records 3.1 Early Amarna age3.2 Carchemish3.3 Byblos obelisk3.4 Letters at Ugarit 4 Hypotheses about identity 4.1 Regional migration historical contextThis famous scene from the north wall of Medinet Habu is often used to illustrate the Egyptian campaign against the Sea Peoples in whathas come to be known as the Battle of the Delta. Whilstaccompanying hieroglyphs do not name Egypt's enemies, describing them simply as being from  northern countries , early scholars noted the similarities between the hairstyles and accessories worn by thecombatants and other reliefs in which such groups are named. Contents  4.2 Philistine hypothesis4.3 Minoan hypothesis4.4 Greek migrational hypothesis4.5 Trojan hypothesis4.6 Mycenaean warfare hypothesis4.7 Italian peoples hypotheses4.8 Anatolian famine hypothesis4.9 Invader hypothesis 5 See also6 Notes7 Sources 7.1 Primary sources: Early publications of the theory7.2 Secondary sources 8 External links The concept of the Sea Peoples wasfirst described by Emmanuel de Rougéin 1855, then curator of the Louvre, inhis work  Note on Some HieroglyphicTexts Recently Published by Mr.Greene , [17]  describing the battles ofRamesses III described on the SecondPylon at Medinet Habu, and basedupon recent photographs of the templeby John Beasley Greene. [18][19][20]  DeRougé noted that in the crests of theconquered peoples the Sherden and theTeresh bear the designation of the'peuples de la mer' , in a reference tothe prisoners depicted at the base of theFortified East Gate. [8]  In 1867, deRougé published his  Excerpts of amémoire on the attacks directedagainst Egypt by the peoples of the Mediterranean in the 14th centuryBCE , which focused primarily on the battles of Ramesses II and Merneptah, and which proposed translations for many of thegeographic names included in the hieroglyphic inscriptions. [21][22]  De Rougé later became chair of Egyptology at the Collège deFrance, and was succeeded by Gaston Maspero. Maspero built upon de Rougé's work, and published The Struggle of the Nations , [23] in which he described the theory of the seaborne migrations in detail in 1895–6 for a wider audience, [9]  at a time when the idea ofpopulation migrations would have felt familiar to the general population. [24] The theory was taken up by other scholars such as Eduard Meyer, and became the generally accepted theory amongst Egyptologistsand orientalists. [9] Since the early 1990s, the theory has been brought into question by a number of scholars. [1][2][10][11] History of the concept A partial description of the hieroglyphic text at Medinet Habu on the right towerof Second Pylon ( left  ), and an illustration of the prisoners depicted at the baseof the Fortified East Gate ( right  ), were first provided by Jean-FrançoisChampollion following his 1828–29 travels to Egypt and publishedposthumously. [15]  Although Champollion did not label them, decades later thehieroglyphs labelled 4 to 8 (left) were translated as Peleset, Tjeker, Shekelesh,Denyen and Weshesh, and the hieroglyphs next to prisoners 4 and 6 (right)translated as Sherden and Teresh. [16]  The historical narrative stems primarily from seven Ancient Egyptian sources, [25]  and although in these inscriptions the designation of the sea does not appear in relation to all of these peoples, [1][11]  the term Sea Peoples is commonly used to refer to thefollowing nine peoples, in alphabetical order: [26][27] Egyptian nameOriginal identificationOther theoriesPeopleTrans- literationConnection tothe sea YearAuthorTheory Denyend3jnjw in their isles [28] 1872Chabas [29] Greek (Danaoi) [30] Israelite tribe ofDan [30] Ekweshj ḳ 3w3š3 of the countriesof the sea [31] 1867de Rougé [29] Greeks(Achaeans) [32][30][33] Lukkarow1867de Rougé [29] Lycians [33][32] Pelesetprws ṯ 1846William OsbornJr. and EdwardHincks [34][35] Philistines1872Chabas [36][37] PelasgiansShekeleshš3krš3 of the countriesof the sea [38] (disputed) [31] 1867de Rougé [29] Siculi [33][32] Sherdenš3rdn of the sea [39]   of the countriesof the sea [38] (disputed) [31] 1867de Rougé [29] Sardinians [32][33][40][41] Tereshtwrš3 of the sea [39] 1867de Rougé [29] Tyrrhenians [32][33][42] Tjeker  ṯ 3k3r1872Chabas [29] Teucrians [43] Wesheshw3š3š3 of the sea [28] 1872Chabas [29] Oscans [29] The Israelite tribeof Asher. [44][45] Considered byothers to remainunidentified. [36] Whilst the Medinet Habu inscriptions from which the Sea Peoples concept was first described remain the primary source and thebasis of virtually all significant discussions of them , [46]  there are three primary narratives from Egyptian records which refer tomore than one of the nine peoples, found in six sources. A seventh source referring to more than one of the nine peoples is a list(Onomasticon) of 610 entities, rather than a narrative: [25] Primary documentary records  DateNarrativeSource(s)Peoples namedConnection to the sea  c.1210BCERamessesII narrativeKadeshInscriptionsKarkisha, Lukka, Sherden none c.1200BCEMerneptahnarrativeGreatKarnakInscriptionEqwesh, Lukka, Shekelesh,Sherden, TereshEqwesh (of the countries of the sea), [31] possibly also Sherden and Sheklesh [38] Athribis SteleEqwesh, Shekelesh, Sherden,TereshEqwesh (of the countries of thesea) [31][38] c.1150BCERamessesIIInarrativeMedinetHabuDenyen, Peleset, Shekelesh,Sherden, Teresh, Tjekker,WesheshTeresh (of the sea), Sherden (of thesea) [39] PapyrusHarris IDenyen, Peleset, Sherden,Tjekker, WesheshDenyen (in their isles), Weshesh (of thesea) [28] RhetoricalStelaPeleset, Teresh none c.1100BCE List   (nonarrative)Onomasticonof AmenopeDenyen, Lukka, Peleset,Sherden, Tjekker none Other Egyptian sources refer to one of the individual groups without reference to any of the other groups: [25]  the Amarna letters (EA151 refers to the Denyen, EA 38 to the Lukka, and EA 81, EA 122 and EA 133 to the Sherden), Padiiset's Statue refers to the Peleset,the Cairo Column [47]  refers to the Shekelesh, the Story of Wenamun refers to the Tjekker, and 13 further Egyptian sources refer tothe Sherden. [48] Possible records of sea peoples generally or in particular date to twocampaigns of Ramesses II, a pharaoh of the militant 19th Dynasty: operationsin or near the delta in Year 2 of his reign and the major confrontation with theHittite Empire and allies at the Battle of Kadesh in his Year 5. The years of thislong-lived pharaoh's reign are not known exactly, but they must havecomprised nearly all of the first half of the 13th century BCE. [49] In his Second Year, an attack of the Sherden, or Shardana, on the Nile Deltawas repulsed and defeated by Ramesses, who captured some of the pirates.The event is recorded on Tanis Stele II. [50]  An inscription by Ramesses II onthe stela from Tanis which recorded the Sherden raiders' raid and subsequentcapture speaks of the continuous threat they posed to Egypt's Mediterraneancoasts: the unruly Sherden whom no one had ever known how to combat, they came boldly sailingin their warships from the midst of the sea, none being able to withstand them. [51] The Sherden prisoners were subsequently incorporated into the Egyptian army for service on the Hittite frontier by Ramesses, andwere involved as Egyptian soldiers in the Battle of Kadesh. Another stele usually cited in conjunction with this one is the AswanStele (there were other stelae at Aswan), which mentions the king's operations to defeat a number of peoples including those of the Great Green (the Egyptian name for the Mediterranean) . It is plausible to assume that the Tanis and Aswan Stelae refer to the sameevent, in which case they reinforce each other. Reign of Ramesses II The Nile Delta, 2006
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