Skip to comments.The Sea Peoples, from Cuneiform Tablets to Carbon Dating
Posted on 10/04/2012 3:01:40 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Whereas the Sea People event constitutes a major turning point in ancient world history, attested by both written and archaeological (e.g. Ugarit, Enkomi, Kition, Byblos) evidence, our knowledge of when these waves of destructions occurred rests on translation of cuneiform tablets preceding the invasions (terminus ante quem) and on Ramses III's reign (terminus post quem). Here, we report the first absolute chronology of the invasion from a rare, well-preserved Sea People destruction layer (Fig. 2) from a Levantine harbour town of the Ugarit kingdom. The destruction layer contains remains of conflicts (bronze arrowheads scattered around the town, fallen walls, burnt houses), ash from the conflagration of houses, and chronologically well-constrained ceramic assemblages fragmented by the collapse of the town. This stratified radiocarbon-based archaeology, with anchor points in ancient epigraphic-literary sources, Hittite-Levantine-Egyptian kings and astronomical observations, was used to precisely date the Sea People invasion in northern Levant, a decisive episode in a long-term collapse of the ancient Eastern Mediterranean world. By confronting historical and science-based archaeology, the data offer the first firm chronology for this key period in human society.
(Excerpt) Read more at plosone.org ...
Figure 3. Gibala, Ugarit Kingdom: bronze arrowheads and typical ceramic assemblage for the end of the Late Bronze Age and the Sea People event in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean. Ceramics and arrowheads were retrieved from the destruction Level 7A. The 14C weighted average value and calibrations provide a robust chronological framework for the Sea People event.
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Thanks Renfield, a two-lister topic!
Good post. Climate change put these peoples from the North on the move. And the Trojan War was a result of the branch which went into Greece. There is some connection between the Dorians and the War. Menelaus was King of Sparta, Helen its Queen.
Unsure what you mean by ‘modern invention’.The evidence presented by the researchers seems to support what has been
theorized for some time; that the SP arrive on the scene about the same time as the decline of the Mycenaean and Hittite civilizations. Must dig out my copy of Sandars
The 13th century BC witnessed the zenith of the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean civilizations which declined at the end of the Bronze Age, ~3200 years ago. Weakening of this ancient flourishing Mediterranean world shifted the political and economic centres of gravity away from the Levant towards Classical Greece and Rome, and led, in the long term, to the emergence of the modern western civilizations. Textual evidence from cuneiform tablets and Egyptian reliefs from the New Kingdom relate that seafaring tribes, the Sea Peoples, were the final catalyst that put the fall of cities and states in motion. However, the lack of a stratified radiocarbon-based archaeology for the Sea People event has led to a floating historical chronology derived from a variety of sources spanning dispersed areas. Here, we report a stratified radiocarbon-based archaeology with anchor points in ancient epigraphic-literary sources, Hittite-Levantine-Egyptian kings and astronomical observations to precisely date the Sea People event. By confronting historical and science-based archaeology, we establish an absolute age range of 11921190 BC for terminal destructions and cultural collapse in the northern Levant. This radiocarbon-based archaeology has far-reaching implications for the wider Mediterranean, where an elaborate network of international relations and commercial activities are intertwined with the history of civilizations
The Sea Peoples are a modern invention, and are not all one thing, which is why they left no artifacts, graves, or written language, despite having supposedly ravaged the civilizations at the so-called end of the so-called Bronze Age.
“Conventional history claims that the Peoples of the Sea were barbarians who nearly destroyed civilisation before they were defeated by Pharao Ramses III in the 12th century B.C. Velikovsky instead believes that there is enough archaeological and documentary evidence to prove that they were Greek mercenaries and that their allies the Pereset weren’t ancient Philisines but Persians. He argues that Ramses III was Nectanebo I of the Greek historians who lived 800 years later, and he places these events not in the 12th but in the 4th century B.C.
“The peoples of the Sea were thus fourth century mercenaries from Asia Minor and Greece, of the time of Plato. He shows that there was a strong Semitic (Hebrew and Assyrian) influence on the language, religion and art of Egypt in the time of Ramses III and provides much other archaeological and documentary evidence.
“The book includes 16 black & white plates including tiles of Ramses III, bass reliefs of the battles against the Peoples of the Sea, the pylon of the Khonsu Temple and portal of the Ramses III temple at Medinet Habu and artwork from the tomb of Si-Amon at Siwa Oasis. The main text concludes with chronological charts in parallel tables listing Persia, Palestine, the Greek World and Egypt from 550 B.C. to 340 B.C. The supplement on Astronomy and Chronology includes chapters on The Foundations of Egyptian Chronology, Sirius and Venus.
“With Velikovsky’ dazzling erudition, Peoples Of The Sea reads like a detective story. I don’t know to what extent Velikovsky’s alternative chronology has been accepted or convincingly disproved but all his work is fascinating and stimulating to read, as he had the talent for making history come alive.”
Collect ‘em and trade ‘em. That Viking-style ship prow looks a bit like a dinosaur that was killed in the Noachian Flood, what a boner! ;’) /s
The Allies of Priam
The Trojans and their Allies
whoops, forgot one, and to thank you. Thanks!
The First Greeks in Egypt
Well, it says “Do Not Resist”. :)
First thing I thought of, too.
Now all this right here is why I love Free Republic. You two are sons of Liberty.
;’) Hey, it sez “Do not resist”, what were you supposed to do?
There’s three names, but I can take it... ;’)
The C Peoples were just average. Now the A Peoples, there was some smart peoples. There was some grade inflation. A lot of the A Peoples were really just B Peoples with easy graders.
Letters from Hittite archives have been interpreted as putting the Trojan War at about 1180 BC.
I’m glad that the synchronism — akkiyawa as Achaeans, a scattering of Homeric names — has begun to gain ground. Michael Wood’s “Search for the Trojan War” helped revive that I think, now it is generally accepted, as there were no counter arguments other than, ‘because I say so’ from some overrated overpaid gov’t hacks in the UK. It’s the age of those letters which has not been established, other than via the conventional pseudochronology, iow, the letters themselves haven’t been scientifically dated. A few years ago there was a published attack on the validity of thermoluminescence, and I suspect that will prove to be the opening salvo against another method which consistently undermines the pseudochronology.
LOL! “I B A C person!”
I loved Wood’s program and book and seem to recall that the letters were dated by the stratum at which they were found and the general date of the Hittite Empire is fairly well established as well. So the date around 1200 seems to be about right.
Nope, the dating of the “Hittite” empire hangs off the Egyptian pseudochronology, there’s no stratigraphic dating of anything, except relative within the dig. The advantage to that approach is being able to throw out anything that shows up in the “wrong” strata. And if you read this PLOS sourced paper, you’ll notice that they presume to nail the *exact* date of the invisible Sea Peoples to a two year period, despite the RC dating margin of error. [snip] we establish an absolute age range of 1192â1190 BC for terminal destructions and cultural collapse in the northern Levant. [/snip] It won’t hold up, not least because there’s literally zero evidence for the group.
WENAMUN loves a Woman
Michael S. Sanders, 1998" A camp (was set up) in one place in Amor. They desolated its people, and its land was like that which has never come into being. They were coming, while the flame was prepared before them, forward towards Egypt. Their confederation was the PELESET, THEKER (Tjekker), DENYE(n) and the WESHESH, lands united." (The Sea peoples and Egypt: Alessandra Nibbi p. 65)One other name is also associated with the Sea Peoples of the North, the SHEKELESH.
It is universally agreed that the Peleset can be identified with the Philistines and last week we proposed that the Denyen were in fact the tribe of Dan for obvious reasons. To complete the thesis we must convincingly identify the Theker and the Weshesh, a task that has confounded ALL scholars and Egyptologists until this day.
We will start with the tale of Wenamun who was an elder in the Temple of Amun probably at the time of the Pharaoh Smendes of the XXIst Dynasty. He was sent to obtain timber and it is here we meet the only other reference to the Tjekker in the Egyptian annals." And I arrived at Dor, a Tjekker-town, and Beder its Prince caused to be brought to me 50 loaves..............". (Egypt of the Pharaohs: Sir Alan Gardiner p. 307)As we can see from the map Dor was located on the Western boundary of Manasseh and the Northern Boundary of Dan.
The name of the ruler of the Tjekker. Beder is also interesting in that it is unique in Egyptian records and coincidentally unique in the Biblical account also. A Bezer was a son of Liph, one of the heads of the Tribe of Asher.
There is no evidence that Manasseh was ever connected to the sea so it is not surprising that the Asherites might have controlled the commerce of that city perhaps together with the families of Dan.
We now come full circle because although the tribe of Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Acco (Judges 1.31) it had been allotted to them and it is perfectly possible to read the name Tjekker as people from the location of Acco.
It is interesting to view the map of Solomon's districts to see how the original tribal divisions had been modified from the initial allocation of the land to the time in which we are dealing.
We must now tackle the problem that has baffled all scholars since the first translations of the relevant texts at Medinet Habu. The identification of the Weshesh.
Not only is there absolutely nothing in any book on the subject, I recently asked every expert in the field worldwide to come up with anything, anything at all on the puzzle. No answer from anyone. Why? Because they are all looking at the Aegean for their answers because of the conventional chronology.
If we look to the shores of Israel just after Solomon's rule, it becomes quite clear.
The suffix esh is merely the Hebrew aish. So we have man or men of "W". But there is no "W" in the Egyptian hieroglyphics of this word, it has been written Weshesh for convenience. It would better have been written Ueshesh or Uashesh." And the sons of Asher , Imnah and Ishvah and Ishvi" ( Genesis 46:17)So you can take your choice Ueshesh the men of Asher or Ishvah or Ishvi.
And we can now even see how these people looked as we previewed last week.
You will not be surprised (although the professional Egyptologists were) to find that unlike the enemies of the Egyptians to the west who were not circumcised (the Egyptians cut off the foreskins of their vanquished as a "head" count) the enemies known as the Sea Peoples WERE circumcised. We now know why.
Further look at the side locks of hair. Do they not remind you of modern orthodox Jews and the commandment to the children of Israel to let their locks grow long.
From left to right1) a Prince of (ht)Only the Shekelesh now need to be identified. The men of Shekel or Sheker (l and r are interchangeable). It is not a great stretch of the imagination (much less imagination than was needed to fit the names into obscure Aegean communities) to see that they were from the tribe of Issachar.
2) a Prince of (imr)
3) a chieftain of (tkry) the Tjekker
4) srdn of the Sea
5) chieftain of the (s)
6) (trs) of the Sea
The figure of the Pelseset (p) is missing. ( The Ancient Near East in Pictures: James B. Pritchard p. 250)
Next week we will see how it defies logic the way the Philistines have been characterized by those adhering to the conventional chronology who maintain that this is the first time they appear in the area (contrary to the Biblical account). They would have you believe that this sea-faring people with all of the Mediterranean to choose from, chose a sanctuary which is the ONLY stretch of coast that does NOT have a natural port.