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The Ethnicity of the Sea Peoples - RePub - Erasmus Universiteit ...

The Ethnicity of the Sea Peoples - RePub - Erasmus Universiteit ...

(a) (b) I no. II

(a) (b) I no. II hieroglyphics 36 transliteration (Borghouts) vocalization as employed in the present study 1* š3rdn Sherden 2* š3krš3 Shekelesh 3* k3w3š3 Ekwesh 4* rkw Lukka 5* twrš3 Teresh 1 prwst Peleset 2 t3k3r Tjeker 3 š3krš3 Shekelesh 4 d3nw Denyen 5 w3š3š3 Weshesh Fig. 3. The ethnonyms of the Sea Peoples in Egyptian writing, transliteration, and standardized transcription (from Kitchen 1982: IV, 4 and Kitchen 1983: V, 40). 75 (a) Merneptah, Karnak, marked with * in column I above (b) Ramesses III, Medinet Habu 75 I am indebted to J.F. Borghouts for providing the transliteration, and to Wim van Binsbergen for identifying the specific transliterated strings with the hieroglyphic sections, and preparing and tabulating the graphics in this table.

The view of Maspero that the Sea Peoples originated solely from the eastern Mediterranean has had a great influence on his successors, even up to the present day (cf. Redford 1992: 246). At any rate, it has been taken over without much critical reflection by H.R. Hall, who dominated the field in the first half of the 20th century AD. In a first contribution to the Annual of the British School at Athens 8 of 1901-2, he expressed himself in favor of Maspero’s identifications with the only noted exception of Weshesh, which he preferred to connect with Cretan Waksioi instead of Carian Wassos. Next, in a collection of papers to the memory of Champollion which appeared in 1922 Hall presented a useful summary of the literature on the topic of the Sea Peoples up to that moment. In this summary, he proposed to identify the Denye(n), whom Maspero had equated with the Danaoi of the Argolid in mainland Greece, with the Danuna of Cilicia as mentioned in the El-Amarna texts from the reigns of Amenhotep III (1390-1352 BC) and Akhenaten (1352-1336 BC). Hall’s work culminates in his contribution to the first edition of the Cambridge Ancient History, which appeared in 1926. Here he expressly distinguished the Sea Peoples, which, as we have seen, according to him originated from western Anatolia and mainland Greece, from the Keftiu, i.e. the designation of the Cretans in Egyptian texts. Confronted with the Biblical sources, according to which the Peleset originated from Crete, he came up with the solution that they had come from Asia Minor via Crete. Furthermore, he noted in alignment with his earlier association of the Denye(n) with the Danuna, that some of the Sea Peoples, like the Sherden and the Lukka, were already mentioned in the El-Amarna texts. Of them, the Sherden were stipulated to have fought both on the Egyptian side and that of the Sea Peoples in the upheavals at the time of Ramesses III. Finally, in true Masperonian way, he envisioned the Sherden, Shekelesh, and Teresh, after their failing attack on Egypt, as being on their way to their ultimate homes in the central Mediterranean. The career of Hall ended with his “going Caucasian” so to say: in his last contribution on the subject of 1929 he explained all ethnonyms of the Sea Peoples as reflections of similar sounding Caucasian tribal names – a fine example of the dangers of the etymological approach when applied without further backing. After the second World War, the first to take up the subject of the Sea Peoples again, was Alan Gardiner. In his Ancient Egyptian Onomastica of 1947 he meticulously described all that was known at the time of a number of the ethnonyms, especially so of the Sherden and the Peleset. 37 Remarkable is that in connection with the Denye(n) he spoke against their relation with the Danuna in Cilicia and in favor of that with the Danaoi of the Argolid in mainland Greece. Moreover, he sided with Hall in his opinion that the Peleset were not originally at home in Crete, but used this island as an intermediary station in their way to the Levant. In connection with the Sherden, finally, he remarked, with reference to an earlier contribution by Wainwright (1939: 148), that the Teresh were known to the Hittite world (probably implying a linguistic relation of the ethnonym with Tarwisa (= Troy), which, however, is dubious), but the Sherden and the Shekelesh not and hence that the latter might be assumed to originate from outside of it – the first rudimentary attempt to bring the controversy between de Rougé and Chabas on the one hand and Maspero on the other to a higher level. Next, Paul Mertens presented in the Chronique d’Égypte 35 of 1960 a nice overview of the Egyptian sources on the Sea Peoples from their first occurrence in the El-Amarna texts and those of Ramesses II (1279-1212 BC) up to their alignment with the Libyan king Meryre (= Meryey) in the reign of Merneptah and their ultimate attack on Egypt in the reign of Ramesses III. However, as far as origins are concerned, he did not choose between the central to east Mediterranean thesis of de Rougé and the solely east Mediterranean antithesis of Maspero, whereas, in connection with the Peleset, he followed Bonfante (1946) in identifying them as Illyrians who migrated to the Levant via Crete. The first to address the question what caused the upheavals of the Sea Peoples at the end of the Late Bronze Age was Wolfgang Kimmig in a lengthy paper in the Festschrift Tackenberg of 1964. In his view, these are a mere function of the expansion of the Urnfield peoples of central and eastern Europe into all directions, so also to the Mediterranean in the south. As Kimmig keenly observed, the contribution of bearers of the Urnfield culture to the movement of the Sea Peoples is indicated by their ships as depicted in the reliefs at Medinet Habu having bird head protomes at the stern as well as the prow – a typical Urnfield feature. He further rightly stipulated that some of the Sea Peoples were already in contact with the Near East when the expansion of the Urnfielders motivated them to look for new homelands in an agreeable surrounding. Although he tried to avoid the vexed question of the origins of the Sea Peoples as much as possible, Kimmig restricted his Urnfield model for the cause of the latters’ movement to the eastern Mediterranean: an incursion of Urnfielders

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