Sea Peoples

Sea Peoples.jpg

Name given to a group of tribes, from the eastern Mediterranean and the south and west coasts of Asia Minor. Nowadays it is assumed that they were not so much marauding bands but rather migrations of peoples; the tribes wanted to settle in Egypt, Syria and Palestine. In the 5th regnal year of Merenptah, they allied themselves with Libyan tribes and entered Egypt. They were only halted in the Delta. Merenptah recorded his victory in the temple of Karnak and in his mortuary temple, on a stela which is now known as the Israel stela, a unique monument because the name of that people is mentioned on it (it is now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo). Under Ramesses III (in his 8th regnal year), the Sea Peoples made a second attempt, overland through Palestine and simultaneously by sea, trying to enter the Delta up several of the Nile's branches. Ramesses III was also able to defeat them, and recorded the fact in the temple of Medinet Habu; Papyrus Harris also contains information about this victory. The names of the tribes as recorded in Egyptian sources are Ekwesh (identified as a Greek tribe), Meshwesh, Shekelesh, Sherden, Lukka, Teresh, Denen, Peleset (interpreted as the Philistines), Tjekel, and Weshwesh. Some of these tribes were already active in the time of Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten, and also served in the armies of Ramesses II.