ASIA / Near East
THE SEA PEOPLE
It is a group of Indo-European people coming from Anatolia and
islands of the Mediterranean Oriental, which is attracted by the
Fertile Crescent, towards the west and the south, starting from the end
of the 13th century.
Shardanes or Sherden, the first to face the Egyptians, are known from the reign of Amenophis IV (Akhénaton). Ramsès II, victorious, captures these pirates and integrates them in his army. They fight with courage, at Kadesh's battle, Hittites and their allies among which other Sea People.
The great period of dryness which strikes the Eastern Mediterranean basin, pushes the populations to attack of fertile grounds and in particular towards Egypt, supported by the swellings of the Nile. The successor of Ramses II, Merneptah is victorious, towards - 1231, of Lybians and numerous Sea People, originating in the Aegean Sea, accompanied by their families and their goods. Among the latter are mentioned Shardanes, this time enemies of the Pharaon and Akawash (Aqayawasha or Ahhiyawa) which are probably Achaens. They came with their fleet to settle in this country. Their losses according to Egyptians, are approximately 10 000 killed and captive. The Pharaon provides céreales to the Hittite sovereign to
consolidate his Northern border. But at the end of the 13th century, the invasion of an another Sea People, Moushkis, come from Phrygy, destroys the Hittite empire declining as well as the kingdom of Ougarit and threat another power : Assyria. Towards - 1200, "the Kings of the Sea People" take Babylon. In addition to the direct attacks, the Assyrians undergo.a light decline of with the disappearance of the economic outlets.
At the beginning of the 12th century, a great alliance brings
together the Achaens, Troiens, Danaéens, Lyciens, Sheklesh,
Peleset, the Tyrrhenian ones and other people of Anatolia and Aegean
The "coalition" of the Sea People was born.
This mass of warriors equipped for the hand to hand, javelins,
swords right and leather brest-plates or furnished with metal, attack
Cilicy and ruin it. It is with the turn of Karkemish, Arzawa, Cyprus,
Crete, and the country of Amourou (Lebanon current). There is no more
obstacle between Egypt and those which they call "the Barbarians of
Ramses III is conscious of the risk and he benefits from this time
spent to destroy the empire hittite to mobilize all he has. He reinforces
the Syrian and practical border the tactics of the burned ground. He largely
mobilizes, a man on ten becomes soldier! He
gathers all that can float: fishing boats are equipped in the warships,
to defend the last ports which he controls.
The attack proceeds on two faces:
The allied people make irruption in Syria and are destroyed by the Egyptian army ordered by the Pharaon. The families of the invaders are captured.
The naval attack aims at the Delta. It is the first naval battle known. The Egyptian fleet is accompanied by a great number of boats which make stopping. The enemy fleet is taken on a side by the Egyptian fleet and other by the returned army of the battle. It is crushed and the soldiers who accost are killed or taken.
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