lunes, 28 de septiembre de 2009


The “Crisis of the Sea Peoples” took place in the Eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Bronze Age (ca. 1200 BC). I have studied the historical events of this crisis and I am the author of the following books and articles:
-“La Guerra de Troya: Más allá de la leyenda” by Carlos Moreu. Madrid: Ed. Oberon, 2005. ISBN 84-96052-91-5
-“La Guerre de Troie: Au-delà de la légende” by Carlos Moreu (translation to French). Cugnaux: Éditions Ithaque, 2008. ISBN 2-9524280-1-8
-“The Sea Peoples and the Historical Background of the Trojan War” by Carlos J. Moreu. In Mediterranean Archaeology, 16 (2003), p. 107-124. ISSN 1030-8482
-“The Eastern Mediterranean Crisis and the Origins of the Phrygians” by Carlos J. Moreu (unpublished article)
-“La Guerra de Troya: Fundamento histórico de una leyenda” by Carlos J. Moreu. In Historia-16, 299 (March 2001), p. 88-106. ISSN 0210-6353
-“Latinos y troyanos: La leyenda de Eneas” by Carlos J. Moreu. In Historia-16, 365 (September 2006), p. 8-21. ISSN 0210-6353

The article titled “The Eastern Mediterranean Crisis and the Origins of the Phrygians” can be read here:


by Carlos J. Moreu


The Balkanic ancestors of the Phrygians –named Bryges by Herodotus– moved to Asia Minor during a period of crisis that occurred at the end of the Bronze Age. The archaeological findings indicate that the proto-Phrygians had maintained contacts with the Mycenaean Greeks in the area of the Thermaic Gulf and that they played an important role in the Mediterranean crisis. Small groups of this people settled in central and southern Greece, and a more numerous contingent must have allied with the Mycenaeans around 1200 BC, in order to invade various regions of Anatolia and Syria. The proto-Phrygians used a characteristic style of handmade pottery, which has been found not only in Asia Minor but also in Greece, Cyprus and the Syrian coast.


It is well known that the Phrygians occupied a large part of the Anatolian plateau during the Early Iron Age and that their powerful kingdom was based in Gordion.1 This region, however, was dominated by the Lydians in the 7th century BC, and then it was successively absorbed by the expansion of the Persian empire and by the conquests of Alexander the Great.
Yet, the history of that flourishing period of the Phrygian kingdom is practically unknown, because the only contemporary sources are a few references to this people in the Assyrian annals and a group of Phrygian inscriptions that are dated between the 8th and the 7th centuries BC. Apart from this documentation, the classical Greek texts on the Phrygians were written in later times, and they were generally based on oral tradition. Notwithstanding, the archaeological excavations of the last decades have shown the material culture of the Phrygians. The vestiges of their presence have been found not only in the land of Phrygia but also in other regions of Asia Minor.
The archaeological findings provide, in addition, some evidence of the initial settlement of the Phrygians and confirm the Balkanic origin of their migration. Therefore, the comparison of these data with the literary sources indicates that the invasion of the proto-Phrygian people was closely related to the great crisis that affected the eastern Mediterranean around 1200 BC, when many prosperous centres of the Late Bronze Age were devastated. This interdisciplinary study also reveals an important association between the Mycenaean Greeks and the European ancestors of the Phrygians, produced during that convulsive period.


The earliest reference to the Phrygians is quoted in the Iliad, as Homer included this people among the allies of King Priam in the legendary Trojan War. This author also accounted that the Phrygians occupied the valley of the River Sangarius several decades before the conflict. However, the Lydian historian Xanthus believed that the Phrygians had moved from Europe to Asia Minor after the fall of Troy, when the north-west of Anatolia was ruled by Scamandrius, a son of Hector and successor of Priam who –according to some versions of the myth– was one of the Trojan survivors. Xanthus stated that the Phrygians came from the western coast of the Black Sea, thus they could have occupied the regions of Bithynia and the Lake Ascania, where they became the eastern neighbours of the Trojans.2
Herodotus recorded the Macedonian tradition on the European ancestors of the Phrygians, whose original name was Bryges, explaining in another part of his work that, in the 5th century BC, the Bryges were a Thracian tribe which confronted the Persian army in Macedonia. This author located the homeland of the legendary King Midas in the area of the Mount Bermion, not far from the Balkanic region called Mygdonia, and this is also the name of an Asiatic territory inhabited by the Phrygians. Some centuries later, Strabo reported that the Phryges (or Phrygians) who arrived in Anatolia were the same people as the Bryges, who lived in Thrace. He also pointed out the Thracian origin of the Mygdones, Bebryces, Bithynians and Mariandynes, as well as the settlement of Phrygian immigrants in some areas of the Troad, after the Trojan War.3
With regard to the Bryges, Apollonius of Rhodes located a group of this Balkanic people in the northern coast of Illyria, close to the islands called Brygeides, and Eugammon of Cyrene narrated a legendary battle between the Bryges and the Thesprotians, a Hellenic tribe from Epirus that was commanded by the famous hero Odysseus.4 Therefore, the ancestors of the Phrygians could have occupied a large area that extended from the Aegean lands to the valley of the Danube. It is even possible that their Indo-European ethnonym –which may mean “high-men” or “prominents”– was used as a common denomination by the Thracian, Macedonian and Illyrian tribes of the Late Bronze Age, including the Mygdones settled in the north of Chalcidia.
There is another Hellenic myth, narrated by Diodorus Siculus, which recalled a Balkanic migration into Asia Minor. This was headed by a Thracian called Mopsus who had been expelled from his territory by King Licurgus. Mopsus and his followers defeated the legendary Myrine, queen of the Amazons, and seized her lands in western Anatolia. It is noteworthy that Mopsus was also the name of two mythical seers; one of them was a Thessalian who took part in the expedition of the Argonauts, and the other was born in the Anatolian city of Colophon. According to Greek tradition, the latter hero also migrated to the east at the age of the Trojan War and then he founded some cities in Cilicia.5
The last legend which may be useful for this study is that of Tereus, another Thracian chieftain who had left his homeland. Tereus did not move to Anatolia, but he settled in the Greek region of Phocis and married the daughter of Pandion, king of Athens. The wife of Demophon, a descendant of the Athenian king, was also related to the Thracian people, as she was a Bisaltian princess named Phyllis.6


The archaeological evidence from Yassihöyük, the ancient site of Gordion, indicates that this Anatolian city was abandoned around 1200 BC, at the time of the eastern Mediterranean crisis, and that its new inhabitants arrived some 100 years later. This population has been identified as the proto-Phrygian immigrants who occupied the stratum 7B. Their handmade and burnished ware is called EIAH (Early Iron Age Handmade) by the excavators, and it is generally considered of Balkanic origin.7
This pottery has been also related to other “barbarian wares” found in Troy and in various sites of central and southern Greece.8 The Handmade Burnished Ware of Troy, also called Coarse Ware, appeared in the phase VIIb1 (dated to the 12th century BC), and the Handmade Burnished Ware of Greece was used in the same period, although there are some examples from Tiryns which are dated a few earlier (13th century BC). Apart from Tiryns, the use of this pottery is attested in Mycenae, Korakou, Asine, Pellana, Aigeira, Teichos Dymaion, the island of Crete, Lefkandi, Athens, Perati, Eleusis, Delphi, Kalapodhi and the Menelaion of Sparta. In all those centres, however, the findings of HBW (Handmade Burnished Ware) are not numerous and the Mycenaean wheelmade pottery continued to be the most usual style.9
In the Hellenic region of Epirus, which was not included in the Mycenaean world, the pottery was rather similar to the handmade ware found in central and southern Greece, although it was not burnished. Other examples of handmade burnished pottery were used in southern Italy, but this fact can be due to the possible arrival in this region of some Balkanic people from the neighbouring coast of Illyria.10

Yet, the small quantities of HBW found on Cyprus are more interesting for this study, since they are clearly associated with the Mycenaean pottery used by the sea raiders who settled in Enkomi and other Cypriot sites around 1200 BC. Therefore, it seems that the handmade ware that appeared in Mycenaean Greece was also introduced in the island during this period.11 Finally, the most recent findings of HBW are those of Tell Kazel in the Syrian coast.12
Most scholars believe that the HBW was locally made in Greece by small groups of Balkanic immigrants, who were assimilated during the 12th century BC.13 However, some authors have rejected the idea of a foreign origin for this pottery, as well as the existence of northern intruders in the Mycenaean lands. G. Walberg argued that the handmade vessels were used in Greece during the Middle Helladic period and that a few samples of Mycenaean pottery are also burnished, but she has not explained the long hiatus of some 400 years in which that coarse pottery was not made by the Mycenaeans. D. B. Small follows some ideas suggested by G. Walberg and N. K. Sandars, and he explains the appearance of the HBW as a consequence of the socio-economic crisis produced in Mycenaean Greece from the middle 13th century BC. Small believes that the decline of the palatial system favoured the fabrication of this pottery by the autochthonous population.14
The latter hypothesis, however, would be more plausible if the handmade style developed in Greece imitated the Mycenaean pottery, instead of a northern Balkanic ware. In fact, the best parallels have been found in the handmade vessels that were used in eastern Macedonia and western Thrace during the Late Bronze Age, although there are some traits which probably derived from the ceramic style of Noua-Coslogeni, an European culture located at the mouth of the Danube.15 It is also significant that the petrographic analysis undertaken on 21 sherds of HBW from the Spartan Menelaion indicates the presence of grog-tempering, a non-Mycenaean manufacturing technique, in those vessels.16 Furthermore, the foreign origin of the HBW is confirmed by the appearance of other cultural innovations in Greece during the same period. The flange-hilted sword (type IIa), which had been created in the Danubian area, was used in Mycenae as well as in Enkomi, a Cypriot city that was occupied by the Mycenaeans, and a new type of spear was also introduced in the Aegean world from other regions of Europe.17
It has been pointed out that some of the archaeological findings related to the Balkanic immigrants appeared in Mycenaean cities that did not suffer destruction during that turbulent period, such as Korakou and Asine.18 As the northern intruders were not numerous, they cannot be considered invaders or conquerors. Therefore, the presence of these foreigners in Greece is different to that of the proto-Phrygians in Gordion, who clearly seized the Anatolian city.
In the light of these data, the newcomers in Greece can be identified as mercenaries and workers employed by the Mycenaeans, who finally settled in the Hellenic lands. This is a very likely solution that was proposed by H. W. Catling and S. Deger-Jalkotzy.19 Small groups of Balkanic immigrants must have carried their own bronze weapons to Mycenaean Greece, where they continued to make and use their characteristic pottery. The northern warriors probably took part in the internal conflicts produced in the Mycenaean world during the second half of the 13th century BC, supporting the involved armies. In fact, the first appearance of the HBW occurred in Tiryns when the citadel was massively fortified.20 It is possible that the Mycenaean Greeks also recruited some mercenaries from northern Greece, together with those who came from Thrace and Macedonia, but this event cannot be equated to the rise of the Dorians, the Hellenic people that gained control of the Peloponnese 100 years later.21
Therefore, the arrival of these small groups from the north, dated between the 13th century and the 12th century BC, is not linked with the legendary Dorian invasion; but it may be identified as the historical background of the Greek myth of Tereus, the Thracian hero who settled in Phocis, seeing that this is one of the Hellenic regions where the handmade pottery has been found.


In the Late Bronze Age, the European Urnfield culture expanded through the Danube Valley and reached the Thracian region of the Rhodope Mountains. The incineration in urns became there very usual, either in flat graves or under stone barrows, but sometimes the Thracians did not use urns and then they practiced the incineration in situ. The pottery made in the Rhodopes was similar to that of north-western Thrace, where both inhumation and incineration burials have been found. The eastern culture of Noua-Coslogeni also extended to the Balkans around 1250 BC, and this is why the ceramic style of some handmade burnished vessels was related to that culture. However, the handmade pottery used in Macedonia during the Late Bronze Age had its immediate origin in the valleys of the rivers Morava, Struma and Vardar; and the mouth of the Vardar (the ancient Axius) is located in the Thermaic Gulf, between Chalcidia and the area of Mount Bermion.22 This was precisely the homeland of the proto-Phrygian people, according to Greek tradition.
It is well known that the highlands of south-eastern Europe were rich in tin and copper, and this fact allowed the development of an advanced bronze metallurgy in the Balkans. From the 14th century BC, the Mycenaean Greeks visited the Thermaic Gulf, where they must have exchanged goods with the indigenous people. The sherds of imported Mycenaean IIIA and IIIB pottery found in Assiros, a site located to the north-west of Chalcidia, have attested those initial contacts. Thereafter the Mycenaean pottery was locally made in that area, side by side with the Balkanic handmade ware. Among the Macedonian sites that produced Mycenaean objects in the 13th century BC there are three (Thermi Toumba, Gona and Perivolati) which have been considered permanent Mycenaean settlements or, at least, Mycenaean trading posts. Yet, the site of Kastanas is also significant for this study. It was situated on a small island in the River Axius, during the Bronze Age, and the archaeological findings include a Mycenaean type of house and many examples of wheelmade Mycenaean pottery, which are dated to the 13th and 12th centuries BC. This pottery coexisted with a more abundant local ware, but only 1% was imported from Greece.23
On this archaeological evidence, it is deduced that the Mycenaean Greeks had established amicable relations with the inhabitants of ancient Mygdonia and the mouth of the River Axius. The presence of Mycenaean merchants and colonists in the northern coast of the Aegean must have produced a great influence in the Balkanic culture. Therefore, it is very plausible that some proto-Phrygian warriors and workers were recruited by the Mycenaeans in the Thermaic Gulf and were translated to southern Greece. The demand for foreign warriors, armed with their own bronze weapons, was surely originated in the second half of the 13th century, when the eastern trading routes became insecure and the Mycenaean kingdoms were probably involved in a war. This conflict, which caused some destruction in the main Hellenic centres, may be related to the legendary enmity between the Thebans and the Argives, seeing that Thebes was one of the cities attacked during that period.24 According to Greek mythology, the siege of Thebes took place a few decades before the Trojan War, as well as the death of Hyllus, a son of Heracles who had led his army from the Theban country to the Peloponnese but was finally defeated.25
The cultural influence that the proto-Phrygians received from the Mycenaean Greeks may be expressed in a Phrygian inscription dated to the 6th century BC. This epigraphic document was found near the Turkish village of Yazilikaya, in the same area occupied by the so-called “City of Midas”. The inscription dedicates a monument, which had been cut out in the rock, to “Midai lavagetaei vanaktei”. According to the analysis by F. De Graaf, the Phrygian royal name Midas (or “Midai”) is followed in this text by two words (“lavagetaei” and “vanaktei”) which derived from the Mycenaean terms ra-wa-ke-ta (lawagetas) and wa-na-ka (wanax). Basing on this evidence, M. Lejeune suggested that the Phrygians could have imitated the political organization of the “pre-Homeric” Greeks, and thus they had adopted those ancient terms which designated the two main authority functions in the Mycenaean society.26
Therefore, the contacts between the proto-Phrygian people and the Mycenaean Greeks are revealed by several archaeological data. The final confirmation, however, can be found in the eastern lands that suffered the major consequences of this association.


The historical events which took place in the Near East around 1200 BC caused the collapse of the Hittite empire. The royal palace of Hattusa was destroyed at the same time as other significant sites of Anatolia and Syria. It is also known that some Hittite tablets of the 13th century BC referred to the people of Ahhiyawa –generally identified with the Achaeans or Mycenaeans– as a powerful enemy who came from the west. According to another tablet from that period, the Hittites had gained control of the island of Cyprus, an important trading centre which was very rich in copper.27 Therefore, the Hittite subjection of Cyprus must have blocked the Mycenaean trade, seeing that there was an unusual lack of Mycenaean pottery in this island during the last decades of the 13th century BC. The reduction of Mycenaean imports was also produced in the neighbouring Asiatic lands, and it caused there the appearance of a new kind of pottery, the so-called “Rude Style”, which was a local imitation of the Mycenaean IIIB style.28
In Greece, the palatial system was probably affected by this situation. As the main Mycenaean kingdoms were involved in some armed conflicts at that time, their demand for metals and warriors may have increased the Mycenaean contacts in the coast of Macedonia. It is even possible that the northern mercenaries travelled to Greece in the same Mycenaean ships which visited their land.
Notwithstanding, the Mycenaean trading route to the east was restored at the beginning of the 12th century BC, after the occupation of Cyprus by the Mycenaean Greeks. They were, in fact, the attackers who destroyed Enkomi and other cities around 1200 BC. The cultural innovations that appeared in the rebuilt cities of Cyprus came mostly from the Aegean, and the sherds of Mycenaean IIIC:1 pottery found in those sites are very numerous. These innovations include some architectural features –such as cyclopean walls, hearths and bathrooms– as well as new bronze objects from Europe, loom weights and anthropomorphic statuettes made of clay. The type IIa sword of Danubian origin was undoubtedly used by the invaders, since a warrior armed with one of those flange-hilted swords was buried in the conquered city of Enkomi. He also used a Mycenaean type of bronze greaves.29
A certain number of Balkanic immigrants may have settled on Cyprus together with the Mycenaean Greeks. Small quantities of handmade burnished vessels have been found in Enkomi and other Mycenaean colonies of Cyprus, thus this pottery was probably introduced by the barbarian allies of the Mycenaeans. The HBW appears in Maa-Palaeokastro, for example, a fortress of Aegean style that was built in the western coast. It is unlikely that the presence of this pottery on the island was due to maritime trade, because a coarse handmade vessel would not be appreciated in the eastern markets.30
The end of the Hittite domination in Cyprus, which was substituted by the Mycenaean occupation of the island, is an important episode of the great crisis of 1200 BC, also known as the crisis of the “Sea Peoples”. The latter expression is based on the inscriptions from the Egyptian temple of Medinet Habu, which recorded the main historical events of the crisis, including the attack on Cyprus (named Alasa by the Egyptians). After the epigraphic study of these inscriptions, H. H. Nelson concluded in 1929 that the eastern Mediterranean crisis was basically a chain of conflicts and migrations, which had their origin in south-eastern Europe and the Aegean lands. He expounded this idea in the following text: “about 1200 BC the tide of invasion from Europe had swept across Asia Minor, broken up the Hittite empire, and spread out over the peninsula. In all this turmoil, elements of the older populations were dislodged from their places; and if they were not caught up by the advancing wave of invasion, they fled before it in search of new homes. Many of these northerners, both newcomers and vanquished, were well acquainted with the sea.”31 Therefore, Nelson deduced that the five Sea Peoples which moved to the Egyptian frontier during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses III were the defeated peoples from Anatolia, expressing clearly his conclusion in this text: “The troubles in Syria recorded under the year 8 and probably under the year 5 had apparently been caused by a mass movement from Asia Minor in which the peoples from the southern part of the peninsula, dislodged from their homes by the newcomers from Europe, had moved southward not only in a military invasion but in a comprehensive migration, with their families and possessions, to seek new homes in the Asiatic provinces of Egypt.”32 As is well known, the Philistines who settled in the southern coast of Canaan, called Peleset by the Egyptians, were included in the coalition of five Sea Peoples.33
N. K. Sandars also explained the arrival of the Sea Peoples in Palestine as the end of a chain reaction. She suggested that these groups moved from Anatolia, Cyprus and northern Syria because they had been harassed by other bands that came mostly from the west. In fact, the Philistines and their allies are represented in the wall reliefs of Medinet Habu as refugees who travelled with their women and children. The inscription on the second pylon states that Kheta (the Hittite land), Kode (Cilicia), Karkemis (a Syrian region), Arzawa (western Anatolia) and Alasa (Cyprus) were attacked and devastated by “foreigners” who had their homeland in “isles” or coastal regions.34
The archaeological evidence from Syria actually shows that this territory was invaded by the European aggressors, like the island of Cyprus. The coastal city of Ugarit was destroyed during the crisis and it was never rebuilt, but the Ugaritic site of Ras Ibn Hani was occupied by a group of newcomers who used Mycenaean IIIC:1 pottery.35 Another example is Tell Kazel, a site located 3.5 km from the shore that has been identified with the ancient Simyra or Sumur, the main centre of the Syrian kingdom of Amurru; Handmade Burnished Ware appeared there at the beginning of the 12th century BC.36 The most significant findings, however, have been excavated in Hamath, not far from the Syrian coast. The cremation cemeteries of Hamath have revealed the arrival of an intrusive group which is clearly related to the European Urnfield culture. The excavators of this site attributed the crematory burials to the migrations that took place at the end of the Bronze Age, since they found there over 1,000 urns of European style. The material culture of the foreigners also includes flange-hilted swords and arched fibulae, the same innovations that were introduced in Cyprus at the date of the crisis.37 Therefore, the origin of these immigrants can be situated in the Balkans, where the cremation in urns was also practiced during the Late Bronze Age. Another exceptional finding is the Mycenaean ship depicted on one of the urns from Hamath,38 which confirms that the proto-Phrygians allied with the Mycenaeans in order to invade the eastern lands, usually controlled by the Hittites. However, it seems that the presence of these Balkanic intruders had not the same permanent consequences in Hamath as in Gordion.
With regard to the Anatolian peninsula, the city of Hattusa was abandoned by its inhabitants around 1200 BC, but the quarter of Büyükkaya, situated in the north-east of the city, was immediately occupied by a less civilized group that came from a northern region of Anatolia. These settlers probably belonged to the tribe of Kaska, whose homeland was located between the Hittite territory and the Black Sea. It is also possible that the Kaska, traditional enemies of Hatti, invaded this country from the north since the Hittite army was weakened by the attacks of the Mycenaeans and the proto-Phrygians. Nevertheless, the Balkanic aggressors must have seized some areas of the Hittite land. In fact, the new population of Hattusa increased during the Early Iron Age, and their material culture became more similar to that of the Phrygians.39
In the coast of Asia Minor, the Cilician city of Tarsus was also attacked during the crisis, and the Mycenaean IIIC:1 pottery was used in the next phase of this site.40 However, the only coastal region of Anatolia in which the archaeological record has attested an early presence of Balkanic immigrants is the Troad.


The city named Troy VIIa was destroyed by fire at the beginning of the Mycenaean IIIC period –which is usually dated to 1200 BC– and its aggressors must have been the Achaeans or Mycenaeans, the same maritime raiders that, according to the main inscription of Medinet Habu, could not be vanquished by the inhabitants of Arzawa (western Anatolia) and other Asiatic lands.41
The end of Troy VIIa, which is comparable to the violent destruction of Enkomi by the Mycenaean Greeks, surely gave rise to the classic myth of the Trojan War. As this ancient tradition recorded, the Achaeans did not occupy the Troad after their victory. On the other hand, some legendary heroes of the Trojan War, like the Arcadian Agapenor and Teucer of Salamis, later settled on Cyprus, the island that was seized by the Mycenaeans.42
The city of Troy was rebuilt and inhabited by the autochthonous population, who continued to make their typical pottery (the Anatolian Grey Ware and the Tan Ware). In this new phase of the city, Troy VIIb, some examples of the ceramic Mycenaean IIIC style have been also excavated, but the most important innovation is the use of handmade burnished pottery. In the first subphase VIIb1, dated to the 12th century BC, the so-called Coarse Ware appeared in Troy, and a second style of barbarian pottery, the Knobbed Ware, was used in the next subphase VIIb2 together with the Coarse Ware and the Trojan wares.43 Most scholars have assumed that these handmade vessels were introduced in the Troad by a foreign people of Balkanic origin, and that the barbarian wares of Troy were also related to the HBW found in Mycenaean Greece and the EIAH pottery used in Gordion during the 11th century BC. For instance, J. B. Rutter pointed out the stylistic affinities of the Coarse Ware with the HBW excavated at the Argolic site of Korakou, both inspired in Thracian prototypes.44 However, E. F. Bloedow has rejected the conclusions of Rutter arguing that the Coarse Ware found in Troy could have a local origin, although he accepts the foreign provenance of the Knobbed Ware.45 Bloedow has followed the initial study by the archaeologist C. W. Blegen, which is probably outdated. Be that as it may, the presence in the Troad of some Balkanic population, during the Early Iron Age, cannot be denied.46
This archaeological evidence confirms the historical basis of the ancient traditions that were compiled by Strabo, relating the settlement of the Phrygians in the north-west of Anatolia after the Trojan War. According to the Greek geographer, the European newcomers had occupied the northern coast of the Troad, from the region of Cyzicus to Practius. This author also reported the ancient presence of Thracians in the Trojan area of Abydus and the settlement of other Thracian tribesmen, named Treres, in a nearby territory. Even the Lydian historian Xanthus related that Scamandrius of Troy, the grandson of Priam, had received the Phrygians in his country.47 Therefore, the Balkanic immigrants may have controlled the Dardanelles Strait after the conflict. On the other hand, the Homeric Iliad recounts that the Phrygians and the Thracians joined the Trojan army during the legendary siege, but this was probably an anachronism that could have been introduced in Greek tradition from the 10th century BC, when the Phrygians must have been regarded as a significant component of the western Anatolian population. However, the role played by the proto-Phrygian people in the destruction of Troy VIIa is not clear. If they did not participated directly in the attack, as mercenaries or allies of the Mycenaeans, they probably took advantage of the Hellenic victory by seizing some Trojan and Mysian territories.
With regard to the Trojans, also called Teucrians (or Teukroi) by the classic authors, Herodotus mentioned the descendants of this people, who continued to live in the Troad during the 5th century BC and were known as Teucrian Gergites. Strabo described the sites occupied by the Gergites, and Xenophon referred to a fortified city in the Troad that was named Gergis.48 However, the Greek legends relative to the migration of Trojan refugees appear to have some historical background, seeing that the name of the Tjeker, one of the Sea Peoples recorded in the inscriptions of Medinet Habu, have been usually read as Teucrians. The main Egyptian inscription reported that a group of Tjeker accompanied those wandering Sea-Peoples who moved southward from the Syrian land of Amurru, where they had previously camped.49 This event can be related to the recent finding of some Anatolian Grey Ware at the Amorite site of Tell Kazel-Symira, a wheelmade pottery that was introduced there during the crisis. The chemical analysis indicates that a few vessels of this style had been made in the Troad but, according to the archaeologist L. Badre, it is possible that other samples were locally produced in Amurru.50


The annals of the Assyrian King Sargon II are dated to the late 8th century BC and, according to this source, the land of Que (Cilicia) had been subdued in that time by the people of Muski, whose king was named Mita. Thereafter, Sargon II defeated Mita and restored the cities of Que to their former status.51 It is generally assumed that the Muski were the same people as the Phrygians, since the name Mita has been equated to Midas. The Assyrians must have confronted the Muski in the Anatolian regions of Cilicia and Cappadocia. In fact, the Phrygian royal name Midas is also recorded in the inscription of Kilisehisar-Tyana,52 which is located between those two lands, and the Cappadocian city of Caesarea (the modern Kayseri) was called Mazaca in earlier times, a name that surely derived from that of the Muski. The people of Mosoch, mentioned in the Bible, can be equally related to the Muski and to the ancient inhabitants of Mazaca.53
However, the first reference to the Muski by the Assyrian annals appeared in the late 12th century BC, when the King Tiglath-Pileser I battled with “20,000 Musku with their five kings, who had held for 50 years the lands Alzu and Purulumzu”.54 These regions were situated to the north of the Assyrian frontier. The annals of Tiglath-Pileser also indicate that the powerful Muski (or Musku) had invaded the land of Katmuhu in that time, but the Assyrian king was able to defeat them. His final victory is expressed in the following text: “I conquered the rebellious and insubmissive Subaru. I imposed the heavy yoke of my dominion upon the lands Alzu and Purulumzu which had abandoned (the practice of paying) tribute and tax […]”.55 The Subaru were the indigenous people of Subartu, a region that extended between Nisibis and the upper Tigris. However, Tiglath-Pileser not only confronted the Muski and the Subaru, during the first year of his reign, but also a force of “4,000 Kasku and Urumu, insubmissive troops of Hatti”, who “had seized by force the cities of the land Subartu”.56 In the light of these texts, it seems that the Kaska (or Kasku) were settled in the area which had been formerly the main Hittite land, and the Muski had occupied other regions that also neighboured the Assyrian territories. The numerous people of Muski may have been a mixture of various Balkanic tribes, seeing that they were ruled by five kings, and the so-called Urumu were possibly a band of Arameans who joined the Kaska.
K. Bartl has studied a material culture of the Early Iron Age that was developed in the upper catchment area of the Euphrates Valley and was characterized by a coarse pottery, usually decorated with simple horizontal incisions. This ware has been also found in other sites that are located near the Lake Van, the Lake Urmia and the River Araxes. Bartl has attributed the use of this incised pottery, which is rather different from the EIAH discovered in Gordion, to the Muski cited in the Assyrian annals, and she has consequently rejected the identification of the Muski with the proto-Phrygians.57 It is very probable, however, that the lands occupied by the Muski from 1165 BC, named Alzu and Purulumzu, were not situated in the area of the upper Euphrates. According to V. Haas, Alzu (or Alshe) was located in the vicinity of the upper Tigris.58 In fact, the area studied by Bartl is the eastern frontier of the ancient Commagene. This region is also cited in the Assyrian annals as Katmuhu and thus it was different to Alzu and Purulumzu. According to the narration by Tiglath-Pileser, the invasion of Katmuhu by the Muski was failed, since they were defeated by the Assyrian army. As the unknown people that used the incised pottery in the upper Euphrates also occupied other sites in the geographic area of Armenia, it is possible that they were related to the pre-Urartian population, or perhaps they are identifiable with the Kaska. On the other hand, the presence of a material culture of Balkanic origin is actually attested at the Syrian sites of Hamath and Tell Kazel, which proves that the proto-Phrygian people had arrived in those distant lands from the west.
In the 5th century BC, Herodotus recorded another people named Moschoi, who were settled to the south-east of the Black Sea. The Moschoi were probably descendants of a group of Muski which moved to the north during the Iron Age. The neighbours of the Moschoi, called Mossynoikoi by Herodotus, must have been a close related tribe, seeing that Xenophon and Apollonius of Rhodes used the only name of Mossynoikoi to designate the inhabitants of the same Pontic area, but they did not mention the Moschoi.59 The buildings made of timber that were inhabited by the Mossynoikoi are called “mossynes” by Apollonius, and Mossynoi was also an alternative name for this people, which can be found in the Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax. The geographer Strabo referred to a mountainous land named Moschike that was situated between Colchis and Armenia, and this territory is related to the modern region of Meskheti in south-western Georgia. Among the Roman authors, Pliny the Elder cited the Moschi and the Moscheni, two peoples settled near the River Cyrus in Armenia, as well as the Mossyni, which are directly identifiable with the Mossynoi or Mossynoikoi.60 All these descendants of the Muski must have evolved in a different way to that of the Phrygians, their ethnic relatives, since they probably received a cultural influence from the eastern tribes of Anatolia.
R. D. Barnett linked the migration of the Muski to the east with the ancient legend of Mopsus.61 According to Greek tradition, Mopsus was a seer who lived in the Lydian region of Colophon. His mother was the Theban prophetess Manto and his father was the King Rhacius of Caria. In other versions of the myth, he was the son of Apollon and Manto. Mopsus joined another seer called Amphilochus, who had taken part in the legendary siege of Troy, and they moved with their numerous followers to the eastern regions of Pamphylia, Cilicia, Syria and the boundary of Phoenicia. Mopsus and Amphilochus founded the cities of Mallus and Mopsouhestia in Cilicia.62 However, the name of this mythical hero is also recorded as Moxus, the founder of Moxoupolis, a city situated between Lycia and southern Phrygia that can be linked with the Phrygian people called Moxianoi, whose name is rather similar to the term Mossynoi.63 Although the homeland of Mopsus was located in Lydia, his story may be related to that of the Thracian Mopsus, who had migrated to western Anatolia from the Balkans.64 It is also possible that Mopsus was an eponymous hero of the people who invaded Asia Minor and northern Syria during the crisis of 1200 BC, which probably were a coalition of Mycenaean Greeks and the proto-Phrygian Muski. In fact, several Mycenaean tombs have been found in south-western Anatolia, including the site of Colophon, and the Hittite tablets relative to the Ahhiyawa corroborate the presence of Mycenaeans in this area during the 13th century BC.65
According to the Greek geographer Pausanias, the father of Mopsus was Rhacius the Cretan, who had colonized the region of Colophon after defeating its Carian inhabitants. As the Hellenic followers of the legendary Manto arrived in the same territory, Rhacius married the Theban heroine, and their son Mopsus finally dislodged the Carians.66 It seems that this epic tale was created to explain the foreign components of the western Anatolian population. The king named Rhacius represents a first presence of Minoan colonists which is attested, for example, in the Carian city of Miletus,67 and the arrival of Manto shows the later Mycenaean settlements. Therefore, the subsequent birth of Mopsus can be interpreted as the appearance of a third ethnic component at the end of the Bronze Age, and the expulsion of the indigenous inhabitants may be linked with the migration of the Anatolic Sea-Peoples to Palestine. With regard to Mopsus the Argonaut, this Hellenic hero was also a seer but his origin was situated in the Thessalian region of the River Titaresius, not far from the homeland of the proto-Phrygian people in Macedonia.68 This Mopsus was the son of Ampycus and Chloris and he appears to be an alter ego of both Mopsus the Thracian and Mopsus the Colophonian, thus his mythical biography may also express the association of the northerners with the Mycenaean Greeks.
M. Astour suggested that Mopsus could have been an ancient god of prophecy.69 However, it cannot be discarded that the existence of a real leader called Mopsus or Moxus gave rise to those ancient legends, seeing that his name was usual in the Late Bronze Age. The Hittite version of Mopsus was Muksus, which appears in a letter written by one of the Hittite kings named Arnuwanda, and some other person was recorded as Mo-qo-so in a Mycenaean tablet.70 In the 8th century BC, the kings who ruled the Cilician land of Adana were proud of being the successors of Mopsus. Two bilingual inscriptions from that period refer to the cited kingdom as the “house of Mopsus” or the “descendance of Mopsus” (Muksas in the Luwian hieroglyphic script, and Mps in Phoenician).71 These denominations can be also linked with the name of Mopsouhestia, the city founded by the mythical Mopsus that was located to the east of Adana, seeing that Mopsouhestia means “Home of Mopsus” in Greek. A. M. Jasink has identified this city with the ancient Pahri (which was attacked by the King Salmanasar III in 837 BC) basing on the identification of the toponym Pahri with Pagrika, a classic Hellenic name for a mound located in the area of Mopsouhestia. This scholar has pointed out that the inscription of Karatepe, one of the bilingual texts found in Cilicia, mentions “the granaries of Pahar”.72 In this inscription, the territory ruled by the descendants of Mopsus is also named the Plain of Adana, a site that was cited in some earlier Hittite sources as Adaniya.73
On this epigraphic evidence, it is deduced that the European invaders who had settled in the Cilician region of Adana and the River Pyramus were finally assimilated by the indigenous population, which continued to speak the Luwian language. However, the foreigners probably established there a new dynasty whose traditional denomination, the House of Mopsus (or Muksas), could have derived from the name of either a historical figure or an ancient deity.74 It is even possible that the terms Muski and Moschoi were based on the name Muksas, due to a linguistic metathesis, as well as Mossynoi and Moxianoi were related to Moxus. Then the Hellenic component of that invasion was properly represented in the traditional legends by the followers of the Argive hero Amphilochus, who accompanied Mopsus.
With regard to the archaeological data, over 800 sherds of Mycenaean IIIC pottery were found in the Cilician site of Tarsus, near Adana. This pottery is very similar to the Mycenaean ware produced in Cyprus during the 12th century BC.75 Although the presence of Balkanic immigrants has been only attested in Syria and Cyprus, to date, this people could have invaded southern Anatolia together with the Mycenaeans and later spread over Syria, southern Cappadocia and the upper Tigris. The participation of the proto-Phrygians in the conquest of Cilicia would explain that, in the late 8th century BC, the King Mita or Midas tried to regain control of this territory.
Turning back to the inscription of Karatepe, the inhabitants of Adana are named Adanawani in Luwian language and Dnnym in the corresponding Phoenician text. Other sources from the 14th and 13th centuries BC refer to the same area as the land of Danuna.76 This denomination appears to be Semitic and it was probably originated in the neighbouring land of Syria. The so-called Denyen were one of the five Sea Peoples defeated by the army of Ramesses III, according to the Egyptian sources, and they are also identifiable with the people of Adana or Danuna.77 The panoply of the Denyen warriors, represented in the wall reliefs of Medinet Habu, is similar to that of the Tjeker and the Peleset, which indicates that these three peoples had their homeland in the coasts of Anatolia. Therefore, a part of the ancient inhabitants of Cilicia also migrated to Canaan, together with the Philistine and Teucrian refugees.
However, the Achaeans or Mycenaeans were usually called Danaoi in the Homeric poems, and this denomination is recorded in an Egyptian inscription from the 14th century BC that referred to Mycenaean Greece as Danaya or Tanaya.78 It is evident that the ethnic name of the Denyen from Cilicia and the name of Danaya are practically identical, but this fact can be due to a cultural influence that extended through the eastern Mediterranean. The Semitic term dan means judge and the Canaanite adon means lord,79 thus a derived name could had been adopted by the Mycenaean elites that dominated the Aegean from the 15th century BC. Furthermore, the Greek tradition recalls the eponymous hero Danaus, a legendary predecessor of the Danaoi who was related in some way to the ancient Hyksos, Asiatic rulers of Egypt. According to this myth, Danaus was the son of Belus –whose name derives from the Semitic Bel or Baal– and he founded a royal dynasty in Argos, the country where he took refuge.80
Therefore, the people called Denyen by the Egyptians were not the Hellenic inhabitants of Danaya, seeing that their homeland was actually located in Cilicia, and the origin of the linguistic connection between those names must be older than the Mycenaean presence in Tarsus, which is dated to the 12th century BC.


The Balkanic ancestors of the Phrygians (called Bryges by the Greek authors) played an important role in the crisis of the near-eastern civilizations, which was produced at the end of the Bronze Age. This people had established trading contacts with the Mycenaean Greeks in the area of the Thermaic Gulf but their participation in the main historical events was initiated in the second half of the 13th century BC, when the Mycenaeans were involved in some internal conflicts. The troubles in Greece probably caused the recruitment of mercenaries and workers in the northern Aegean.
A few decades later, however, this association had a more important consequence, seeing that the proto-Phrygians must have allied with the Mycenaeans in order to invade the Anatolian peninsula, Cyprus and Syria, three regions that were integrated in the Hittite empire. The victory of the European peoples in this campaign produced the restoration of the Mycenaean trading routes in the first half of the 12th century BC, and the massive movement of Balkanic tribesmen to the east was the origin of the Phrygian domination in Asia Minor. The archaeological findings in Hamath, Tell Kazel, Cyprus, Cilicia and Troy show the arrival of the European invaders, although the proto-Phrygians who settled in the area of the River Sangarius did not inhabit the city of Gordion until 1100 BC. This great invasion was the reason why a wave of Anatolic refugees, including the so-called Denyen from Cilicia, sought new homes in Canaan and had to battle against the Egyptians during the last period of the crisis.
The Balkanic immigrants that arrived in eastern Anatolia were known as Muski, the same name that the Assyrians used later to designate the Phrygians. Other descendants of the Muski were called Moschoi, Moschi, Moscheni and Mossyni by the classic authors, but these tribes must have lived apart from their Phrygian relatives during the Early Iron Age. On the other hand, those invaders who had occupied the southern coast of Anatolia were probably assimilated by the indigenous people.
However, the association between the Mycenaeans and the proto-Phrygians produced an additional consequence in Greece, where the settlement of some Balkanic groups is also attested in the archaeological contexts of the 12th century BC. In this case, the foreign intruders were not numerous and they did not arrive as invaders, since their presence must have been accepted by the Mycenaean Greeks.


1 Voigt 2005, 27-31; Sams 2005, 18-21.
2 Homer: Iliad II-III; Xanthus, quoted by Strabo XIV, 5, 29.
3 Herodotus VI, 45; VII, 73; VIII, 138; Strabo VII, 3, 2; XII, 3, 20; XIII, 1, 8.
4 Apollonius of Rhodes IV, 329-330, 468-471; Eugammon of Cyrene, quoted by Proclus: Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 57 ff.
5 Diodorus Siculus III, 55, 10-11; Apollonius of Rhodes I, 66-67; Strabo XIV, 1, 27; XIV, 4, 3; XIV, 5, 16.
6 Pausanias I, 41, 8; Strabo IX, 3, 13; Apollodorus: Epitome VI, 16.
7 Voigt and Henrickson 2000, 332-333, 341-342; Voigt 2005, 29.
8 De Vries 1990, 371-373.
9 Rutter 1975, 23-24; Harding 1984, 216-217; Bloedow 1985, 161-162, note 1.
10 Wardle 1977, 176 ff.; Deger-Jalkotzy 1977, 50; Kilian 1978, 312-320. It is believed that the Messapians, a tribe that lived in southern Italy during the Iron Age, spoke an Illyrian language.
11 Pilides 1992, 182-183; Pilides 1994, 10 ff.
12 Badre 2006, 82-87, figs. 14, 16, 19.
13 Rutter 1975, 31; Deger-Jalkotzy 1983, 161 ff.; Bankoff and Winter 1984, 6-10; Katintcharov 1989, 85; De Vries 1990, 371-373; Bankoff, Meyer and Stefanovich 1996, 201.
14 Walberg 1976, 186-187; Sandars 1978, 191-193; Small 1990, 9-20; Small 1997, 223-227.
15 Bankoff and Winter 1984, 10-21. These authors explain that the ceramic style of the Morava Valley was locally developed from the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. See also Bankoff, Meyer and Stefanovich 1996, 193-194, and Rutter 1975, 31-32.
16 Whitbread 1992, 297-306.
17 Cowen 1966, 262 ff.; Sandars 1978, 90-95, 98-99; Harding 1984, 138-140; Karageorghis 2000, 260.
18 Rutter 1975, 20-31; Sandars 1978, 191-192.
19 Catling 1968, 103; Deger-Jalkotzy 1977, 75. See also Bankoff, Meyer and Stefanovich 1996, 201-203; these authors have suggested that the foreigners could have been slaves.
20 Kilian and Podzuweit 1981, 170, 180-181; Small 1990, 5, 18.
21 Drews 1988, 207 ff.
22 Gergova 1989, 231-235; Sandars 1978, 84-88, 191-193; Bankoff and Winter 1984, 6, 19-21; Bankoff, Meyer and Stefanovich 1996, 194, 200.
23 Hoddinott 1989, 64; Smit 1989, 176-179; Harding 1984, 237-238, fig. 54.
24 Stubbings 1975, 166-169, 352.
25 See a compilation of these Hellenic myths in Graves 1990, 2: 15-24, 208.
26 De Graaf 1989, 153, 155; Lejeune 1969.
27 Güterbock 1967, 73-81; Güterbock 1983, 133-138.
28 Åström 1973, 122-127; Mellink 1983, 141; Badre 2006, 82; Karageorghis 1965, 231-233.
29 Karageorghis 2000, 256-274; Catling 1955, 21 ff. The tomb of the foreign warrior was found in the building 18 of Enkomi.
30 Pilides 1992, 179-189. This author has deduced that a special group of people among the Mycenaean settlers used the handmade pottery on Cyprus. See also Karageorghis 2000, 256-257.
31 Nelson and Hoelscher 1929, 3.
32 Nelson and Hoelscher 1929, 4. Certainly the main inscription of Medinet Habu can be interpreted in this way, but some of the defeated Sea-Peoples probably had their homeland in western Anatolia and others in southern Anatolia. See Moreu 2003, 112-113.
33 Wainwright 1961, 77-80. This author situated the origin of the Philistines in a southern region of Asia Minor.
34 Sandars 1978, 201; Wilson 1969, 262-263; Breasted 1988, 4: 37-38.
35 Yon 1992, 117-119; Lagarce and Lagarce 1988, 143.
36 Badre 2006, 82-87.
37 Riis 1948, 37 ff.; Wachsmann 2000, 123.
38 Wachsmann 2000, 123, 133. This author argues that the style of the depicted ship from Hamath is Mycenaean, basing on its open rowers’ gallery with vertical stanchions.
39 Glatz and Matthews 2005, 57-58. See also the web-site
40 French 1975, 55-56, 74, note 5; Sandars 1978, 155. See also Stubbings 1975, 355-356.
41 Wilson 1969, 262-263; Moreu 2003, 113, 122. On the date of this destruction, see Mountjoy 1998, 46, 53.
42 These Hellenic myths are compiled in Graves 1990, 2: 324, 330-346, 351.
43 Blegen 1963, 165-170; Hertel 2001, 65-80; Mountjoy 1999, 297-321.
44 De Vries 1990, 371-373; Rutter 1975, 23-24, 32; Mountjoy 1998, 53. The latter author considers that the Coarse Ware of Troy and the Handmade Burnished Ware found in Greece are the same ceramic style.
45 Bloedow 1985, 180, 186-187.
46 Blegen 1963, 167-170; Sandars 1978, 192-193; Koppenhoefer 1997, 295 ff.; Hertel 2001, 65-75.
47 Strabo XIII, 1, 8; Xanthus, quoted by Strabo XIV, 5, 29. Scamandrius was also called Astyanax, a name that means “lord of the city”.
48 Herodotus V, 122; VII, 43; Strabo XIII, 1, 19; Xenophon: Hellenica III, 1, 15-21.
49 Wilson 1969, 262-263.
50 Badre 2006, 87, fig. 17. Small quantities of Anatolian Grey Ware, dated to the Late Bronze Age, have been also found in other Levantine sites and in Cyprus; see Allen 1994, 40-42.
51 Luckenbill 1968, 2: 7-8; Vassileva 2008, 165-168.
52 Barnett 1975b, 420, 425, 434; Bittel 1970, 135-136; Vassileva 2008, 167.
53 Genesis 10, 2; Eusebius: Historia Ecclesiastica IX, 12. See also Barnett 1975b, 421.
54 Grayson 1991, 14. See also Luckenbill 1968, 1: 74.
55 Grayson 1991, 17. See also Luckenbill 1968, 1: 77.
56 Grayson 1991, 17. See also Luckenbill 1968, 1: 77.
57 Bartl 1995, 205-208.
58 Haas 1986, 22. See also Bartl 1995, note 4.
59 Herodotus VII, 78; Xenophon: Anabasis V, 4; V, 5, 1-2; Apollonius of Rhodes II, 378-382, 1000-1030.
60 Pseudo-Scylax, 86-87; Strabo XI, 2, 18; Pliny the Elder VI, 11, 28-29.
61 Barnett 1975b, 441-442.
62 Strabo XIV, 1, 27; XIV, 5, 16; Callinus of Ephesus, quoted by Strabo XIV, 4, 3; Pausanias VII, 3, 1-2.
63 Barnett 1975a, 366; Astour 1965, 56-57. The names Moxeanon and Moxea, related to the Moxianoi, are written on coins from Diocleia and Siocharax in western Phrygia (see Head 1906, plates XXII.7 and XLIV.9) and the so-called Mossyna mountains were located in south-western Phrygia, according to Ramsay 2004, 3.
64 Diodorus Siculus III, 55, 10-11.
65 Bridges 1974, 264-266; Güterbock 1983, 133-138.
66 Pausanias VII, 3, 1-2.
67 Niemeier 1984, 205-215.
68 Apollonius of Rhodes I, 66-67.
69 Astour 1965, 64-65.
70 The Hittite letter is the document KUB XIV 1 + KBo XIX 38, also identified as CTH 147. The Mycenaean tablet is KN X 1497. 71 See the text of the Karatepe inscription (translated by F. Rosenthal) in Pritchard (ed.) 1969, 653-654, and the text of the Çineköy inscription in Tekoglu and Lemaire, 2000. The Phoenician terms used in these inscriptions are BT MPS (house of Mopsus) in the Karatepe bilingual and SPH MPS (descendance of Mopsus) in the Çineköy bilingual.
72 Jasink and Marino 2007, 414; Astour 1965, 38.
73 Jasink and Marino 2007, 412, note 31. The earliest Hittite attestation of Adaniya occurs in the Edict of Telepinu (KUB XI 5 Ro 143), dated to the late 16th century BC. According to Greek tradition, the Cilicians had been called Ypachaioi in the Early Iron Age, a name related to that of the Achaeans; see Herodotus VII, 91.
74 Barnett 1975b, 441-442. This author suggested that the new rulers of Adana were Hellenic but they had made terms with the Phrygian immigrants called Muski.
75 French 1975, 55-56, 74, note 5.
76 Pritchard (ed.) 1969, 653-654; Jasink and Marino 2007, 411, note 29. The Asiatic land of Danuna is mentioned in a letter from El-Amarna (EA 151) that was written by the King Abi-Milku of Tyre in the 14th century BC; see Moran 1992, 238-239.
77 Wilson 1969, 262-263.
78 Haider 1988, 9-15. This inscription is located in the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III, in Kom El-Hetan, and it mentions Mycenae and other Hellenic cities together with Danaya. The personal name Da-na-jo is recorded in the Mycenaean tablet KN Db1324.
79 Astour 1965, 38, 45-46.
80 See a compilation of this myth in Graves 1990, 1: 200-203. According to Greek tradition, Danaus was a descendant of Epaphus, who can be identified with the Pharaoh Apophis of the Hyksos. The legendary brother

of Danaus was Aigyptus. See also Astour 1965, 83, 93.


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-Ingholt, H., 1940. Rapport préliminaire sur sept campagnes de fouilles à Hama en Syrie (1932-1938). Copenhage: Ejnar Munksgaard.
-Jasink, A. M. and M. Marino, 2007. “The West-Anatolian Origins of the Que Kingdom Dynasty”. Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici 49, 407-426.
-Karageorghis, V., 1965. Nouveaux documents pour l’étude du bronze récent à Chypre. Études Chypriotes 3. Paris.
———, 2000. “Cultural Innovations in Cyprus Relating to the Sea Peoples”. In The Sea Peoples and Their World: A Reassessment, edited by E. D. Oren, 255-275. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.
-Katintcharov, R., 1989. “Relations culturelles entre la Thrace, la Grèce et l’Anatolie du Nord-Ouest à l’Âge du Bronze Moyen et Récent”. In Thracians and Mycenaeans: Proceedings of the Fourth International Congress of Thracology. Rotterdam, 24-26 September 1984, edited by J. Best and N. De Vries, 68-85. Leiden and New York: E. J. Brill.
-Kilian, K., 1978. “Nordwestgriechische Keramik aus der Argolis und ihre Entsprechungen in der Subappenin-facies”. In Atti della XX Riunione Scientifica dell’Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria in Basilicata 1976, 311-320. Florencia: Parenti.
-Kilian, K. and C. Podzuweit, 1981. “Ausgrabungen in Tiryns 1978, 1979”. Archäologischer Anzeiger, 149-220.
-Koppenhoefer, D., 1997. “Troia VII: Versuch einer Zusammenschau einschliesslich der Ergebnisse des Jahres 1995”. Studia Troica 7, 295-354.
-Lagarce, J. and E. Lagarce, 1988. “The Intrusion of the Sea Peoples and Their Acculturation: A Parallel Between Palestinian and Ras Ibn Hani Data”. Studies in the History and Archaeology of Palestine 3, 137-169.
-Lejeune, M., 1969. “À propos de la titulature de Midas”. Athenaeum 47.
-Luckenbill, D. D., 1968. Reimpr. Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia. 2 vols. New York: Greenwood Press. Original edition, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1926.
-Mellink, M. J., 1983. “The Hittites and the Aegean World: Part 2. Archaeological Comments on Ahhiyawa-Achaians in Western Anatolia”. American Journal of Archaeology 87, 138-141.
-Moran, W. L., 1992. The Amarna Letters. Baltimore and London: John Hopkins University Press.
-Moreu, C. J., 2003. “The Sea Peoples and the Historical Background of the Trojan War”. Mediterranean Archaeology 16, 107-124.
-Mountjoy, P. A., 1998. “The East Aegean-West Anatolian Interface in the Late Bronze Age: Mycenaeans and the Kingdom of Ahhiyawa”. Anatolian Studies 48, 33-67.
———, 1999. “Troia VII Reconsidered”. Studia Troica 9, 295-346.
-Niemeier, W.-D., 1984. “The End of the Minoan Thalassocracy”. In The Minoan Thalassocracy. Myth and Reality, edited by R. Hägg and N. Marinatos, 205-215. Stockholm.
-Nelson, H. H. and U. Hoelscher, 1929. Medinet Habu 1924-28. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
-Pilides, D. M., 1992. “Handmade Burnished Wares in Cyprus: An Attempt at its Interpretation.” In Studies in Honour of Vassos Karageorghis (Kypriachai Spoydai), edited by G. C. Ioannides, 179-189. Nicosia: Society for Cypriot Studies.
———, 1994. Handmade Burnished Ware of the Late Bronze Age in Cyprus. Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology 105. Jonsered: P. Åström Förlag.
-Pritchard, J. B. (ed.), 1969. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. 3rd ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
-Ramsay, W. M., 2004. Reimpr. The Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia: Being an Essay of the Local History of Phrygia from the Earliest Times to the Turkish Conquest, Vol. 1, Part 1. Whitefish, Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Original edition, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1895.
-Riis, P. J., 1948. Hama: Les cimetières à crémation. Copenhage: Foundation Carlsberg.
-Rutter, J. B., 1975. “Ceramic Evidence for Northern Intruders in Southern Greece at the Beginning of the Late Helladic IIIC Period”. American Journal of Archaeology 79, 17-32.
-Sams, G. K., 2005. “Gordion: Explorations over a Century”. In The Archaeology of Midas and the Phrygians: Recent Work at Gordion, edited by L. Kealhofer, 10-21. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.
-Sandars, N. K., 1978. The Sea Peoples: Warriors of the Ancient Mediterranean 1250-1150 BC. London: Thames and Hudson.
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———, 1997. “Can We Move Forward? Comments on the Current Debate over Handmade Burnished Ware”. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 10.2, 223-228.
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-Vassileva, M., 2008. “King Midas in Southeastern Anatolia”. In Anatolian Interfaces: Hittites, Greeks and Their Neighbours, edited by B. J. Collins, M. R. Bachvarova and I. C. Rutherford, 165-171. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
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Note: The copyright of the article “The Eastern Mediterranean Crisis and the Origins of the Phrygians” is owned by Carlos J. Moreu. Permission to republish this work in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

domingo, 27 de septiembre de 2009


The “Crisis of the Sea Peoples” took place in the Eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Bronze Age (ca. 1200 BC). I have studied the historical events of this crisis and I am the author of the following books and articles:
-“La Guerra de Troya: Más allá de la leyenda” by Carlos Moreu. Madrid: Ed. Oberon, 2005. ISBN 84-96052-91-5
-“La Guerre de Troie: Au-delà de la légende” by Carlos Moreu (translation to French). Cugnaux: Éditions Ithaque, 2008. ISBN 2-9524280-1-8
-“The Sea Peoples and the Historical Background of the Trojan War” by Carlos J. Moreu. In Mediterranean Archaeology, 16 (2003), p. 107-124. ISSN 1030-8482
-“The Eastern Mediterranean Crisis and the Origins of the Phrygians” by Carlos J. Moreu (unpublished article)
-“La Guerra de Troya: Fundamento histórico de una leyenda” by Carlos J. Moreu. In Historia-16, 299 (March 2001), p. 88-106. ISSN 0210-6353
-“Latinos y troyanos: La leyenda de Eneas” by Carlos J. Moreu. In Historia-16, 365 (September 2006), p. 8-21. ISSN 0210-6353

The article titled “The Sea Peoples and the Historical Background of the Trojan War”, which was published in the specialized journal Mediterranean Archaeology in 2004 ( can be also read here:


by Carlos J. Moreu


The so-called Sea Peoples were involved in several conflicts at the end of the Bronze Age. The great inscription on the mortuary temple of Ramesses III, reporting the final crisis of the Sea Peoples, is written in a very ambiguous style. This is why the text of Medinet Habu has usually misled the scholars of the crisis. In general, it is believed that a coalition of five Sea Peoples devastated Anatolia, Cyprus and Syria, and then finished their raid attacking Canaan and Egypt. However, further study of data proves that these five peoples, vassals of the Hittites, had their original settlement in some of the wasted lands of Anatolia and Syria. In fact, they had suffered great defeat in their own countries, having to migrate to the Egyptian borders and invade Palestine. Their enemies (or the true attackers in the north) were Mycenaean. These aggressors conquered some coastal lands, at the same time as the Mushki and the Kashka destroyed the Hittite empire. Troy was one of the Anatolian cities attacked by the Mycenaean Greeks, and thus the legendary Trojan War has an evident historical background.


The term ‘Sea Peoples’ is used by historians and archaeologists to designate a heterogeneous group of peoples cited in various Egyptian records of the age of the Ramessid Pharaohs (19th and 20th Dynasties), which were first studied by E. de Rougé in the 19th century.1 A variety of names are used in the inscriptions, such as: ‘the countries of the sea’, ‘peoples which came from their isles in the midst of the sea’, ‘warriors of the sea’, ‘the Northerners in their isles’, etc.2 Some of these peoples are also mentioned in earlier documents from El-Amarna.3
From the Egyptian sources we know that the so-called Sea Peoples were involved in various crises, which affected not only Egypt but also other areas of the eastern Mediterranean. From the age of Ramesses II, some of them joined the Libyan tribes to menace the western borders of the Nile.4 As is well known, however, the most serious conflicts took place during the reigns of Merneptah (second half of the 13th century BC) and Ramesses III (early 12th century BC). If we study the documentation in detail, we shall see that the Sea Peoples acted in each event for different reasons. Furthermore, there was not a common behaviour for all the Sea Peoples involved, although several were able to make temporary coalitions. For example, in the case of the so-called Sherden, we find them confronting Ramesses II, but a few years later, they were part of the Egyptian army in the battle of Kadesh.5 During the age of Pharaoh Merneptah, the Sherden joined a coalition between the Libyans and the Sea Peoples that attacked Egypt again,6 and in the serious conflicts of the reign of Ramesses III, we find Sherden warriors fighting both on the side of Sea Peoples and on the Egyptian side.7 This consideration is important in order to understand the Egyptian inscriptions on the mortuary temple at Medinet Habu, which tell the great final crisis of the Sea Peoples.8 The ambiguous style of those inscriptions, together with the mistaken idea that all the Sea Peoples had the same objectives, may mislead scholars studying the great disturbances in the eastern Mediterranean between the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 12th century BC. Although the main subject of this article is the great crisis around 1200 BC, it is necessary to include in our examination the previous events of year 5 of Merneptah and to compare the first, failed, invasion of Egypt with the invasion attempts during the reign of Ramesses III.


The following four Egyptian documents record the invasion by Libyan and Mediterranean peoples in the age of Merneptah: the Great Karnak Inscription, the Cairo Column, the Athribis Stela, and the Hymn of Victory.9 From these texts, it is deduced that a ruler of Libya named Meryey (son of Ded) had invaded the African land of Tehenu with the help of a league consisting of five ‘Sea Peoples’, namely the Ekwesh, Teresh, Lukka, Sherden, and Shekelesh.10 Later, and probably taking advantage of their numerous forces, the Libyans attacked northern Egypt together with the same allies, but were vanquished by the Egyptian army.11 The five peoples may have come from the Aegean coasts: the Teresh have been related to the ‘Tyrsenoi’, an alternative Greek name of either the Lydians or the later Etruscans,12 the Lukka are identifiable as Lycians,13 the Sherden could have originated from Sardis in Lydia,14 and the Shekelesh probably came from the Shekha River area in western Anatolia.15 As for the Ekwesh, they are frequently identified with the Achaeans because of the similarity of the names.16 The Egyptian texts, however, specify that the Ekwesh were circumcised,17 which raises doubts as to their Hellenic origin.
In another text concerning this conflict, it is reported that Merneptah sent grain in ships for the survival of Hatti,18 which suggests that the Hittites in Anatolia were also in a critical situation at that time. Referring to the Sea Peoples, the pharaoh stated: ‘Their chief is like a dog [...] bringing to an end the Pedetishew, whom I caused to take grain in ships, to keep alive that land of Kheta [...].’ The term ‘Pedetishew’ may refer to an Anatolian region called Pitassa by the Hittites. Thus it seems that the cited area had been raided by the same coalition that later joined the Libyans. This interesting information makes it possible to link the attack on Egypt by the Sea Peoples with the problems suffered by the Hittites in western Anatolia during the reigns of Tudhaliya IV and Arnuwanda III. Most of those conflicts involved the ‘Ahhiyawa’,19 identified by a large number of authors as ‘Achaeans’ or Mycenaeans.20 It is also known that Tudhaliya IV had seized the island of Cyprus (Alashiya), an important location on the trading routes of the eastern Mediterranean. Perhaps a coalition of peoples from western Anatolia, including Ahhiyawa and Arzawa, attacked the island in this period.21 The dating of the Hittite document relative to this alliance (the text of Madduwatta) is controversial. Although it seems to have been written during the reign of Arnuwanda III, it has also been dated to the age of Arnuwanda I.22
Nevertheless, it is quite credible that the attempt to invade Egypt in the reign of Merneptah was carried out by Libyans, together with peoples from the Aegean and western Anatolia (including Achaeans), and that the Hittites confronted some rebel peoples from western Anatolia, joined by Mycenaeans, in the same period.


At the beginning of the 12th century BC, the Egyptians had to combat a heterogeneous mass of people who tried to invade their country, as well as other lands usually controlled by them. The attackers included several Sea Peoples, but we also find Libyans and Asiatics among them. The documentation relating to these events is contained in the wall inscriptions and reliefs of Medinet Habu (at the mortuary temple of Ramesses III) and in the Papyrus Harris.23
First of all, it is important to see these invasion attempts as a final chapter in the great disruption that affected almost the whole of the eastern Mediterranean. As is expressed in the great inscription on the second pylon at Medinet Habu, there had been widespread devastation in various areas of Anatolia (including the Hittite lands), in northern Syria, and on the island of Cyprus.24 There are several Hittite and Ugaritic documents, relative to this previous conflict, which make reference to a prolonged fight to take control of Cyprus.25 Before returning to these matters, however, it is necessary to analyse the Egyptian records.
According to the information provided by Medinet Habu, Egypt had to suffer four wars against various peoples during the reign of Ramesses III. In year 5, the Egyptian army fought in the First Libyan War against tribes coming from the west, which may have been supported by some contingents of the Sea Peoples. In year 8, the so-called Northern War took place, in which the Egyptians confronted a coalition of Sea Peoples in two battles. There was a naval battle at the mouth of the Nile, and a land battle at a Canaanite site to the north-east. Year 11 is the date of the Second Libyan War. And finally, the Egyptians waged a campaign (or a series of campaigns) in the Levant against both Asiatic peoples and Sea Peoples who were settling on those lands.26
The temple of Medinet Habu also provides important graphic information in its magnificent wall reliefs. They show the Egyptians fighting against their enemies, and numerous prisoners captured by Ramesses III. The scenes represent individuals of different origin, including Libyan, Syrian, Hittite, and Anatolian warriors. The latter look very similar to some allies of the Hittites shown in the reliefs of the battle of Kadesh at the Temple of Luxor.
One of the scenes that illustrates the land battle of the Northern War shows some of the Sea Peoples travelling on ox-carts with their women and children,27 which suggests that they were migrating.
With regard to the Libyan wars, there are some reliefs (at the outside north wall of the temple) that show the enemies captured by the Egyptians during those campaigns. Most of them are Libyans, but there are also warriors with the appearance of Sea Peoples. In one of the annexed inscriptions, the pharaoh attributes the victory of his army to the god Amon-Re in these terms: ‘He hath carried captive the land of Temeh, Seped, and Meshwesh, who were robbers plundering Egypt every day, and hath overthrown them beneath my feet [...].’28 This leads one to consider the relationship between the Libyans and the Sea Peoples. Studying the role of Libya in the Late Bronze Age, it seems that the African coast, from Cyrenaica to the Nile Delta, must have maintained trading contacts with other coastal nations of the Mediterranean.29 This would explain the Sea Peoples’ concluding alliances with the Libyans in certain circumstances. It is known that a part of the Sherden may have settled to the west of the Delta before 1300 BC.30 After being defeated by Ramesses II in year 2 of his reign, many of them were recruited into the Egyptian army.31 As for the Meshwesh, this Libyan tribe is mentioned by Egyptian sources from the beginning of the 14th century BC.32 We may notice, however, that a people settled in north-western Anatolia, the Mysians, had a very similar name, which suggests some kind of cultural links between Libya and Asia Minor.33 The Papyrus Harris makes reference to other peoples among the Libyans, such as the Keykesh,34 a name almost identical to that of the Caicus River, which is also located in Mysia. From this one might conclude that, at the end of the Bronze Age, people coming from western Anatolia settled on the shores of Libya. These foreigners were able to join the native peoples on several occasions, in order to menace the more fertile lands of northern Egypt. (We have already seen that something like this occurred in year 5 of Merneptah.) Regarding the Second Libyan War, the inscriptions at Medinet Habu tell that the Meshwesh had invaded the land of Tehenu, but that this invasion ended in an alliance between the two peoples.35


In year 8 of Ramesses III, the Egyptians confronted a confederation of Sea Peoples that threatened Egypt from Palestine. According to the information from Medinet Habu, this league consisted of five peoples, namely the Peleset, Thekel, Shekelesh, Denyen, and Weshesh. The Papyrus Harris names the same peoples with just one exception: instead of the Shekelesh, it includes the Sherden as members of the alliance. These peoples were vanquished in two battles; one was naval, the other occurred on land. It is known, however, that some of the defeated people managed to settle on the coastal area of Canaan, traditionally controlled by the Egyptians.
There is an inscription at Medinet Habu, near the scene that represents the Sea Peoples travelling with their women and children, which states: ‘The countries which came from their isles in the midst of the sea, they advanced to Egypt, their hearts relying upon their arms [...].’36 In the Egyptian language, however, the term ‘isles’ can also refer to coastal lands.37
Another inscription, more ambiguous, reads as follows: ‘The northern countries are unquiet in their limbs, even the Peleset, the Thekel, who devastate their land. Their soul came in the last extremity. They were warriors upon land, also in the sea [...].’38 The ‘northern countries’ mentioned in this text probably refer to the neighbouring lands of Phoenicia and Palestine. The Peleset, generally identified as Philistines, settled in Palestine at the beginning of the 12th century BC, after conquering various cities.39 Therefore, the inscription tells that Peleset and Thekel (‘warriors upon land, also in the sea’) devastated those countries.
Yet, the most important text referring to the Northern War is the big inscription on the second pylon. It is, at the same time, also the most problematic one. According to the translation by J. H. Breasted, the main paragraph of the text can be rendered as follows:
‘The countries – –, the [Northerners] in their isles were disturbed, taken away in the [fray] – at one time. Not one stood before their hands, from Kheta, Kode, Carchemish, Arvad, Alasa, they were wasted. [They set up] a camp in one place in Amor. They desolated his people and his land like that which is not. They came with fire prepared before them, forward to Egypt. Their main support was Peleset, Thekel, Shekelesh, Denyen, and Weshesh. (These) lands were united, and they laid their hands upon the land as far as the Circle of the Earth. Their hearts were confident, full of their plans.’40
The most common interpretation of the inscription is that a coalition of Sea Peoples devastated various regions of Anatolia, Cyprus, and Syria, settled a camp in the land of Amurru (Syria), and then continued their destructive raid towards Egypt. The league consisted of the five peoples mentioned in the paragraph.41
However, there is another way of reading the text, and a closer look at the available evidence will reveal it to be the correct one. It is based on differentiating the Northerners in their isles (mentioned at the beginning of the inscription as the attackers of the five cited lands) from the Sea Peoples who set up camp in Amurru and advanced towards Egypt (the coalition of Peleset, Thekel, Shekelesh, Denyen, and Weshesh). We have to remember that the wall reliefs show the latter as migrants, travelling with women and children, and not as an invading army. The reason for this must lie in the fact that they came from the Anatolian regions, and perhaps the northern Syrian lands, previously devastated by those called ‘Northerners’ (whose identity is not specified). Therefore, the peoples who joined in a camp were not the victors of the conflict, but the defeated: a mass of refugees who later moved along the Phoenician-Palestine lands, searching for a territory to settle and causing new destruction in the regions where they encountered opposition. When the text states: ‘[They set up] a camp in one place in Amor’, we can see that the translator was uncertain of the part of the inscription in brackets. What is sure is ‘... a camp in one place in Amor’. But, according to the text, the settlers in the camp could perfectly well have been those whose lands were devastated, rather than the invaders. (The previous sentence refers specifically to the defeated: ‘they were wasted’.) Thus, in a more precise style, the text would read: ‘The latter set up camp in one place in Amor’. Finally, it is said that these peoples advanced towards Egypt with the ‘fire prepared before them’, which may mean that the Egyptian forces (in the inscription symbolically called the ‘fire’ or the ‘flame’) were already mobilized in order to confront the foreign newcomers.42
Now, the main question to be asked is: who were the true destroyers of the five lands mentioned?
The first of the five countries is Hatti (Kheta), whose empire was certainly in ruins at the beginning of the 12th century BC.43 The next is Kode, which can be identified as a region between Cilicia and northern Syria (both of which suffered destruction).44 Carchemish was the important Syrian city attacked in the same period.45 As for Arvad, this settlement was located on the Syrian coast, but other authors have given the translation ‘Arzawa’ (western Anatolia) instead of Arvad, and this appears to be more correct.46 Finally, there is Alasa, certainly the island of Cyprus, where archaeology has shown that various cities suffered destruction around 1200 BC.47 As has been previously remarked, several battles took place at that time in order to gain control of Cyprus, but the archaeological data are very clear in pointing out the identity of its final conquerors. They were the Mycenaean Greeks, who settled on the island from the age of the crisis until the Submycenaean period. Therefore, those who, in the text of Medinet Habu, are called ‘the Northerners in their isles’ are also a People of the Sea: the Achaeans from the coasts and islands of the Aegean.48
Turning now to the information provided by the Temple of Medinet Habu with regard to the last campaign of Ramesses III, which is sometimes called the ‘Syrian War’49 and which probably consisted of a series of campaigns for the reorganization of the Levantine borders, we find an inscription together with the scene of seven captive chiefs on their knees.50 According to the inscription, four of them are chiefs of the Sea Peoples (Peleset, Thekel, Sherden, and Teresh), two are Syrian (Amorite and perhaps ‘Shasu’), and the seventh is a Hittite, a chief of Kheta. Therefore, we see that the Hittites, whose origin from one of the devastated countries in Anatolia is unquestionable, may also have spread over Syria and Canaan together with the Peleset and Thekel.51 It is even possible that they battled together against the Egyptians. It is known that most coastal peoples of Anatolia, and those who lived in northern Syria, were vassals and allies of the Hittites and had already fought together with the king of Hatti at the battle of Kadesh.52
Thus, the wave of migrants and invaders with which the Egyptians were confronted must have been the result of the collapse of the Hittite empire, not its cause.
Now it is necessary to examine three of the peoples who moved to Egypt: the Peleset, the Denyen, and the Tjeker (called Thekel by Breasted). The temple reliefs represent all these peoples as being of a similar appearance.53 They wear a short skirt, and some of them also an armour or cuirass; they have round shields and the characteristic ‘Philistine’ helmet crowned with feathers or, more probably, with leather straps. This appearance leads one to believe that their origin was in the area of Anatolia-Cyprus, but they could not be Mycenaean or from Greece, as has been suggested for the Denyen54 and the Peleset.55 The panoply of Achaean warriors is different, according to their representations in the fresco paintings of Pylos and on the ‘Warriors’ Vase’ from Mycenae, where they appear wearing helmets made of wild-boar tusks or bronze and adorned with long mane tufts.


There is general agreement on the identification of the Peleset as Philistines. This people settled in various cities of southern Canaan from the beginning of the 12th century BC. The archaeological data show that some of those cities, after having been destroyed, were rebuilt and occupied by the Philistines. In Ekron, for example, stratum VIII ends in total destruction, and the next level (stratum VII) is a much larger Philistine settlement.56
The material culture of the Philistines is clearly linked with that of the Aegean,57 but it also presents similarities with those of Cyprus, Anatolia, and the Levant.58 It is certain, however, that the Philistine pottery was locally made.59 This fact is important, together with other data pointed out by T. Dothan and restudied by T. J. Barako, relative to the complete absence of Cypriot and Aegean imports at the Philistine settlements during the 12th century BC.60
If we also consider that the Philistines were of a similar appearance to that of some Anatolians who fought in Kadesh, the first conclusion to be drawn from all these data is that the Philistines must have come from an Anatolian region near Cyprus, which explains the similarity of their material culture to that of the Cypriots, even after their migration to Palestine. If they produced pottery rather similar to the Mycenaean IIIC:1b style (although some traits are Levantine), it is to a considerable extent because they had previously been part of the Cypriot-Mycenaean cultural koine of the 14th–13th centuries BC, which is at the origin of the various Mycenaean ‘pictorial’ styles.61 On the other hand, if this People of the Sea, once settled in the south of Canaan, did not maintain maritime trading contacts with Cyprus and the Aegean-Anatolian world during the 12th century BC, it can only be because the Philistines had left their homeland, fleeing from devastation. As their original settlements must have fallen under the control of those who dislodged them, they did not establish amicable relations with those regions for a long period. Furthermore, the Hebrew word peletim, which is clearly an evolution of Pelishtim (or Philistines), means precisely ‘refugees’.
Therefore, the most logical place of origin of the Philistines is an area of southern Anatolia called by the Greeks ‘Pisidia’ or ‘Pamphylia’ and by the Hittites ‘Hapalla’. This region was located to the west of Cilicia,62 close to the island of Cyprus, and not far from the Aegean coast, and thus its culture was not very different from that of the cited neighbouring lands.
Now, the Bible links the Philistines ethnically with the Kaphtorim or Cretans.63 This relationship must be older than the analysed period, dating from a time when the Cretans were not under the rule of the Mycenaeans and setting up mercantile colonies on the coasts of Asia Minor. The Bible, however, also calls them ‘sons of Anak’,64 which may mean Anatolians.65
Another cultural trait that appears in the Philistine cities of Canaan is the use of a hearth room in their buildings, something that recalls the Mycenaean megaron.66 This, however, cannot lead us to consider the Philistines as a branch of the Mycenaeans, because this particular architectural feature is known in Anatolia as early as the third millennium BC (specifically in Troy II).67 Therefore, it is evident that the Philistines had their origin in southern Anatolia and, although they received important cultural influences from the Mycenaeans, they must have been one of the vassal peoples of the Hittites who were involved in the conflicts of Anatolia and Cyprus about 1200 BC.


The Denyen have been identified as the Danuna, mentioned in the documentation from the 14th century BC found in El-Amarna. They were settled in Cilicia, and perhaps in parts of Syria (to the north of the Orontes River).68 The name seems to be related to that of Adana, the capital of Cilicia that neighbours Tarsus. An inscription from the 8th century BC found in Karatepe (Cilicia), which is written in Phoenician and Luwian, links the city of Adana to a people called ‘Danunim’, who lived in that region.69
Now, there are authors who have identified the Denyen with the Mycenaean Greeks, due to the similarity of their name with the Homeric ‘Danaoi’, used in the Iliad as an alternative name for the Achaeans.70 According to Greek tradition, Danaus travelled with his people from Libya (or northern Egypt), passing through Rhodes, in order to found a new kingdom in the Argolid.71 From these legends and from the possible relationship between the Greek ‘Danaoi’ and the Danuna of Cilicia, some scholars have proposed that the Mycenaean civilization of Greece had been originated by colonists from the south-east of Anatolia.72 Others suggest that some Mediterranean people related to the empire of Hyksos (which included Egypt and the Levant) could have dominated the Argolid thanks to the use of battle chariots, which would have given rise to the legend of Danaus.73 Be that as it may, it is most logical that the Denyen of the inscription at Medinet Habu were the Danuna/Danunim from Cilicia. Since they are mentioned in El-Amarna letters almost two centuries before the crisis of the Sea Peoples occurred, they cannot be considered Achaeans, as there was no significant Mycenaean settlement in Cilicia before 1200 BC. In fact, any Mycenaean presence at Tarsus is highly improbable before the date of the crisis.74 It is important to remember that the Denyen warriors represented on the walls of Medinet Habu are not of the same appearance as the Mycenaeans. Therefore, the proposal that the Denyen were Achaean must be rejected.
According to other suggestions the Denyen may have settled in Canaan after the crisis, and some of them may have joined the Hebrews to constitute one of the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribe of Dan.75
Yet, the most important conclusion for us is that the Denyen really came from Cilicia. Therefore, they were vassals of the Hittites, as the latter considered Kizzuwatna (Cilicia) as part of their empire.76 But, as we have seen, the area between Syria and Cilicia is one of the lands that, according to the great inscription, were wasted during the crisis (the so-called Kode). The city of Tarsus was certainly attacked in that period.77 This also proves that the most widely adopted interpretation of the Egyptian text, namely that the five Sea Peoples who attacked Egypt were also the aggressors in Anatolia, is mistaken, since it would mean that the Denyen (or at least some of them) would have devastated their own country before migrating with women and children to Canaan.


The name Tjeker has been linked with the ‘Teukroi’, which is one of the terms used by the classical authors to designate the Trojans.78 Another name used in the Iliad is ‘Dardanoi’, related to the toponym ‘Dardanelles’. This latter word is also used by the Egyptians, in the so-called Poem of Kadesh, to name some allies of Hatti: the Derden,79 who are also identifiable as Trojans (as they are mentioned in the text beside the land of ‘Mesa’, or Mysia, that neighboured the Troad). It is believed that after the crisis the Tjeker settled at the port of Dor in northern Palestine. The story of an Egyptian traveller, named Wenamun, places them in this city in about 1100 BC, reporting that they were pirates.80 The site of Tel Dor has yielded material of the 12th and 11th centuries BC that is somewhat different from that excavated at Philistine settlements. Several pithoi have been found, but there is relatively little Philistine ware, and Mycenaean IIIC:1b pottery is not present.81 Although the archaeological data from Dor do not provide firm evidence, they do not contradict the possibility that the Tjeker came from north-western Anatolia.
According to the conclusions of C. W. Blegen, Troy VIIa was burned as a consequence of an armed conflict, which the recent excavations directed by M. Korfmann do not appear to contradict.82 On the following stratum (Troy VIIb1), some Mycenaean pottery was found, together with the characteristic local wares.83 It belongs to Mycenaean IIIC style, but the Handmade Burnished Ware that appears in this phase, usually considered of Thracian origin, has also been found in Greece in Myc. IIIB and early IIIC contexts.84 Troy VIIb2 began at the end of the 12th century BC, with several new buildings and the appearance of the so-called Knobbed Ware, which is also thought to be of Danubian or Thracian provenance.85 According to a recent restudy of the Mycenaean pottery from Troy, the destruction of level VIIa occurred in the last years of a transitional period IIIB–IIIC (around 1200 BC),86 precisely at the time of the great crisis.87
After the destruction of their town, at least some Trojans (to be identified with the Tjeker) sought refuge in Canaan. Their aggressors must have been the Mycenaeans, who conquered Cyprus and other coastal regions in the same period. The great inscription of Ramesses III names the land of Arzawa among the wasted countries (according to most translators). From the Hittite sources it appears that Arzawa was an extensive area of western Anatolia, but perhaps Troy was not included in it. Nevertheless, Egyptian knowledge of Anatolian geography could be less accurate than that of the Hittites.
To conclude this analysis of the Sea Peoples involved in the war of Ramesses III, it is necessary also to make reference to the other peoples of the coalition: the Weshesh, the Shekelesh, and the Sherden cited on the Papyrus Harris. Regarding the Weshesh, it is difficult to know if they are specifically represented on the Egyptian reliefs. Some scholars have linked them with Caria, referring to the coastal city of ‘Iassos’.88 On the other hand, they could also have been western Syrians, because their name may equally well be related to the toponym ‘Issos’ (in the Gulf of Iskenderun), and the coast of northern Syria was also plundered during the crisis (Ugarit and other sites). But the latter identification is only a hypothesis that has to be corroborated with new data.
The appearance of the Shekelesh is similar to that of the Teresh (probably Lydians),89 and therefore they can have their origin on the region of the River Shekha, a Hittite name for the Hermus or the Caicus, and even on the River Shekhariya, also named Sangarius. (Both toponyms are rather similar to the term ‘Shekelesh’.)90 The River Shekha is located in Arzawa, which is also a devastated land mentioned by the inscription.
The Sherden could have come from the same geographic area (perhaps from Sardis), and it is plausible that some groups of Sherden and Shekelesh settled in Sardinia and Sicily respectively, giving their names to those islands.91
Thus, despite the fact that the Arzawan peoples had allied with the Mycenaeans at the time of Merneptah (c.1230 BC) in order to raid Cyprus and Egypt, we can suppose that some of them later changed sides and joined a Trojan or Hittite league.


In the light of all the data studied, the serious conflicts of the Late Bronze Age must be viewed as a great unrest in the north-eastern Mediterranean countries, which caused violent migrations towards Egypt and the nearby territories. The crisis must have started around 1240 BC, when the Hittites lost control of the copper mines located in the east of Anatolia. This area was finally dominated by the Assyrians during the reign of Tukulti-Ninurta I, following their victory at the boundaries of Hatti.92 The reaction of the Hittite King Tudhaliya IV was twofold. On the one hand, he ensured the supply of copper by seizing the island of Cyprus, known to be rich in this metal. A later Hittite document, from the age of Shuppiluliuma II, makes reference to the conquest by Tudhaliya IV,93 which was surely carried out with the help of his coastal vassals. On the other hand, Tudhaliya set up a mercantile embargo against Assyria, which is well known due to the treaty he concluded with King Shaushgamuwa of Amurru. In this document, the Syrian ruler is also asked to block trade with the ships from Ahhiyawa.94 The Ahhiyawa were Achaeans, either ‘Mycenaeans’ in general or only those from a region colonized by them on the coasts of south-western Anatolia and the neighbouring islands.95 If Tudhaliya IV considered the Mycenaeans as enemies, it is likely that he also prohibited other coastal peoples, vassals of his, from trading with the Achaeans.
The embargo explains the temporary lack of imported Mycenaean pottery in Cyprus and along the neighbouring coasts during the last decades of the 13th century BC.96 The good Myc. IIIB:2 pottery was substituted by a ware of poorer quality, usually called ‘Rude Style’.97 According to S. A. Immerwahr, this imitation ware was locally made in the Levantine regions.98 The new style was surely created in order to satisfy the eastern demand for Mycenaean pottery during the years of the embargo, since it appeared in the Levant and Cyprus in the second half of the 13th century BC, precisely during the reign of Tudhaliya IV.99
Thus, in the last decades of the 13th century BC, the sailing routes became insecure, and the Mycenaean Greeks must have fallen into a period of decadence, as until then their rise had been based on trade. Furthermore, they probably had difficulty in importing copper, usually supplied by Cyprus. Internal wars broke out in Greece as a consequence of the general crisis of their system. Some palaces were fortified, but even so, several Mycenaean settlements suffered destruction, which may be dated between 1240 BC and 1210 BC. These problems led to a change in the genuine Mycenaean pottery, from IIIB style to IIIC.100
Despite the conflicts, some cities in Greece, such as Mycenae and Tiryns, continued to exist in the IIIC:1 period. The city of Pylos, however, was completely destroyed. Orchomenus and Gla remained uninhabited during Myc. IIIC, and other smaller settlements were also abandoned. After the transition to Myc. IIIC:1 there was no significant destruction in Greece and the following period may have been calmer, until the final collapse of Mycenaean civilization in the second half of the 12th century BC.101
At the same time (late 13th century BC), in response to the breakdown of their commercial network, some Mycenaean contingents participated in great pirate expeditions, namely the first attempt to invade Cyprus, made by the ‘Ahhiyawa’ in alliance with the Anatolian rebel named Madduwatta and the peoples of Arzawa, followed by the attack on Egypt at the time of Merneptah (c.1230 BC), probably undertaken by the same coalition, with the support of the Libyans. The controversial text of Madduwatta, concerning his aggressions against the Hittites, must have been written in the short reign of Arnuwanda III (son of Tudhaliya IV), because in this document the Hittite king states that Alashiya belongs to him. Furthermore, a person named Mukshush is mentioned in the text, and we shall see that he may have lived at that time.102 It seems that the Mycenaeans tried to evade the embargo, as they may have settled at the Carmel coast in Canaan, where genuine Mycenaean pottery has been found.103 However, the Hittites reconquered Cyprus very soon, probably at the beginning of the reign of Shuppiluliuma II, who was proud of having vanquished a fleet coming from Alashiya (not necessarily composed of Cypriot ships) just before invading the island. He had also occupied the coastal land of Tarhuntassa, in southern Anatolia.104
Yet the decisive events of the great crisis in the eastern Mediterranean occurred at the turn of the century. At that time, the inhabitants of Greece may have temporarily resolved their internal confrontations, and they launched into a campaign whose objective was to recover control of the main trading routes. Again one of the targets was Cyprus, controlled by the Hittites and their vassals, but its capture also required the conquest of the neighbouring continental coasts. The other target was Troy or Ilios (Wilusha),105 a city that may have fallen under some kind of Hittite subjection.106 The well-known correspondence between the king of Ugarit and the ruler of Cyprus, both vassals of Hatti,107 in which they fear the arrival of a hostile fleet, can only refer to the Achaeans. They may have started the invasion of the island from the west, with a first settlement in Maa-Palaeokastro,108 and then managed to conquer the island around 1200 BC, since the pottery that appeared in the main cities (Enkomi, Kition, Sinda), after their destruction, is authentic Mycenaean IIIC:1 ware, and other cultural innovations are also of Mycenaean origin.109 In fact, the process called by V. Karageorghis ‘Hellenization of the island’ began at precisely that moment.110 To ensure its control, the Achaeans also attacked Tarsus (where they probably settled),111 and Ugarit (which was not rebuilt after its destruction).112 Therefore, they must have been in control of the regions of Pamphylia, Cilicia, and north-western Syria (inhabited by the Peleset, Denyen, and maybe Weshesh). They also besieged and finally burned down the city of Troy at its archaeological level VIIa, as was recalled by the Greek tradition, confronting the Tjeker and probably other Arzawan peoples (Shekelesh and Sherden). To achieve all these objectives, they must have mobilized a large army, although it is unlikely that they acted alone.
Their most probable allies were a people whom the Assyrian annals called ‘Mushki’ and who lived in later centuries in the Cilician area of the Taurus and on the highest reaches of the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates.113 In addition, a bilingual inscription discovered in Karatepe (from the 8th century BC) records that a person named Mukshush (in Luwian) and M-p-s (in Phoenician) had founded the Cilician city of Beit Mopsu. This information is closely linked with the Greek tradition, which tells that the Lydian seer called Mopsus (probable eponym of the Mushki) joined Amphilochus immediately after the fall of Troy, and led their people to the lands of Pamphylia, Cilicia, and Syria. Mopsus and Amphilochus founded, among many others, the city of Mopsuhestia in Cilicia (named ‘Beit Mopsu’ in the inscription).114 From all these data, it is concluded that the Mushki accompanied the Mycenaeans in their invasion of southern Anatolia and northern Syria. When the Assyrians mentioned the Mushki, especially in the annals of the 8th and 7th centuries BC, they usually referred to Phrygians. The Mushki may have been people of Thracian origin, related to the Phrygians, who had infiltrated western Anatolia at the end of the 13th century BC, and who must have joined the Achaeans against the Hittites and their allies.115
The Hittite empire fell in the same period, and the main settlements were destroyed, including Hattusha, the capital city. Some time after the destruction the Phrygians established themselves upon its ruins. It is probable, however, that the attackers were the Kashka, traditional enemies of the Hittites, settled to the south-east of the Black Sea.116 Their advance is likely to have been helped by the defeat of the Hittite army at the hands of Achaeans and Mushki.
Finally, all these invasions and destructions caused a considerable wave of refugees, who gathered in a camp in the region of Amurru (Syria). As has been explained, the defeated Sea Peoples started their migration to the south. Some contingents may have sailed to the land of the Libyans, encouraging them to confront Egypt, while the main part of the coalition conquered territories in Canaan. Finally, these migrant invaders also attacked the Nile Delta, in order to weaken the Egyptian resistance to their settlement on lands controlled by the pharaoh. After the Second Libyan War, the Egyptians attacked the Sea Peoples who had infiltrated the Levant, trying to restore the northern boundaries but unable to prevent their settlement in Palestine.
This chain of conflicts completely altered the development of the eastern Mediterranean countries, and triggered the transition from the Bronze to the Iron Age.


Despite the discovery of Troy’s ruins by H. Schliemann, who was guided by the research of F. Calvert,117 and the later excavations directed by Blegen, the historicity of its siege by Hellenic forces remains most uncertain, as has often been emphasized.118
Correctly interpreted, however, the great inscription on the second pylon at Medinet Habu proves that the Greek legend is based on historical reality. If those named by the text ‘Northerners in their isles’ are the Achaeans or Mycenaeans, and it is said that they attacked Cyprus (as undoubtedly occurred) and various regions in Asia Minor (including western Anatolia), and if, in addition, Troy was taken and destroyed in the same period, and the name of one of the defeated peoples mentioned in the inscription is practically identical to that of the Teucrians (or Trojans), the historical basis of the Trojan War must be accepted.
This does not mean, however, that the whole story has to be authentic. Of course, it may include a considerable element of fiction (for example, that the conflict was caused by the abduction of a queen named Helen). But certainly, the famous legend helped the ancient Greeks to record the great conflagration produced in Anatolia at the end of the Bronze Age.
It is also important to note that the basic event was considered historical by the classical authors. Perhaps the most interesting source is the Aegyptiaca by the Egyptian historian Manetho, according to which the fall of Troy occurred during the last reign of the 19th Dynasty.119 This would coincide with the last decade of the 13th century.120
Thus, the mythical Greek tradition can be used as an auxiliary source for knowledge of the past, although it recounts the events in a different style from that used by modern historians. In fact, the parallels between the crisis of 1200 BC and the events narrated by the Greek legends are numerous. First of all, the ancient authors tell that one generation before the siege of Troy, there were several wars in Greece, such as the first invasion of the Peloponnese led by the sons of Heracles, which was finally repelled.121 We have already seen that, in the late 13th century BC, most Mycenaean cities suffered destruction. With regard to the expedition against Troy, this event is presented as a great conflict in which numerous Greek forces took part, also plundering other cities of Asia Minor. The enemies were not only the Trojans, but also an alliance of coastal peoples from Anatolia (so they were ‘Sea Peoples’). After the sack of the town, some Greek heroes, such as King Agapenor of Arcadia, Demophon the Athenian, or Teucer, the brother of Ajax, settled in Cyprus (the island that was occupied by the Mycenaeans).122 Referring to the story of the seers Mopsus and Amphilochus, already cited, there is another interesting detail. A Lydian legend tells that the goddess Derceto or Atergata, worshipped by the Philistines and Syrians, was punished by Moxus (or Mopsus), who threw her into a lake near Ashkelon.123 Thus the Mushki, allied with the Achaeans, dislodged the Philistines from their homeland, forcing them to migrate to Palestine.
Other myths tell that two or three generations after the Trojan War, the Heraclids returned, in another successful invasion, to the Peloponnese,124 and this corresponds indeed with the archaeological observation that in the second half of the 12th century BC the main Mycenaean cities of Greece were finally destroyed or abandoned.125


As is well known, the so-called Philistine ware represents a hybrid between the Mycenaean IIIC:1b Close Style and local Levantine pottery.126 The typical bird motif must have been an evolution of some pictorial shapes born in the Mycenaean-Levantine or Mycenaean-Cypriot koine of the 14th and 13th centuries BC.127 On the other hand, the Myc. IIIC:1b style also used pictorial decorations, based on the same patterns.
If it is agreed that the Philistine ware derives from Mycenaean pottery, but was produced by non-Mycenaeans, then it can be considered, at least in its origin, to be comparable to another imitation ware, i.e. the so-called Rude Style. I believe that the key to its appearance can be found at Ashdod. As has been suggested by M. Dothan, this city may have been conquered by the first wave of Sea Peoples,128 which attacked Egypt during the reign of Merneptah and included the Ekwesh, allied with the Sherden and Shekelesh. Therefore, it is not surprising that level XIIIb, which follows the destruction level XIV, contains genuine Mycenaean pottery. The following level XIIIa shows the arrival of the Philistines, in a new invasion wave also joined by the Shekelesh and maybe the Sherden. Some Mycenaean IIIC ware was found in it (possibly belonging to the Sea Peoples previously settled), besides the specific Philistine bichrome pottery. Finally, at the period of stratum XII, the city was enlarged by the Philistines. The similarities between the Philistine ware and the Mycenaean IIIC:1b pottery could therefore be due to the fact that the Philistines imitated Mycenaean shapes which they found in Ashdod (and maybe at other Palestinian sites). Probably the Mycenaean IIIC style was already at that time appreciated in eastern markets. The subsequent interruption of contacts between the Philistines and the new Cypriot-Mycenaean koine of the 12th century BC entailed that the evolution of the pottery made by this banished people diverged from that of its model.


I have adopted the Egyptian high chronology for this article, in accordance with the Cambridge Ancient History and with several recent works on the Sea Peoples.129 For those scholars who follow the low chronology, year 8 of Ramesses III is 1176 BC, instead of 1190 BC; according to this, the ‘crisis of 1200 BC’ should be dated to the first quarter of the 12th century BC, despite its common denomination.
In any case, the controversy about absolute dates does not affect the relative chronology of the historical events, and therefore, it is possible to agree on the following conclusions:
1) The attack of the Sea Peoples that was repelled by Merneptah must have occurred during the reign of the Hittite king Arnuwanda III.
2) The destruction of Pylos in southern Greece took place several years before the end of Troy VIIa.
3) The fall of Troy can be considered contemporary with the widespread devastation produced in Anatolia, Cyprus, and Syria, as is recorded in the great inscription of Medinet Habu.
4) The general devastation should be dated between the end of the 19th Dynasty (the age of Siptah and Tewosret) and the beginning of the 20th Dynasty, seeing that the Egyptians suffered the final consequences of the Mediterranean crisis at the time of Ramesses III.


1 E. de Rougé, ‘Extraits d’un mémoire sur les attaques dirigées contre l’Égypte par les peuples de la Méditerranée vers le quatorzième siècle avant notre ère’, RA 16, 1867, 35–45, 81–103.
2 Breasted III §§ 298–351, 491, 569–617; IV §§ 35–135, 397–412.
3 A. Strobel, Der spätbronzezeitliche Seevölkersturm (1976) 177.
4 G. A. Wainwright, ‘The Meswesh’, JEA 48, 1962, 93; Breasted III § 491.
5 R. O. Faulkner, ‘Egypt: From the Inception of the Nineteenth Dynasty to the Death of Ramesses III’, in: CAH II 2 (3rd. ed., 1975) 226; Wainwright loc. cit.
6 Breasted III § 579.
7 N. K. Sandars, The Sea Peoples: Warriors of the Ancient Mediterranean 1250–1150 BC (1978) 158; Breasted IV §§ 403–4.
8 Ibid. IV §§ 35–135.
9 Ibid. III § 569.
10 Ibid. III § 579.
11 Faulkner op. cit. 232–3.
12 R. D. Barnett, ‘The Sea Peoples’, in: CAH II 2 (3rd. ed., 1975) 367; Strobel op. cit. 182–90; Sandars op. cit. 157.
13 T. R. Bryce, ‘Lukka Revisited’, JNES 51, 1992, 129–30; J. D. Hawkins, ‘Tarkasnawa King of Mira: “Tarkondemos”, Bogazköy Sealings and Karabel’, AnatSt 48, 1998, 1.
14 Strobel op. cit. 190–201.
15 G. A. Wainwright, ‘Some Sea-Peoples’, JEA 47, 1961, 90. This author believes that the Shekelesh came from Lydia or Caria.
16 Ibid. 73; Sandars op. cit. 107, 157.
17 Breasted III § 588.
18 Ibid. III § 580.
19 H. G. Güterbock, ‘The Hittites and the Aegean World: Part 1. The Ahhiyawa Problem Reconsidered’, AJA 87, 1983, 136–8.
20 E. Forrer, ‘Vorhomerische Griechen in den Keilschrifttexten von Bogazköi’, MDOG 63, 1924, 1–24; Güterbock art. cit. 138; Hawkins art. cit. 30–1; W.-D. Niemeier, ‘Mycenaeans and Hittites in War in Western Asia Minor’, in: R. Laffineur (ed.), Polemos: Le contexte guerrier en Egée à l’Age du Bronze. Aegaeum 19 (1999) 141–55. See also P. A. Mountjoy, ‘The East Aegean–West Anatolian Interface in the Late Bronze Age: Mycenaeans and the Kingdom of Ahhiyawa’, AnatSt 48, 1998, 33–67. The latter author has located the settlements of the Ahhiyawa mentioned by the Hittite sources in an area of south-western Anatolia and the eastern Aegean, establishing definitely their close relationship with the Mycenaeans.
21 H. G. Güterbock, ‘The Hittite Conquest of Cyprus Reconsidered’, JNES 26, 1967, 73–81. The land of Arzawa included Lydia and Caria, according to J. B. Mellaart, ‘The Political Geography of Western Anatolia during the Late Bronze Age – Who Lived Where?’, AfO Beiheft 19 (1982) 372–7.
22 See the reference to the Madduwatta text (KUB XIV 1 + KBo XIX 38) in Güterbock art. cit. (n. 19) 133–6, and some commentary in Güterbock art. cit. (n. 21) 80. The high dating is followed by Hawkins art. cit. 25, and in T. R. Bryce, The Kingdom of the Hittites (1998) 140–7, 414–15. But according to this document, the activities of Madduwatta, a rebel ruler of Arzawa, involved the Hittite land of Pitassa (see Barnett op. cit. 363), which is mentioned in the inscription of Merneptah.
23 Breasted IV §§ 35–135, 397–412.
24 Ibid. IV § 64; J. B. Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (3rd. ed., 1969) 262–3.
25 The correct translation of the Hittite text KBo XII 38 is explained in Güterbock art. cit. (n. 21). The letters RS L 1 and RS 20238, from Ras Shamra, are translated in Sandars op. cit. 142–3.
26 Breasted IV §§ 35–135.
27 Sandars op. cit. 35, 124, 160.
28 Breasted IV § 52. See the illustrations based on the cited reliefs (which are located at the north wall of the temple of Medinet Habu) in J. H. Breasted (ed.), Medinet Habu Vol. I: Earlier Historical Records of Ramses III (1930) pls. 22, 43.
29 Sandars op. cit. 114–5.
30 Ibid. 50; Wainwright art. cit. (n. 4) 93.
31 Faulkner op. cit. 226.
32 Wainwright art. cit. (n. 4) 99.
33 Ibid. 93–4.
34 Breasted IV § 405.
35 Ibid. IV § 85.
36 Ibid. IV § 77.
37 R. Drews, The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe ca. 1200 BC (1993) 52.
38 Breasted IV § 44.
39 T. Dothan, ‘Initial Philistine Settlement: From Migration to Coexistence’, in: S. Gitin et al. (eds.), Mediterranean Peoples in Transition: Thirteen to Early Tenth Centuries BCE (1998) 151–2.
40 Breasted IV 37–8 § 64. See a copy of the original hieroglyphic inscription in K. A. Kitchen, Ramesside Inscriptions: Historical and Biographical V (1983) 37–43.
41 F. H. Stubbings, ‘The Recession of Mycenaean Civilization’, in: CAH II 2 (3rd. ed., 1975) 340; Faulkner op. cit. 242; C. Baurain, Chypre et la Méditerranée Orientale au Bronze Récent: Synthèse historique (1984); D. O’Connor, ‘The Sea Peoples and the Egyptian Sources’, in: E. D. Oren (ed.), The Sea Peoples and Their World: A Reassessment (2000) 95. The historical reconstructions made by all these authors are based on the most frequently followed interpretation of the Egyptian record.
42 In another paragraph of the text, Ramesses III again states that ‘the flame’ was deployed before the enemies who reached the mouths of the Nile, and goes on to relate the victory of his fleet in the naval battle of the Delta. See Pritchard loc. cit.
43 K. Bittel, Hattusha: The Capital of the Hittites (1970) 131–3.
44 Barnett op. cit. 370.
45 L. Woolley–R. D. Barnett, Carchemish: Report on the Excavations at Jerablus on behalf of the British Museum III (1978) 224.
46 W. F. Edgerton–J. A. Wilson, Historical Records of Ramesses III: The Texts of Medinet Habu (1936) 53, 106–9; Pritchard loc. cit.
47 V. Karageorghis, Nouveaux documents pour l’étude du bronze récent à Chypre (1965) 293; H. W. Catling, ‘Cyprus in the Late Bronze Age’, in: CAH II 2 (3rd. ed., 1975) 209.
48 H. H. Nelson–U. Hölscher, Medinet Habu 1924–28 (1929) 3–4. These authors considered the crisis as the end of a chain of migrations, which started, a long time ago, with a wave of invaders from the Balkans, and continued with the Achaean conquest of Crete. Thereafter, invaders from Europe fell upon Anatolia forcing some elements of the older populations to leave their homes. Finally, both newcomers and vanquished reached the shores of Africa. Referring to year 8 of Ramesses III, they clearly think that the invaders of Palestine were dislodged from southern Anatolia by the European newcomers. See also Pritchard loc. cit.; Sandars op. cit. 197–202. In her conclusions, the latter author expresses her difficulties in making a clear reconstruction of the crisis. She suggests as a possibility, however, that the invaders of the Egyptian borders moved from Anatolia, Cyprus, and northern Syria, because they were harassed by other Sea Peoples, some of them setting off from Aegean ports.
49 Breasted IV §§ 115–16. See also H. H. Nelson–U. Hölscher, Medinet Habu Reports (1931) 27–32.
50 Breasted IV § 129.
51 O. R. Gurney, The Hittites (1975) 39. In the first editions of the cited work, the author wrote: ‘The Hittites with other peoples fled into Syria in a great invasion which, in conjunction with the Peoples of the Sea, menaced Egypt.’
52 Sandars op. cit. 35.
53 T. Dothan, The Philistines and Their Material Culture (1982) 5; Sandars op. cit. 131; Wainwright art. cit. (n. 15) 74.
54 C. Mégalomatis, ‘Les Peuples de la Mer et la fin du monde mycénien: Essai de synthèse historique’, in: E. De Miro et al. (eds.), Atti e Memorie del Secondo Congresso Internazionale di Micenologia: Roma-Napoli 14–20 ottobre 1991 II (1996) 811; Stubbings op. cit. 340; Catling op. cit. 242. These three scholars identified the Denyen of the inscription as Danaans or ‘Danaoi’, referring clearly to Mycenaean Greeks, not to the Anatolian people settled in Adana.
55 Mégalomatis op. cit. 813. This author considers that the Philistines were Pelasgian, coming from the Greek Mainland.
56 Dothan loc. cit. (n. 39); L. E. Stager, ‘Ashkelon’, in: E. Stern (ed.), The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land I (1993) 103–12.
57 Dothan op. cit. (n. 53) 96; A. Furumark, Mycenaean Pottery II: Chronology (1972) 118–20.
58 Dothan op. cit. (n. 53) 160–72; Sandars op. cit. 166; Barnett op. cit. 373–4.
59 J. Gunneweg et al., ‘On the Origins of Pottery from Tel Miqne-Ekron’, BASOR 264, 1986, 17–27. These scholars have proved the local origin of the Philistine pottery on the basis of NAA (Neutron Activation Analysis).
60 T. J. Barako, ‘The Philistine Settlement as Mercantile Phenomenon?’, AJA 104, 2000, 515–16; Dothan op. cit. (n. 53) 289.
61 With regard to these styles of Mycenaean pottery (Pictorial and Levantine), see Karageorghis op. cit. 201–29.
62 Wainwright art. cit. (n. 15) 77–80. This author argued that the Philistines had their original settlement at the Calycadnus River in western Cilicia, but this is also the boundary between Cilicia and Pamphylia. See the location of Hapalla (to the east of Arzawa) in Mellaart loc. cit. (n. 21).
63 Gen. 10, 14.
64 Jer. 47, 5.
65 R. Graves, The Greek Myths I (1990) 292.
66 Barako art. cit. 523; Dothan op. cit. (n. 39) 156–7.
67 C. W. Blegen, Troy and the Trojans (1963) 64–6.
68 Sandars op. cit. 161–2.
69 Ibid. 162; Barnett op. cit. 365; Gurney op. cit. 42–3.
70 Mégalomatis op. cit. 811; Stubbings op. cit. 340; Catling op. cit. 242.
71 See a compilation of the myth in Graves op. cit. I 200–3.
72 M. C. Astour, Hellenosemitica: An Ethnic and Cultural Study in West Semitic Impact on Mycenaean Greece (1967) 1–80.
73 M. Bernal, Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization (1987) II 20–98; F. H. Stubbings, ‘The Rise of Mycenaean Civilization’, in: CAH II 1 (3rd. ed. 1973) 633–8.
74 M. J. Mellink, ‘The Hittites and the Aegean World: Part. 2. Archaeological Comments on Ahhiyawa-Achaians in Western Anatolia’, AJA 87, 1983, 141. With regard to the Mycenaean pottery at Tarsus, see E. French, ‘A Reassessment of the Mycenaean pottery at Tarsus’, AnatSt 25, 1975, 53–75.
75 Y. Yadin, ‘And Dan, Why Did He Remain in the Ships?’, Australian Journal of Biblical Archaeology 1, 1965, 19–23.
76 Gurney op. cit. 43.
77 Sandars op. cit. 155.
78 Ibid. 158, 170, 201; Strobel op. cit. 48–54; Wainwright art. cit. (n. 15) 76.
79 Breasted III § 306; Sandars op. cit. 36.
80 H. Goedicke, The Report of Wenamun (1975).
81 Barako art. cit. 524. See the archaeological data of Tel Dor in S. R. Wolff et al., ‘Archaeology in Israel’, AJA 102, 1998, 777–9; E. Stern, in: S. Gitin et al. (eds.), Mediterranean Peoples in Transition: Thirteenth to Early Tenth Centuries BCE (1998) 346–9.
82 Blegen op. cit. 161–2; M. Korfmann, ‘Troia – Ausgrabungen 1995’, Studia Troica 6, 1996, 1–64; id., ‘Troia – Ausgrabungen 1997’, Studia Troica 8, 1998, 1–70.
83 Blegen op. cit. 165, 171.
84 Mountjoy art. cit. 53. Handmade Burnished Ware also appeared in Cyprus after the destruction of the main cities, together with locally made Myc. IIIC pottery. See V. Karageorghis, ‘Cultural Innovations in Cyprus Relating to the Sea Peoples’, in: E. D. Oren (ed.), The Sea Peoples and Their World: A Reassessment (2000) 256.
85 Blegen op. cit. 167–71.
86 Mountjoy art. cit. 46; id., ‘Troia VII Reconsidered’, Studia Troica 9, 1999, 297–321.
87 Stubbings op. cit. (n. 41) 350.
88 Barnett op. cit. 377; Strobel op. cit. 208.
89 Barnett op. cit. 367; Wainwright art. cit. (n. 15) 84. Both authors make reference to the headdress worn by certain warriors of the Sea Peoples, shown in Nelson–Hölscher op. cit. (n. 49) fig. 4.
90 See the location of the River Shekha (or Seha) in Hawkins art. cit. fig. 11; Mountjoy art. cit. (n. 20) fig. 7.
91 Barnett op. cit. 368–9; Strobel op. cit. 190–201.
92 J. M. Munn-Rankin, ‘Assyrian Military Power 1300–1200 BC’, in: CAH II 2 (3rd. ed. 1975) 285.
93 The text KBo XII 38 is translated in Güterbock art. cit. (n. 21) 73–81.
94 Güterbock art. cit. (n. 19) 136. This author comments the text KUB XXIII 1. See also Stubbings op. cit. (n. 41) 340.
95 ‘Ahhiyawa’ must have been the Hittite word that meant Achaeans in general. Thus, depending on the context of each document, the Hittites may be referring to the Greek mainland (i.e. the great kingdom of Ahhiyawa), the Mycenaean colonies in Anatolia, or even both lands.
96 E. H. Cline, ‘A Possible Hittite Embargo Against the Mycenaeans’, Historia 40 (1991) 1–9; Mellink art. cit. 140–1; Stubbings op. cit. (n. 41) 338–41.
97 Karageorghis op. cit. 231, 234–57; Sandars op. cit. 153.
98 S. A. Immerwahr, ‘The Protome Painter and Some Contemporaries’, AJA 60, 1956, 140. See also V. Hankey, in: L. Foxhall–J. K. Davies (eds.), The Trojan War: Its Historicity and Context (1984) 18; S. Sherratt, ‘Sea Peoples and the Economic Structure of the Late Second Millennium in the Eastern Mediterranean’, in: Gitin et al. (eds.) op. cit. (n. 81) 294–6.
99 The chronology of the reign of Tudhaliya IV may have been 1265–1235 BC and, according to Karageorghis op. cit. 257, the Rude Style appeared in the decade 1250–1240 BC.
100 Stubbings op. cit. (n. 41) 338, 350–3; E. Vermeule, Greece in the Bronze Age (1964) 301–2, 323–5; V. R. Desborough, in: CAH II 2 (3rd. ed. 1975) 658–62.
101 Ibid. 663–4. See also C. B. Mee, ‘The Mycenaeans and Troy’, in: L. Foxhall–J. K. Davies (eds.), The Trojan War: Its Historicity and Context (1984) 53.
102 Barnett op. cit. 363–4; Güterbock art. cit. (n. 21) 80.
103 Stubbings op. cit. (n. 41) 338–9. I venture to hypothesize that the Mycenaeans who attacked Egypt in year 5 of Merneptah, the Ekwesh, were circumcised as a pledge of brotherhood with Canaanite people in the Levant, just before sailing to Libya.
104 Güterbock art. cit (n. 21) 80; Bryce op. cit. 364–6.
105 The Hittite name ‘Wilusha’ is equated with Troy and the Troad by F. Starke, ‘Troia im Kontext des historisch-politischen und sprachlichen Umfeldes Kleinasiens im 2. Jahrtausend’, Studia Troica 7, 1997, 447–87 and in: Troia—Traum und Wirklichkeit. Begleitband zur Ausstellung Stuttgart–Braunschweig–Bonn, 2001–2002 (2001) 34ff. See also J. D. Hawkins, AnatSt 48, 1998, 1ff. and Niemeier op. cit. 143.
106 The Hittite King Muwatalli II concluded a treaty with Alakshandu, ruler of Wilusha; and during the time of Tudhaliya IV, the Trojan kingdom appears to be a vassal of the Hittites, as this monarch sent some documents in order to restore a deposed king named Walmu to the throne of Wilusha. See Bryce op. cit. 246–8, 341–2.
107 The letters from Ras Shamra are translated in Sandars op. cit. 142–3.
108 V. Karageorghis, Les ancients Chypriotes: Entre Orient et Occident (1990) 103.
109 Barnett op. cit. 370; Dothan op. cit. (n. 53) 292.
110 Karageorghis op. cit. 103–7.
111 Vermeule op. cit. 302; Sandars op. cit. 155. The latter author believes that most of these aggressors came from Rhodes and Cos. The Myc. IIIC pottery found at Tarsus is explained in French loc. cit.
112 With regard to the end of Ugarit see M. Yon, in: W. A. Ward–M. S. Joukowsky (eds.), The Crisis Years: The Twelfth Century BC From Beyond the Danube to the Tigris (1992) 111–21. See also Barako art. cit. 521–2 n. 65. The destroyers of Ras Shamra must have been the same people that conquered Cyprus, according to the Ugaritic sources. The city was not rebuilt, but at the nearby royal residence of Ras Ibn Hani, a group of settlers with Myc. III:C1b pottery reoccupied the site. This pottery has clear stylistic affinities to the Mycenaean wares of Greece.
113 Bittel op. cit. 133–6.
114 Barnett op. cit. 363–6; Sandars op. cit. 162; Stubbings op. cit. (n. 41) 355.
115 Barnett op. cit. 363. I think that Madduwatta lived in the age of the last kings of Hatti. As the text of Madduwatta (KUB XIV 1 + KBo XIX 38) makes reference to Mukshush, a chief who participated in his raids, it is possible that Madduwatta had ruled, among other nations, the people whom the Assyrians later called Mushki (that is, the followers of Mopsus/Mukshush). However, it is remarkable that another mythical hero named Mopsus was a king of the Thracians, according to Diodorus Siculus. See Graves op. cit. II 129.
116 Bittel op. cit. 134–9; Bryce op. cit. 386–9. The latter author identifies the successors of the Hittites in central Anatolia, basing on several documents written after the fall of Hattusha.
117 S. H. Allen, ‘Finding the Walls of Troy: Frank Calvert, Excavator’, AJA 99, 1995, 379–80.
118 See, e.g., M. I. Finley, The World of Odysseus (2nd. ed. 1977) appendix 2; id. et al., ‘The Trojan War’, JHS 84, 1964, 1–20; M. J. Mellink, ‘Postscript’, in: M. J. Mellink (ed.), Troy and the Trojan War (1986) 97–101; Bryce op. cit. 392–404.
119 See the paragraph relative to the 19th Dynasty in the Epitome of this classical work. The reign of the pharaoh named Thuoris can be equated with the age of Siptah or, more accurately, with the rule of his stepmother, the Queen Tewosret.
120 See infra, note on chronology.
121 See a compilation of this myth in Graves op. cit. II 207–8.
122 Ibid. II 268–354.
123 The legend was narrated in Xanthus, Lydiaca. See also Graves op. cit. I 302.
124 Ibid. II 209–10.
125 Some archaeological signs of an invasion from north-western Greece are studied in N. G. Hammond, A History of Macedonia I (1972) 405–7. See also R. Drews, The Coming of the Greeks: Indo-European Conquests in the Aegean and the Near-East (1988) 203–25. The debate over the Dorian invasion continues.
126 Dothan op. cit. (n. 53) 96.
127 Furumark op. cit. 119; Karageorghis op. cit. (n. 47) 203–24.
128 M. Dothan, Ashdod Vols 2–3: The Second and Third Seasons of Excavations 1963, 1965, Soundings in 1967 (=‘Atiqot 9–10, 1971). The archaeological data studied by this excavator in Ashdod are summarized in Sandars op. cit. 170–1. See also Dothan op. cit. (n. 53) 295.
129 See for example T. Dothan–M. Dothan, People of the Sea: The Search for the Philistines (1992).

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