Peoples of the sea, unknown origin.

Peoples of the sea, unknown origin. Original article by Alessandro Brizzi.

Peoples of the sea, unknown origin. Original article by Alessandro Brizzi.

The “Peoples of the Sea” are the subject of an endless debate that is still going on among scholars of ancient history. It is, in fact, a human group of which very little is known, whose scarcity of news has favored the flourishing of numerous of theories and hypotheses. It is not known who they were, nor their place of origin nor what happened to them. Therefore, the precise identity of these “sea populations” is still an enigma for scholars.

Some clues suggest instead that for the ancient Egyptians the identity and motivations of these populations were known. The little information we have, in fact, comes to us from ancient Egyptian sources dating back to the 19th dynasty. In reality, the Egyptian sources describe these peoples only from the military point of view. On the stele of Tanis we read an inscription attributed to Ramses II, which reads: “The Shardana rebels that no one ever knew how to fight, came from the center of the sea boldly sailing with their warships, no one has ever managed to resist him. ” The fact that various civilizations including the Hittite, Mycenaean and the Mitanni kingdoms disappeared simultaneously around 1175 BC he made the scholars theorize that this was caused by the incursions of the Sea Peoples. The reports of Ramses on the raids of the Peoples of the Sea in the eastern Mediterranean are confirmed by the destruction of Hatti, Ugarit, Ashkelon and Hazor.

It should be noted that these invasions were not only of military operations but were accompanied by large movements of populations on land and sea, in the continuous search for new lands in which to settle. The term “Peoples of the Sea” refers to a group composed of ten populations from southern Europe, a sort of confederation, who at the end of the Bronze Age, sailing towards the eastern Mediterranean Sea, invaded Anatolia, Syria , Palestine, Cyprus and Egypt. The most important ancient sources in which the Peoples of the Sea are mentioned are the Obelisk of Biblo, datable between 2000 and 1700 BC, the Letters of Amarna, the Stele of Tanis and the inscriptions of the pharaoh Merenptah. Among the populations mentioned in the ancient inscriptions, the most intriguing are certainly the Lukka, the Shardana, the Šekeleš and the Danuna.

The Lukka


The first mention of these people appears in the obelisk of Biblo, where Kwkwn is named son of Rwqq, transliterated Kukunnis son of Lukka. The lands of Lukka are often cited also in the Hittite texts starting from the II millennium BC They denote a region located in the southwestern part of Anatolia. The lands of Lukka were never permanently placed under Hittite control, and the Hittites themselves considered them hostile. The soldiers of Lukka fought allies to the Hittites in the famous battle of Qadeš (ca. 1274 BC) against the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesse II. However, a century later, Lukka turned against the Hittites. The Hittite king Suppiluliuma II tried in vain to defeat Lukka, who contributed to the collapse of the Hittite empire.

The Shardana


The Shardana appear for the first time in Egyptian sources in the letters of Amarna (c. 1350 BC) during the reign of Akhenaton. They are then mentioned during the reign of Ramses II, Merenptah and Ramses III with whom they engaged in numerous naval battles. In the depiction they are painted with long triangular swords, daggers, spears and a round shield. The skirt is short, with armor and a helmet with horns. The similarities between the Shardana warriors and those of the nuraghe of Sardinia, as well as the assonance of the name Shardana with that of Sardis-Sardinia, have led to the hypothesis, to some, that the Shardana were a population coming from Sardinia or that had settled in the isolates following the attempted invasion of Egypt.

The Šekeleš


The Šekeleš, also called Sakalasa, are mentioned along with eight other members of the Sea Peoples in the inscriptions commissioned by the pharaoh Merenptah (13th century BC). They have been associated with the Siculi, an Indo-European population that settled in the late Bronze Age in eastern Sicily, driving the Sicans to the west. It is possible that their emigration to Sicily may have been prior to the clashes with Merenptah’s Egypt, if the high chronology of the Pantalica I culture (dating from 1270 BC) and the testimony of Ellanico of Mytilene, reported from Dionigi di Alicarnasso, according to which the landing of the Sicilians in Sicily would have happened three generations before the Trojan war, around 1275 BC; Dionigi also reports the date fixed by Filisto (twenty-four years before the Trojan War) more or less contemporary with the conflict between the pharaoh Merneptah and the sea Peoples.

The Danuna


The Danuna, or Denyen, are certainly the most enigmatic. According to legend, the Danunas would have left the continent of Atlantis to settle on the island of Rhodes. This people worshiped the goddess Danu, a primordial goddess present in the mythology of many cultures (from Celtic to Indian). It was depicted as a moon wrapped in a snake and supposedly considered the mother goddess of the waters. Greek mythology tells that the primordial inhabitants of the island of Rhodes were called Telchini. According to the Greek historian Diodorus, this people had the power to heal diseases, to change atmospheric conditions and to take whatever form they wished. But they did not wish to reveal their abilities, showing themselves very jealous.

They were represented in the form of amphibious beings, half marine and half terrestrial. They had the lower part of the body in the shape of a fish or a snake, or the feet with webbed fingers. A little before the Deluge, they had a presentiment of the catastrophe and left Rhodes, their homeland, to disperse in the world. Is it possible that mythology and legends hand down the story of a technologically advanced people, perceived by the ancients as possessing magical powers? Is it possible that there is a connection between the Danuna and the Talchini? Could they really be the survivors of the continent of Atlantis? Or could they even be those ancient aliens we are so searching for in the cosmos?

Peoples of the sea, unknown origin. Original article by Alessandro Brizzi.



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Peoples of the sea, unknown origin. Original article by Alessandro Brizzi.
Peoples of the sea
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