Appearances Appearances

James Thomas
Aug 5, 2011 · 5 min read

In the Land Battle scenes we encounter what must be one of the most interesting images which although has very little to do with the identification of and origins of the Sea Peoples weapons and armour does nonetheless shine some very interesting light onto the possible abode of those Sea People who migrated wholesale through the Levant in concert with the naval contingent at sea.

Figures.46., .47, .49. & .53.-.57. are from “The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands by Yigael Yadin.

Figure.46. Women with hair styles reminiscent of Aegean or Minoan hair styles.

At the top of, and running along its length, the Land battle scenes are the unmistakable images of women and children travelling in ox driven carts of various designs. A crucial question has to be asked here, if the Sea Peoples where just that, people from across the sea as depicted in the sea battle scenes then why are they shown moving their families by land, surely if they had come from the Aegean and surrounding regions of Greece and Crete then all, including families, would have travelled in ships. The presence of ox carts and a land mass migration strongly suggests that at least one aspect or part of the whole migration had its origins somewhere along the southern and Aegean coasts of Asia Minor.

Figure.47. The young boy with the unusual single lock of hair atop his head.

This cannot be overstated enough, it then boils down to several possible conclusions, that these people left their original homes somewhere on or near the coasts of Asia Minor and travelled along the coasts of Caria then Lykia then Pamphylia and Cilicia finally moving down the levantine coast, all the while screened by their naval forces at sea, to be confronted by Rammesses III.

Figure.48. A reconstruction by Military illustrator Angus McBride of the attack on the Sea Peoples baggage train.

We cannot rule out the possibility that this may be a movement of possibly dissplaced Minoan or Mycenaean colonists somewhere in the vicinity between Caria and Cilicia since the movement by land which shows the greatest number of Sea Peoples in any one place tells us that their homeland was relatively close by hence such a large proportion of them are represented moving by land.

The true numbers of ships used by the Sea Peoples will never really be known but it does go some way into understanding that for them to have moved by land and sea they must surely have been located along the coast line of Asia Minor and have included most of the southern Aegean Island Including Crete, at least in part or whole for there to be two distinct parts to the overall migration.

A very interesting comment comes to mind which was made by Dr.Assaf Yasur Landau of Haifa University and notes that of the 6 women depicted in the carts no two share the same hair style possibly suggesting an ethnic diversity, some of Aegean and Syro-Canaanite origins and others which share no likeness with either Egyptian or Aegean styles.

Figure.49. The young boy being hauled up by his mother sports a clean-shaven head except for a single lock of hair similar in appearance to Mycenaean youths.

There is a single identifiable image of a young boy with a clean-shaven head but for a single lock of hair similar in style to how Mycenaean and Minoan boys wore their hair and close also in example to the way Egyptian boys would have worn their hair too. This may very well be an influence more than having been a part of the sea peoples own culture.

Figure.50. The partially shaven head of a youth from a wall painting from Thera.

Figure.51. The partially shaven head of a boy from the ‘Boxers’ fresco in the ‘House of the Antelopes’ Thera.

In the Libyan Campaign of Ramasses III a clear representation of the two kinds of Sea People warriors can clearly be seen, working in concert to defeat the Libyan warriors and clearly visible is the type of arms and armour which is so typically found in the Mycenaean-Minoan world.

Figure.52. The two distinct Sea Peoples warriors engaging Libyans during Ramasses’ Libyan campaign.

Returning to the land battle scenes we notice that there too is the familiar representation of warriors armed in the same fashion as the contingent of sea peoples with the horned helmets from the Naval battle and the Libyan campaign but differing in one very important respect — their helmets clearly show a disc or ball -like object mounted on a spike of sorts on top of their helmets. This has been reasoned to be the royal mark given to mercenaries operating under the banner of the Pharaoh but might also be another style of yet unknown horned helmet used by these people. The fact that some are shown clearly fighting for the Pharaoh and others against him clearly illustrates a strong case of Mercenary activity amongst these people.

Figure.53. The ball or disc-topped helmet of Ramesses III Mercenary Sea Peoples Warrior.

Figure.54. A trio of Sea Peoples Warrior Mercenaries spouting the disc or ball shaped object atop their helmets.

Figure.55. More Sea Peoples Warrior Mercenaries with the peculiar ball or disc-topped Helmets.

Figure.56. A solitary Mercenary warrior with a smaller disc or ball atop his helmet.

Figure.57. This mercenary/ally of Ramesses brandishes an Egyptian stave.


A study of the Bronze Age by James Thomas

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