Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wednesday Weird: The Sea Peoples

Phew. It's been awhile since I've been able to write up a Wednesday Weird. I always write my blog posts on Sundays, and it's just been a few months where I've had enough free time on a Sunday to write one up (because WWs take research, friends.)

Anyway, today's topic: The Sea Peoples.

1200 BC had quite a few empires slipping into decline--the Hittites, the Mycenaeans and everyone's favorite, the Egyptians.

So, they're already having a rough time of it, and then a huge army of barbarians showed up and laid waste to pretty much everything they touched.

These are the Sea Peoples, and even though it's 2015, we still have no idea who they were.

One of the first places they attacked was Anatolia (modern day Turkey). Anatolia at the time was quite powerful, but king Ugarit received a message from a neighboring king begging for help against a band of unknown attackers.

So, Ugarit, being a good neighbor, sent his army to help out. But, unfortunately it didn't. The Sea Peoples burned the neighboring city to the ground, then for the hell of it (because, I mean, they came all that way) they marched to Ugarit's city and burned it to the ground as well before they disappeared.

A few years later, the same thing happened at Kadesh (modern day Syria). And then they just marched and sailed and burned through civilization so violently that it actually reshaped the landscape.

Eventually they reached Egypt and attacked. And, of course, you'd better believe if the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids they weren't effing around.

The Sea Peoples used massive invasion forces twice, but each time the Egyptians held them off. Finally the Sea Peoples left again. And that was it.

Scholars today have some theories about their identities--maybe they came from Europe, or Asia Minor, or the Balkans. But pretty much anyone's guess is as good as the next, because the only people who ever met the Sea Peoples were too busy fighting and dying to spend any time to take notes or document who they could be or where they came from.

Hell, for all we know, the Sea Peoples are still out there today.
Just biding their time . . .


Maria Zannini said...

I have become lax in my history reading. I never heard of this.

I wonder if they were an ultra organized band of pirates.

DL Hammons said...

Hmmmm....sounds like a book in the making...or a prologue of a Clive Cussler book. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

An unknown army? Now that is fascinating. As DL said, a book in the making.

Rena said...

Oh, I like this wednesday weird. That's pretty awesome (and super scary) to have an army be like "you know, I think I'll just kill you all." Usually, with imperialism, they kill everyone then graffiti all over the walls something like "Alexander was here--and he killed it."

Maybe they were struck from the record.

LD Masterson said...

What strikes me is, in their first attacks, the invading army, came, conquered, and just left. Why didn't they take over the lands of the armies they destroyed? What was the point of it all?


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