Palestine 1186 BC

Though the definite origins of the word “Palestine” have been debated for years and are still not known for sure, the name is believed to be derived from the Egyptian and Hebrew word peleshet. Roughly translated to mean “rolling” or “migratory,” the term was used to describe the inhabitants of the land to the northeast of Egypt – the Philistines. The Philistines were an Aegean people – more closely related to the Greeks and with no connection ethnically, linguisticly or historically with Arabia – who conquered in the 12th Century BCE the Mediterranean coastal plain that is now Israel and Gaza.

Since 1822, scholars have connected the biblical Philistines with the Egyptian “Peleset” inscriptions; Jean-François Champollion proposed the identification at a time when practically nobody else had knowledge of reading hieroglypics. And since 1873, both have been connected with the Aegean “Pelasgians”. The evidence for these connections is etymological and has been disputed.

1189 – 1186 BC – The Onomasticon of Amenope is an Egyptian papyrus from the late 20th Dynasty to 22nd Dynasty, a compilation belonging to a tradition begun in the Middle Kingdom, and which includes the Ramesseum Onomasticon dating from the late Middle Kingdom.

Its content includes many groupings, including heavenly objects, towns, peoples, offices, buildings, types of land, agricultural produce, beverages and oxen parts. It lists several different groups of ‘Sea Peoples’ and Libyans, including the Danuna, Kehek, Libu, Lukka, Meshwesh, Nubians, and Sherden.

The nine groups identified as Sea Peoples by modern scholars are, in alphabetical order: the Denyen, identified by some with the Greek Danaoi and by others with the Israelite tribe of Dan; the Ekwesh, possibly a group of Bronze Age Greeks (Achaeans); Lukka, an Anatolian people of the Aegean who may have given their name to the region of Lycia and the Lycian language; the Peleset, whose name is generally believed to refer to the Philistines; the Shekelesh, identified possibly with the Italic people called Siculi (from Sicily); the Sherden, possibly Sardinians or people of Sardis; the Teresh, i.e. the Tyrrhenians, possibly ancestors of the Etruscans; the Tjeker, also known as the Sikil and possibly Greek Teucrians; and the Weshesh.

Medinet Habu is the name commonly given to the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III, an important New Kingdom period structure in the location of the same name on the West Bank of Luxor in Egypt. Aside from its intrinsic size and architectural and artistic importance, the temple is probably best known as the source of inscribed reliefs depicting the advent and defeat of the Sea Peoples during the reign of Ramesses III. (1186–1155 BC).


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