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Who were the Sea People who attacked Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean during the Late Bronze Age Collapse? Show more Show less
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During the 12th Century BC sea-faring invaders contributed to what is known as the Late Bronze Age Collapse. Greece, Egypt, the Levant, and the Hittites were all impacted. Known in the Egyptian sources as a confederation of ethnic groups, the identity and origins of the Sea People is contested.

The Sea People were an emerging Anatolian power Show more Show less

The disturbances in this period started in the Hittite empire and may have emerged from a power struggle in the region. Based on the etymology, there is good reason to believe at least some of the Sea People came from Anatolia.
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The Luwian People from Asia Minor are the mythical Trojans

Luwian speaking people from Western Asia Minor are geographically located where Troy is supposed to have been. They are underresearched but may once have been a powerful empire that attacked the Hittites and fought with the Greeks.
Ancient History

The Argument

The Luwian people, mentioned by the Hittites, lived in Western Anatolia and spoke a common language. The archaeology shows they had a formidable civilization in the Late Bronze Age.[1] The ancient city of Troy, assuming it existed, would have been in Luwian territory. The Trojan war may have caused considerable upheaval in Asia Minor. The growing power of the Luwians might have prompted the legendary war on Troy. The Greeks may have suffered a pyrrhic victory after attacking Troy, falling into civil war on their return, causing the Mycenaeans to collapse. As a growing power, the Trojans may have attacked their neighbors the Hittites, as well as the Egyptians. The Trojan war was a counter-attack against this growing and hostile force in the Mediterranean.[2] A recently deciphered inscription copied by the archaeologist, Georges Perrot from Beyköy in Turkey, describes a kingdom called Mira. Mira controlled Troy, whose princes are described as leading naval expeditions. This evidence fills the gap for both who the Trojans were, and who the marauding Sea People were. This must be the Luwian civilization scholars have previously not believed existed.[3] In the sources at least one of the places mentioned in the Sea People texts, “Lukka land” can be identified with the Westernmost part of Anatolia. Some of the ethnic groups named in the Sea People texts are almost identical to those mentioned fighting as mercenaries with the Hittite King Muwatalli II at the Battle of Kadesh in 1274. This makes it quite likely they were the Hittite's immediate neighbors and part of an Anatolian alliance.[4] Recent archaeology suggests that Luwian speaking people may have been the Trojans. Some of the Sea People can be identified as Anatolian. The Trojans may have caused chaos in the Mediterranean by challenging the Greeks and their powerful neighbors the Hittites.

Counter arguments

A lot of archaeology still needs to be done to prove that those who shared the common language of the Luwians were actually part of a coherently organized civilization. Much of Eberhard’s argument is based on conjecture and storytelling using Homer, an unreliable mythological source as evidence. Eberhard is unpopular with most mainstream academics who maintain there is not enough evidence for his claims.[5] The inscription which Ebberhard has used as evidence that the people of Western Anatolia were a major power consummate with the mythical Trojans is a copy of a copy and is believed to be a forgery.[6] Eberhard's claims do not account for the wealth of evidence for other ethnic groups among the Sea Peoples, especially the Greek Philistines. There is not enough evidence to support the claim that Western Anatolia was home to a Bronze Age superpower that caused the Bronze Age Collapse.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Recent archaeology has shown the Luwians were the mythical Trojan empire scholars could not previously find. [P2] The sources place some of the Sea People in Western Anatolia. [C] The Sea People were the Trojan empire, a growing and hostile power in the Mediterranean.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] The archaeology does not prove there was an actual civilization in Western Anatolia. The primary evidence is possibly a forgery.

References

  1. https://luwianstudies.org/hypotheses-regarding-the-sea-peoples-
  2. https://luwianstudies.org/the-trojan-war-as-a-mycenaean-counterattack/
  3. https://www.livescience.com/60629-ancient-inscription-trojan-prince-sea-people.html
  4. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2087924-world-war-zero-brought-down-mystery-civilisation-of-sea-people/
  5. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2087924-world-war-zero-brought-down-mystery-civilisation-of-sea-people/
  6. https://www.livescience.com/60629-ancient-inscription-trojan-prince-sea-people.html
This page was last edited on Monday, 30 Nov 2020 at 13:17 UTC

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