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Book Review - Sea Peoples of the Bronze Age Mediterranean c. 1400 BC - 1000 BC by Raffaele DAmato and Andrea Salimbeti
Author: Petros Koutoupis
Originally published by Ancient Origins (27 March, 2015), but revised.
For years I have been a fan of the titles published by Osprey Publishing. They find a specific topic, typically related to a certain group of peoples and cram as many details into a short and coherent piece of work. This volume provides the reader with mostly the most up to date research surrounding the mysterious group commonly referred to as the Sea Peoples; a confederation of migrants that played an influential role during the Late Bronze Age period of the Eastern Mediterranean.
The authors introduce the reader to the historical background of these Sea Peoples and the sources to which they derive. Unfortunately, not all sources are the most up-to-date or properly cited. In some cases, it is believed that the authors are referencing outdated musings from the 19th century Egyptologist, Gaston Maspero. This is followed by the mostly inconclusive identification of each mentioned ethnic group or clan. The authors then highlight their appearances as it has been preserved in ancient artifacts and predominantly Egyptian inscriptions. The rest focuses on their military tactics and exploits. Do not let the 60 pages fool you. Its content is complete (as complete as it can be) and to the point.
It needs to be noted that none of this research is new but instead produces a consolidated and near complete source of what we know of these intriguing peoples. What we do know is that at random points during the Late Bronze Age, waves of migrants spread throughout the Eastern Mediterranean. Some brought wives and children to resettle and start new lives away from what may have been a troubled home. While others were simply looking for work, possibly as soldiers or mercenaries for hire. There was also a third group commonly identified as pirates and attacking trading vessels as they traveled along the Anatolian coastline. The origin of these groups, their eventual destination, and the reason for their migration has yet to reveal itself. In time, the archaeology of the region may yield more clues.
You can purchase a copy of Sea Peoples of the Bronze Age Mediterranean c. 1400 BC - 1000 BC at Amazon.