The labrys of the gods will drive our ships to new lands
January 31, 2014 1:46 PM   Subscribe

To celebrate what is turning out to be Greek Week on the blue and the recent excavation of a Philistine city in Jordan, please enjoy a field guide to the Sea Peoples of the late Bronze Age, full of information about their possible origins, their invasions of Egypt and the Near East, their armaments, their ships, and their diverse and impressive headwear.
posted by prize bull octorok (12 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite
(The Salimbeti site is the star of the post here, it's a positively Schliemannesque hoard of fascinating pictures and info about the Greek Bronze Age)
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:48 PM on January 31, 2014

Previous discussion of the Sea People (among others) here.
posted by jetlagaddict at 2:06 PM on January 31, 2014 [2 favorites]

So one question, sorry I have this Da Vinci Code bug, was the fish symbol considered evil in Egypt? (Like it was source of food from outside, or symbol of pirates..)
posted by saber_taylor at 5:53 PM on January 31, 2014

I may have to cancel my weekend plans.
posted by ersatz at 6:05 PM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

There's a brief discussion of fish in Egypt here, with some suggestions for further reading. Short version: depends on the fish and where.
posted by jetlagaddict at 6:19 PM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I may have to cancel my weekend plans.

Are you afraid of the Sea Peoples or are you planning to buy a boat?
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 6:26 PM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I suppose the idea that The Odyssey encodes some kind of memory of this period of aquatic wandering and raiding has been idea-ed already. It sounds like the kind of thing that serious scholars reject as fanciful, though.
posted by thelonius at 6:31 PM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Damn, ok, a post about sea peoples now? I am so in to Greek Week.
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 7:41 PM on January 31, 2014

Oh man, I am diving into this, chasing after reference after reference to get an idea of the origin locations of various peoples, and the directions of their travels.

I look at this and wonder why the hell isn't anybody mining this for stories? Why are writers fixated on medieval Europe, when this is so much more interesting?

I so want to do a space opera based on the Sea peoples and the Bronze Age collapse.
posted by happyroach at 10:36 PM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I so want to do a space opera based on the Sea peoples and the Bronze Age collapse.

Or high fantasy. Egypt's desperate attempt to defend itself around the time of the battle of Djahy feels a lot like Tolkien's Gondor to me. The last great bastion of civilization stands alone against the barbarian horde sweeping across the Middle East Earth.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:18 PM on January 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

Interesting. This post has 10 comments and 42 favorites whereas Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the masterminds behind Date Movie, Epic Movie, Disaster Movie, Meet the Spartans, The Starving Games, and Vampires Suck has 82 comments and 9 favorites. My inner snob is encouraged.
posted by IndigoJones at 6:39 AM on February 1, 2014

I see it not quite as hIgh fantasy, but more as anthropological fantasy. Where there aren't really good or evil factions as such, but the movements of purple cause the downfall of civilizations. Where the defeated may be given land to act as a buffer against other tribes.

And yet epic. A disaster that dwarfs the fall of Rome, with city after city falling to the invaders, cultures, myths and and even languages disappearing forever, abs one out of every two people alive dying. Wow.
posted by happyroach at 4:48 PM on February 1, 2014

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