By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on
Ramses III ruled during the early 12th century (Levantine Iron IA) and built a grand mortuary temple (~1180 BC) at Medinet Habu for worshipping him. The temple reliefs mentioned various groups active at that time and heralding from the sea: Sherden (likely heralding from Sardinia); Sikil (Sicily); Tursha (Etruria); Ekwesh (Ashhiyawa); Danuna (Danunim); Pelset (Philistia). The reliefs showing the Philistia told of a war against the Sea Peoples. Additional reliefs at Medinet Habu show mostly Sherden and Philistines being killed en masse.
Year 8 under the majesty of (Ramses III) ... The foreign countries made a conspiracy intheir islands. All at once the lands were removed and scattered in the fray. No land could stand before their arms, from Hatti, Kode, Carchemish, Arzawa, and Alashiyaon, being cut off at [one time]. A camp [was set up] in one place in Amor (ie Amurru)
They desolated its people and its land was like that which has never come into being. They were coming forward toward Egypt, while the flame was prepared before them. Their confederation was the Philistines, Tjeker, Shekelesh, Denye(n), and Weshesh, lands united. They laid their hands upon the lands as far as the circuit of the earth, their hearts confident and trusting: “Our plans will succeed!”
Now the heart of this god, the Lord of the Gods, was prepared and ready to ensnare them like birds ... I organized my frontier in Djahi, prepared before them: princes, commanders of garrisons, and maryannu. I have the river-mouths prepared like a strongwall, with warships, galleys and coasters, (fully) equipped, for they were manned completely from bow to stern with valiant warriors carrying weapons ...
Those who reached my frontier, their seed is not, their heart and their soul are finished forever and ever. Those who came forward together on the sea, the full flame was in front of them at the river-mouths, while a stockade of lances surrounded them on the shore. They were dragged in, enclosed and prostrated on the beach, killed, and made into heaps from tail to head. Their ships and their goods were as if fallen into the water.