It seems the ANE was in frequent turmoil. One theory was that many of these ruined cities were destroyed by earthquakes. There have not been as many earthquakes during the past fifty years as would have been required for all the cities destroyed c. 1200 to have been destroyed by earthquake Usually earthquake damage was more local and not spread across a thousand miles. The amount of ash found in some sites may have been indicative of conquering armies burning cites to prevent the rebellious cities from being reused as fortresses against them. It was noted that not all earthquakes caused such great fires as to make thick layers of ash over entire cities. Small fires started by lamps or cooking fires left burning were readily extinguished. Burned cities may have yielded evidence of looting. One archaeologist remarked that he did not believe much wood was used in the construction of buildings he excavated, but the layer of
ash from c. 1200 was a meter thick. You might recall the Romans set fire to the temple in Jerusalem c. 70 A.D. as they feared the temple establishment might start a rebellion if it the temple were allowed to stand (Jospehus). There may have been firewood stored there for the daily sacrifices.
Times were brutal and people worshiped gods whom they praised for giving them military victory. Times of stability and less violence in Egypt and Mesopotamia may have resulted in the increased knowledge of mathematics, literature, agriculture, ceramics, metallurgy, theology etc. At least one story out of Mesopotamia was of a prescient god who saved people (from a flood). The priests in Egypt may have authorized the book of the dead wherein one was supposed to have confessed of not having done murder and not have payed to have one murdered; yet warfare has continued to this day.
David Q. Hall
-- On Fri, 1/16/09, Jon Smyth <driver40386@...
From: Jon Smyth <driver40386@...
Subject: Re: Ox-carts, etc..(was:[ANE-2] Important New Book)
Date: Friday, January 16, 2009, 9:53 PM
I seem to have left you with the wrong impression. Certainly the city
of Hattushas was destroyed, about the end of the Late Bronze, that is
not in dispute. The issue was, whether the sequence of names commonly
quoted as 'destroyed nations' are actually that, or a list of Hittite
The fact it appears that Hattushas was indeed destroyed does not add
support to the Medinet-habu text, as it is not possible to associate
its destruction with the so-called Sea Peoples. And that is the trust
of the interpretation of the text.
Recent research inspired by the Sudberg inscription tends to suggest
the Hittite nation embroiled itself in a civil war. The Royal house
of Hatti appears to have been divided into three towards the end, the
central seat at Hattushas in the north, a secondary seat at
Tarhuntassa in the south, and a third seat ruling from Carchemish on
the Euphrates in the east.
The possibility has been offered that Tarhuntassa contested the rule
of a Great King sitting at Hattushas. That there may have been strife
between the two royal houses which tore the empire apart and severely
weakened Hattushas. In consequence of this, the traditional northern
enemies of Hattushas, the Kaskans (Gaskans?), may have exploited a
final opportunity to finish Hattushas once and for all.
This is all conjecture, but more fitting with the archaeology than
any belief in marauding Sea Peoples.
May I suggest The Kingdom of the Hittites by Trevor Bryce, 2005
update, a wonderfull overview of the present state of knowledge
concerning the history of the Hittites, from beginning to end.
Concerning the period contemporary with Ramesses III, the Hittite
royal house at Carchemish survived through the LBA and was the ruling
Hittite power through the early Egyptian 20th dynasty (Guterbock,
There is no reason to deny that Ramesses III faced the Hittites, as
his text and reliefs clearly show.
I would not advise anyone to emerse themselves in internet research,
the net can be a usefull tool if you know what you are looking for
and why. I find it rather limiting with respect to factual data.
There is no substitute for obtaining the original books and
monographs from the likes of Barbara Kling, Ann Killebrew, Patricia
Bikai, etc., if your subject matter is monochrome/bichrome pottery of
Cyprus and the Levant. One recent publication I can highly recommend
is, Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity, Ann Killebrew, 2005. An excellent
summary of what we know with respect to pottery wares from Egypt,
Canaan, Philistia and Israel, in the Biblical world.
Best Wishes, Jon Smyth
--- In ANE-2@yahoogroups. com, David Hall <dqhall59@.. .> wrote:
> Although there may or may not be any ancient texts describing
Hattusas as destroyed, someone sent an email to me offlist that the
current theory is mountain people destroyed Hattusas. I do not wish
to comment much about Hatti, as I am not current with Hittite
> If you will take a tour of Hattusas, the tour guide might tell you
Hattusas was destroyed about 1200 B.C. not far from the date of the
destruction of Troy on the coast. This date like any other may be
controversial, it is better to compare modern sources, although some
modern sources might be backward reversion to old theories that were
not well founded or new theories from one gone astray.
> http://www.turkeyfo rholidays. com/Hittite- highand-tour. html
> There is frequent confusion on this list, due to the lack of using
precise wording. The list I may have referred to instead of the one
at Medinet Habu was one Robert Drews published in his book, The End
of the Bronze Age, Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe CA. 1200
B.C. (U. of Princeton, 1993) He discussed the existence of more than
one theory about sites destroyed c. 1200-1175.
> I think you might need to do more studying as there are numerous
references to Philistine bichrome ware on the internet. Albright
reported Philistine pottery in the northern valleys from before the
> The Albright Institute recently published this Philistine bichrome
shard of the ubiquitous backwards looking waterfowl:
> http://www.aiar org/images/ PhilBird2. jpg
> I am not qualified to give an in depth report about Philistine
bichrome ware although I have read a few books and journal articles
about the Philistines. As for Beth Shean there are numerous
expedition reports and it might not be wise to comment much about the
site without reading more and taking notes. Some web pages may not
be reliable. I recall Philistine shards were reported from the
Megiddo excavations dated from before the 10th century.
> David Q. Hall
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