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Re: Ox-carts, etc..(was:[ANE-2] Important New Book)

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  • David Hall
    Thanks for your detailed account.  I was under the impression the scene was of the Sea Peoples trying to migrate towards Egypt.    According to a recent
    Message 1 of 50 , Jan 9, 2009
      Thanks for your detailed account.  I was under the impression the scene was of the Sea Peoples trying to migrate towards Egypt. 
      According to a recent work there was a plaster floor found imbedded with a scarab of Ramesses III (c. 1175) at Ashkelon and the first Philistine remains immediately above the floor (cited below) .
      UP TO THE GATES OF EKRON, IES, 2007, "A Pictorial Krater from Philistine Ashkelon," Stager and Mountjoy.
      Merneptah's campaign to Ashkelon was about 1208 B.C. and this destruction layer has been credited to Merneptah's offensive.
      The catastophe Drews wrote about was actually a series of events including those we have documentation from Egypt and Ugarit about.  Alalakh was excavated by Sir Leonard Woolley.  Drew described Hatti as suffering more than other kingdoms in what Kurt Bittel described as the "BrandKatasrophe."  This catastrophe may have spanned two or three decades.  Hattusus was burned. 
      David Q. Hall

      --- On Thu, 1/8/09, Jon Smyth <driver40386@...> wrote:

      From: Jon Smyth <driver40386@...>
      Subject: Ox-carts, etc..(was:[ANE-2] Important New Book)
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Thursday, January 8, 2009, 10:48 AM

      --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups. com, David Hall <dqhall59@.. .> wrote:
      > The images of Sea Peoples attacking Ramesses III included families
      in ox carts advancing towards the Egyptian delta.

      What is commonly referred to as the 'Ox-cart scene' along with its
      accompanying text, actually contains a great deal of information,
      which is not consistent with its common interpretation.

      This scene apparently is not a confrontation, such as we see in the
      relief of Ramesses II advancing against the Hittites at Kadesh.
      The 'Ox-cart' scene at Medinet-Habu displays Pharaoh & his army
      advancing from the right side while the enemy flees towards the left
      side. This scene is a route, not a face to face battle as we might
      expect if Ramesses was advancing against an invasion force.

      The accompanying hieroglyphic text advises the reader that Ramesses
      has assembled his forces to advance into Djahy, "to disperse the
      Plate 29 informs us that the army "is to advance to plunder the
      plains and hill-countries" (of Djahy).
      Plate 31, the text that accompanies the 'ox-cart' scene, reads that
      as the King goes forth "great fear and awe is (in) the hearts of the
      Asiatics", and that all those who oppose him "will become ashes",
      which could be a metaphor, but could equally be poetic rendering of
      an actual event.
      The p.Harris describes the same fate for these rebellious
      Asiatics, "the Sikel and the Peleset were made ashes".
      Archaeology has shown many ancient sites across the Levant were not
      only destroyed but burned. As we know Late Bronze Palestine ended in
      a conflageration in some cases under a metre of ash.

      Prof. Drews had discussed with me one interesting weapon, interesting
      because if this 'ox-cart' scene was a battlefield confrontation
      (conventional interpretation) then we might wonder why some Egyptian
      soldiers are carrying 'pointed sticks'? This weapon is clearly not a
      sword, more like a pointed baton.

      I supplied Prof. Drews with a few other examples from Egyptian
      reliefs where this particular weapon was shown. In all cases this was
      an implement carried by soldiers/guards while escorting prisoners of
      This implement does indeed seem to be a pointed baton, not a
      battlefield weapon, and more consistent with practicing 'control',
      as opposed to being a killing weapon.
      The 'baton' seems to be principally used against the occupants of
      the ox-carts, containing women and children, plus a driver.
      This might be consistent with Egyptian forces driving out the
      inhabitants of the land (as he claimed) rather than meeting an
      invading foe on a battlefield.

      Finkelstein' s demographic analysis tends to suggest much of the open
      country south of the Yarkon, west of the Shephelah was decimated and
      abandoned at the end of the LBA and into Iron I. The population moved
      to the cities.
      In summary, the 'ox-cart' scene reads more like a dispersal than a
      battle scene.

      Best Wishes, Jon Smyth
      Toronto, CAN.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • David Hall
      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
      Message 50 of 50 , Jan 19, 2009
        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@...> wrote:

        From: Jon Smyth <driver40386@...>
        Subject: Re: Ox-carts, etc..(was:[ANE-2] Important New Book)
        To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
        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
        Toronto, CAN

        --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups. com, David Hall <dqhall59@.. .> wrote:
        > Jon,
        > 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
        tenth century.
        > 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

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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