1182-1151 BCRamses III was the last of the great pharaohs on the throne of Egypt. He ruled at a time when the outside world of the Mediterranean was in turmoil - it saw the Trojan War, the fall of Mycenae and a great surge of displaced people seeking new homes, a tidal wave that was to break upon the shores of Egypt during his reign.
|Ramses III Statue|
In Year 8 the bubbling cauldron of the Middle East boiled over, no doubt exacerbated by several bad harvest years as well as the general upset of nomads trying to settle. As the Great Harris Papyrus records: 'The foreign countries plotted on their islands, and the people were dislodged and scattered by battle all at one time and no land could stand before their arms.
' This was not a small skirmish but a major folk movement by people sufficiently desperate and well armed to be able to destroy Egypt's age-old enemy, the Hittite empire. This mass of people was in fact a confederation of which the names are listed, the Peleset (i.e. Philistines), Tjelcer (possibly connected with the Teucri of the Troad), Shekelesh (possibly Silcels from Sicily), Weshesh (of uncertain origin), and the Denyen or Dardany (who could be the Danaoi of Homer's Iliad). Together, the confederation made up the 'Sea Peoples'.
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