people at sea

The Sea Peoples are a hypothesized seafaring confederation that attacked ancient Egypt and other regions in the East Mediterranean prior to and during the Late Bronze Age collapse (1200–900 BCE). Following the creation of the concept in the 19th century, the Sea Peoples' incursions became one of the most famous chapters of Egyptian history, given its connection with, in the words of Wilhelm Max Müller, "the most important questions of ethnography and the primitive history of classic nations".The origins of the Sea Peoples are undocumented. It has been proposed that the Sea Peoples originated from a number of different locations, such as western Asia Minor, the Aegean, the Mediterranean islands, and Southern Europe. Although the archaeological inscriptions do not include reference to a migration, the Sea Peoples are conjectured to have sailed around the eastern Mediterranean and invaded Anatolia, Syria, Phoenicia, Canaan, Cyprus, and Egypt toward the end of the Bronze Age.French Egyptologist Emmanuel de Rougé first used the term peuples de la mer (literally "peoples of the sea") in 1855 in a description of reliefs on the Second Pylon at Medinet Habu, documenting Year 8 of Ramesses III. In the late 19th century, Gaston Maspero, de Rougé's successor at the Collège de France, subsequently popularized the term "Sea Peoples" and an associated migration theory. Since the early 1990s, his migration theory has been brought into question by a number of scholars.The Sea Peoples remain unidentified in the eyes of most modern scholars, and hypotheses regarding the origin of the various groups are the source of much speculation. Existing theories variously propose that they were any of several Aegean tribes, raiders from Central Europe, scattered soldiers who turned to piracy or became refugees, or migrants linked to natural disasters such as earthquakes or climatic shifts.

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