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The Origin of the Sea Peoples

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Author Topic: The Origin of the Sea Peoples  (Read 906 times)
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« on: October 24, 2017, 09:08:26 am »

Gustave Glotz wrote about the prosperous international era of Middle Minoan Crete, in his book, The Aegean Civilization.

[Egypt's] XIth Dynasty (2160-2100) had hard work to restore order in the kingdom.  It also had to defend itself against the pirates, "to break the sinews of the HAu-nebu".

Under the XII Dynasty, the Foreign Office set up a special department for this [HAu-nebu] people; an official of Senusert I (1970-1937) was able to say that "his stylus (pen) comprised the HAu-nebu people".  Peace reigned.  Business recovered. 

But Crete had gone ahead in the meantime; the XIXth and XVIIIth centuries were to be for Crete a period of intense activity.  It had to be in constant relations with the Relations department for the HAu-nebu.  This is the explanation of the presence at Knossos, in the second part of MMII, of a diorite statuette portraying an Egyptian official named Ab-nub-mes-Waset-User.  This personage was perhaps a high official of the Delta who had given especial satisfaction to the Cretans, a proxenos to whom the king of Knossos had sent tokens of gratitude, and of whom he was anxious to keep a souvenir.  How intimate and lasting these relations were is shown by the arrival in Crete of religious elements which were of some some influence on the development of the cult of the Serpent Goddess.  Certain Egyptian scarabs of this epoch, covered with Cretan motives and characters, are in a way symbolic. 

But we must go right into to the heart of Egypt to appreciate the commercial importance of these relations [ca. 1903 BC - 1765 BC].

When Senusert II (1903-1887) and Amenemhet III (1849-1801) built pyramids for themselves, they collected in the village of Kahun, which was founded for the pupose and abandonned about 1765, gangs of native and foreign workmen. All over this village pottery has been found marked with Cretan signs and fragments of good Kamares ware.

A tomb at Abydos contained, with cylinders of Senusert III (1887-1849) and Amenemhet III, a magnificent vase which by its shape and its polychrome decorations of dog-daisies resembles the best MMII ware from Knossos, Phaestos and Hagia Triada (Fig 34).

Thus in the XIXth century a Cretan colony established itself in Middle Egypt for many long years, and Cretan goods went up the Nile as far as Upper Egypt. 

[Then] business ceased for two or three centuries.  About 1750 BC, the First Palaces of Knossos and Phaistos were destroyed; and from 1685 to 1550 Egypt was occupied by the Hyksos.  The need for repairing all these ruins and the dividing up of Egypt led to a rupture of  the old relations....

endquote from Glotz's book, The Aegean Civilization, pages 203-205
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