|The Age of Ramses III|
|Any chronology which cannot account for the changing of sides of the Sea Peoples warriors as illustrated at Medinet Habu is inadequate!|
Ramses III. - in Deutsch|
Comparing Ramses with Nectanebo
The Conventional Setting of Ramses III|
His Home Town
Ramses' III Metal Age
The Historical Background to Ramses III
Historical Background - Greek Point of View
How did He use it?
The Sea Wars
The Royal Throne Names See also Here
The Capitals of Ramses III and Nectanebo
The Clue of the Helmets
More Recent Excavations|
Nekhtnebef, Arsames and Psamshek
The Underwater Evidence
Temple of Ummubaydah
Ramses III was not Shishak
Tell el Farah
The Inverted Water
Notes & Bibliographie
Chronological Impact of the Canopus Decree|
Ramses III Names
Identity of King Tut
The many years of Persian suppression of Egypt would result in the advent of a pharaoh who would rise to the occasion and try to remove the foreign yoke from his people and picture these events on the walls of his favorite temple.
[Horus names: 1 and 2. Ka-nekht-AA-Sutenit, 3. Ka-nekht-Meri-Maat-Smen-Taui, 4. Ka-nekht-Susekh-Qemt-User-Khepesh-Nekht-A-Smam-Thehennu. A king who seems to have had a special connection with the city of Heliopolis for he put the name of that city in his cartouche.]
"And when the ... Canaanites saw the mourning in the floor of A-tad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called `A-bel-miz-ra-im'." Genesis 50:11.
Probably even in the days of Moses the Israelites having come out of Egypt in quite recent memory led the Canaanites to think of them still as Egyptians, perhaps also in dress and behavior.
But what was it about the Canaanites that God told Israel to drive out the Canaanites? Israel was told to `destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and pluck down all their high places...' Numbers 33:52.
They were to be destroyed `That they teach you (Israel) not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods...' Deuteronomy 20:18.
Just like the Amalekites and Philistines, the Canaanites conspired to destroy Israel completely, Joshua 7:9. In order to understand the hidden meaning of the problem religion the Canaanites had come to embrace and what the worship of the images and in the high places stood for, we understand that they were degrading to human dignity, they involved periodic, unspeakable sexual behavior, slavery and torture of innocents often culminating in human sacrifices. Behavior such as this is highly destructive to freedom and liberty of mankind.
As we shall find out, that what is attributed to the Canaanites in art and products is actually early Israelite. Furthermore, as we would expect and as it is actually the case, there are no records or hard facts which would indicate that during the time of the 18th Dynasty anything like the Ten Plagues or the Exodus took place in Egypt. Because of this lack of evidence to these key events in the history of Israel the biblical account has been regarded as exaggerated or myth.
But Ramses III was placed into the time when the Canaanites and Philistines were still a powerful force in the new kingdom of Israel. Somehow his battles against a conglomerate of peoples must have been related to their presence in Palestine.  His earlier war in his 5th year, ca. 374 BC, was directed against the Lybians, the other two attacks occurred in his 8th (-370) and 11th (-368) year. So modern artists began to sketch the Philistines in the wardrobe of the Peleset (which may also be read Pereset), which were the most prominent group among the Peoples of the Sea fighting force arrayed against him, thus continuing the misleading of their true identity.
No better location has been found for a northern home town of this king then Tell el Yehudiyeh, the modern Naytahut located just north of Cairo and not far from Heliopolis, his capital. If that is true a cemetery associated with the necropolis had a number of tombs of Greek individuals. Names like Glaucias, Barchias, the son of Barchias, Aristoboulos, Onesimos, Tryphaena, Eiras and Agathocles, the son of Onesimos appear. Other names are more like Hebrew names, Mikkos (Micah), Nethaneus (Nathan) and Barchias (Barak). For this reason then the place was called `The mound of the Jew'. The Romans may have known `Tell el Yehudiyeh' as `Scenas Veteranorum' or `Vicus Judaeorum'.
Nearly all books on ancient history dealing with the time of Ramses III place him where he was placed about the time of Napoleon Bonaparte's scholars - - in the 12th century BC, the Bronze Age. Therefore when looking at the weapons drawn by Egyptian artists at Medinet Habu they are regarded as made of bronze. Since we position Ramses in the 4th century BC this issue becomes important for the Bronze Age, as defined in modern books, was long in the past. Metal imports were a prominent undertaking during the reign of this king and we find it mentioned in the `Papyrus Harris'. His was the `hmt' age. Besides gold and silver this `hmt' was the popular metal of his days. Some scholars translate `hmt' as copper, but did Ramses III reign during the Copper Age? Did the Sea Peoples warriors fight with copper swords? Hardly. It appears `hmt' is just a general term and means metal or an alloy of metals. It is probably more correct to say that in his era a variety of metals were used to make war implements. `Hmt' was imported from a place called `atica' which we recognize to be `Attica' also known as a region of Greece where Athens was the capital of. From somewhere in the interior of Attika donkey caravans would bring `hmt' to the coast, load it on the ships of Attika and sail it south to Egypt. This somewhere was most likely Macedonia where since ancient times iron, copper, lead, gold and arsenic, as confirmed by archeological excavations by means of slag, was mined. Macedonia is also rich in chromium. Even today this region is known for bauxite, pyrite (iron disulfide), chromite and manganese mines.
Numerous quotations are found in the Homeric poems (circa 880 BC) referencing implements of iron. Herodotus makes reference to it in his "History" (446 BC) and Aristotle (350BC) attributes the sources of iron to mines in Elba and the Chalybian mines near Ambus. 
To the Assyrians may be attributed the earliest use of iron swords, lances and metal armor. But carbonized iron, steel, production was needed to start the age when iron swords would replace bronze. Besides these considerations we also must mention "A fine pair of gold and iron Swords and Scabbards, decorated with a boar's head and a griffin." , being exhibited by the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada. The Scythians from the Ukrainian region in Russia lived there during the 1st millenium BC. The art exhibit featured products said to origin from the 6th-3rd centuries BC. At least one ancient Assyrian text states that iron was eight times more valuable than gold.  For more on the Greek Iron Age click Here.
It is also of interest to note that Herodotus has nothing to say about Ramses III, Medinet Habu and the Sea Battles portrayed on its walls. Having written much about sea battles, one would think the vivid portrayals at Medinet Habu would have caught his particular interest. But of course he couldn't have written about Ramses III and his time - it hadn't happened yet.
Therefore Ramses III lived right in the middle of the `hmt Age'.
The Papyrus Harris only mentions that the king let his people see the metal which they regarded as `wonders' without stating explicitly how or if he used it.
Elsewhere in the Papyrus he mentions projects which could have required the use of `hmt' metal:
1. He constructed a fleet of transports, galleys, and barges whose crew included archers. His sails were brailed -sheets of sewn together material for added strength. This type of sail was also used on the replica of the `Kyrenia II' ship wreck. Ramses did not need to send his ships to Attika for they used their own to deliver the ingots. 
We assume that after `hmt' was received, some of it, if not all, was portioned out between the foundry and metal workers and we hear nothing further of it.
`All this revising of chronology is impossible,' some claim, `it destroys the Metal Ages.' What do you say about that? I say, `Yes! And that is good. Revision upholds the witness of written sources rather than the invention of Metal Ages.'
What deliniates the Metal Ages? Destruction layers in conjunction with pottery are the key components to decide when what happened.
The Historical Background to the Time of Ramses III|
Highlights of the years preceding the revised time of Ramses III pitted the armies of the Persians against Greece and Sparta.
Bridging the time from Ramses II to Ramses III - Here is the clickable how!
Persian and Coastal Kings
Judah - Time
521-485 BC Darius I
490 BC (about Sept 10.) Battle of Marathon
The years preceding the time of Arsames. King of Persia reigns supreme in Egypt.
The Years after the return from Babylon to Jerusalem.
|485-465 BC Xerxes Ahasuerus||
480 BC (About Sept. 17-19) Battle of Thermophylae|
480 BC (Sept. 29) Sea Battle of Salamis (Cyprus)
479 BC Battle of Plataea at #15.
479 BC Seabattle at Mykale at #16 near Ephesus.
465 BC - The early years of Arsames and his perfunctories.|
463 BC - The rebellion of Inaros/Ianaros/ Ramses XI of Heliopolis
|Time of lesser known priests in Jerusalem.|
|465-425 BC Artaxerxes I||Egypt subdued by Persian administration.||
About 460 BC - Time of High Priest Amenhotep.|
Time of Arsames and his representatives Ahapi, Psamtek and Nekhthorheb.
|458 BC - Time of Esra in Jerusalem|
|424-404 BC Darius II||~407 BC Death of Arsames||High Priest Herihor||High Priest Eliasib.|
|404-358 BC Artaxerxes II Mnemnon||
431-404 BC Peleponesian Wars||
High Priest Piankh
High Priests Judas and John.
c. 371/367-357/354 BC King Abd Astart I. (Strato) of Sidon
362/361 BC minting of silver double shekels at Sidon showing on the obverse a ca. 24 oarsmen trimarin, and on the reverse the king and his chariotier in a 2 horse chariot with an attendant holding an ostrich feather fan following on foot. 
||High priests: Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan and Jaddua.
The Historical Background from the Greek Point of View.|
Starting from the insurrection of Iannaros Persia had some setbacks in Egypt but none as consequential as those after the death of the powerful satrap Arsames in about 407 BC. Apparently there was no other powerful successor in place to continue the procurement policies over Egypt. So what else do we know about the `Iannaros Rebellion'? "Following the disturbances which arose after the murder of Xerxes and the accession of Artaxerxes I (465 BC), serious trouble sprang up in the north-western Delta. Here a certain Inaros, the son of Psammetichus - both names are Egyptian, but Thucydides (i. 104), calls him a king of the Lybians - revolted and established his headquarters at the fortress of Marea, not far from the later Alexandria. The first clash with the Persians took place at Papremis, an uncertainly identified place somewhere in the west; the force under the satrap Achaemenes, the brother of Xerxes, was defeated and he was killed; the remnant of his army retreated to Memphis and entrenched themselves there. Inaros was now in complete possession of the Delta, but apparently made no claim to the kingship. The inevitable relief from Persia was long in coming, but in expectation of it Inaros called for help upon the Athenians, at that time successfully warring against the Persians in Cyprus. With their aid 2/3 of Memphis or the `White Wall', as Thucydides correctly termed it, was taken, but the rest held out until the Persian general Megabyzus drove off the besiegers, who in their turn found themselves confined within an island in the marshes called Prosopitis. (Thuc. i. 109) It was not until 454 BC that Megabyzus gained the upper hand; few of the Athenians escaped and a number of ships, arriving too late to be of assistance were annihilated: Inaros/Ramses XI himself was betrayed into Persian hands and was crucified. (Thuc. i. 110)." [A. Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs, p. 170.]
By 401 BC Cyrus and 10,000 Greek mercenaries fought the Persian king at Cunaxa and Cyrus was killed. But the Egyptian ally of Cyrus, the Memphite admiral Tamos, fled to Egypt to escape the vengenance of Artaxerxes II.'s satrap Tissaphernes. Arriving in Egypt Amyrteous, of Sais/Tanis, put Tamos to death.|
The mighty Persian army, according to Xenophon, assembled in Pheonicia ca. -400, was no doubt intended to subject Egypt but Cyrus' actions, though unsuccessful in the end, forced a change in plans. As a result of the defeat of Cyrus, the Greek cities in Asia Minor found themselves in deep peril. To rescue them, Sparta, though deeply in debt to Cyrus, now went to war with his country's still very formidable power in -400. The struggle lasted for years. In -396 Sparta sought alliance with Egypt, which was readily granted. Diodorus relates that in reply to the Spartan king Agesilaus's request the Egyptian Nepherites placed at his disposal 500,000 bushels of grain, and the equipment for 100 triremes. It was stipulated, however, that this handsome subsidy should be picked up by the Spartan fleet, but before it reached Rhodes that island had gone over to the Persians so that their admiral, the Athenian Conon, was able to annex the whole consignment.
In - 393 Achoris became pharaoh in Egypt, and the failed alliance with Sparta discontinued. This time he made a treaty with Evagoras the ambitious king of Salamis on Cyprus. Evagoras had been a friend of the admiral Conon. Colaboration with him therefore, carried with it close co-operation with Athens. By this time, both Sparta and Persia where tired of war and in -386 the Peace of Antalcidas was arranged by which a free hand in all Greek cities of Asia was ceded to Persia in exchange for autonomy in all other Helenic states. As a consequence Achoris and Evagoras stood alone, and Artaxerxes was now free to deal with whichever he chose. Egypt was the first to be attacked, but had by this time again become a strong and wealthy country; Chabrias, one of the best generals of the age, left Athens to enter the service under Achoris. Little is known about this war, except that it dragged on until about -383 and was referred to contemptuously by the Athenian pamphleteer Isocrates. Evagoras proved a great help, carrying his arms into the enemy's camp and capturing Tyre and other Pheonician towns. Later, however, his fortunes changed and he was besieged in his own capital of Salamis. He defied the Persians for more than 10 years, at the end of which dissension among their leaders made them ready to accept his submission on honorable terms in -380. After a considerable time as a faithful vassal to the Persian king he fell victim to a conspiracy. If the Demotic Chronicle can be trusted, misfortune attended Achoris at last. After four months' reign of his son Nepherites II, the kingship passed into the hands of a general from Sebennytus, Nectanebo I/Ramses III."
Alan Gardiner almost discovered the truth about these kings when he wrote: "The multitude of his [Nekhtnebef's] monuments might leave the impression of unbroken peace and prosperity; the oldest parts of Philae were built by him; at Edfu he was remembered as the donor of much land to the temple of Horus; a great stela at Ashmunen (Hermopolis Magna) records extensive additions to the temples of the goddess Nehemat`away ...; and a finely inscribed inscription from Naucratis (`Decree from Naukratis') commemorates the imposition of a 10% duty on imports to that town and on goods manufactured in it; the proceeds to be devoted to the enrichment of the goddess Neith of Sais. But a very different story emerges from the Greek historians of whom Diodorus is once again the foremost representative. ..." [Paraphrased from Gardiner, `Egypt of the Pharaohs', pp. 372-375] This `rest of the story' we discuss here and elsewhere on this website. Unfortunately Gardiner was unable to free himself from the constraints of conventional chronology when he failed to realize that Nekhtnebef and Nectanebo were in fact so different because they lived in different times and were different individuals.
The Historical Background from the more Egyptian Point of View
As best we know Ramses III had a military background and did not have a royal pedigree. He also was not of the family of Achoris/Setnakht, his predecessor on the throne. Ramses III succeeded to seat himself as pharaoh because at this time the influence of the Persians in Egypt was at a low level. Arsames, after levying heavy financial burdens on the Egyptians, died in about 407 BC. He was not followed by another pekida with similar powers. In time the income from Egypt dwindled, presenting the background to the decision of Artaxerxes II to regain what they had lost, by war. Having had plenty of experience in warfare, the Persians wanted to be well prepared before they attempted their campaign against Egypt. This delay gave Ramses time to fortify the most likely approaches into his kingdom.
He constructed his mortuary temple of Medinet Habu and used it to present himself as the god-king in his `Window of Appearances', already known from the time of Akhnaton, in order to satisfy his people's religious feelings.
During his reign people in his court conspired to assassinate him indicating that perhaps they were well aware of his posturing and common origin and therefore felt no compunction to do so.
Lastly, we may consider that the mortuary temple of Medinet Habu is the best preserved complex at Thebes; we think that is the case because it did not survive the destructions of the Assyrians and the Persians under Cambyses, but was erected much later. 
Comparing a `Prst' soldier's headgear with that of the Persian Guard at Persepolis.
See the spectacular Foto.|
We can see that the feather headdress of the `Peleset' or `Pereset' (Persians) looks very much like those of the Persian guards about 100 years earlier at Persepolis. Sidonian coins of the Persian period 4th century also seem to show this type of headdress.|
Some have criticized using the feather headdress as an identifying mark between Persian soldiers and those represented at Medinet Habu saying that the only isolated soldier pictured at Medinet Habu who is also labeled as a `Peleset (Pereset)' does not wear a feathered crown but another type of headdress and therefore we cannot use the feather crown as a decisive indicator of Persian wear.
"There is only one Peleset named in isolation, and beyond confusion with the other Sea Peoples, on the Egyptian monuments - the captive `prince' from the northern colonnade at Medinet Habu. What manner of hairstyle is hidden by his cap is wholly problematic, but he does not wear a `feathered crown' for certain." 
But that particular, isolated prisoner soldier's headdress can also be seen on the walls of Persepolis as belonging to members of the Persian court. Apparently those who brought up this objection didn't check for that cap in Persepolis.
We conclude therefore that two unique types of head wear illustrated at Medinet Habu and ascribed to the `prst' of the Peoples of the Sea, which apparently made up the majority of the enemy soldiers fighting Ramses III, both types are also found on the walls of Persepolis. This fact makes our argument that Ramses III was Pharaoh Nectanebo of the Greek authors even stronger.|
In addition we find that Herodotus describes the army of Xerxes about 100 years before the time of Ramses III. Among these he described the Lycians from the island of Crete as wearing "hats stuck round with feathers."  Crete had long been a stopover for Persian marines.
However, calling these feather crowned men `Philistines' is not based on inscriptional evidence but just by comparison to the Egyptian monuments at Medinet Habu and some images from Crete which Herodotus called `Lycians'. To refer to the city under siege as Ascalon may be tempting, but the Assyrians didn't write the Bible and their view of important events do not parallel the scriptural authors views, therefore, we should not jump to conclusions here and it is quite possible that historians drew erroneous conclusions. A.T. Olmstead wrote: "In the same room was a scene which we may locate at Ashdod, where Mitinti had already proffered submission. We now have a double-walled city, the gateway arched and approached by ramps from the outer wall. Within are warriors, without is a narrow canal with trees on either side, which finds its outlet in a larger river on whose waters are skin crafts and double-headed boats. From the former a man drops a line which just has been swallowed by a fish and two of his companions are investigating the food found in a kettle. Horses are ferried on the double-headed craft and their drivers swim across on skins. In the rocky gardens outside the city, with their regular rows of trees, a man is being lowered by a rope into the water. At the extreme end is a hanging garden, supported by entablatures and columns which are not far from Corinthian. The submission of Sil Bel of Gaza soon followed and Zedekiah of Ascalon was carried off with his gods, while his place was taken by Sharru-ludari, son of their former king, Rukibti." 
We notice that this description of Ascalon seems very far fetched. A canal flowing into a river, large enough to have to be navigated by boats, seems hardly to fit Askelon. Was transporting horses across the river (A) really that much easier then just walking them around the inlet (B)? Animals such as horses on boats are not always that easily transported unless the distance saved makes it more convenient. After all, if such a water inlet existed is not sure either but it certainly becomes an important feature in the description of the city under siege by Sennacherib according to the passage cited above by Olmstead. Are there alternative cities, perhaps along the Euphrates or in Syria? Merenptah's possible sketch of `Ashkelon' under siege certainly gives no hint of water nearby. 
The fourth century Nectanebo I became pharaoh and in him we recognize Ramses III. Additional points that support placing Ramses III into the 4th century are furnished by the fact that Greek influences are prevalent during his reign. We reiterate a few of these now:
Traveling scholars and Emil Brugsch discovered enameled tiles in the |
palace of Ramses III at Tell el-Yahudiya in the delta region which had
imprinted on their back side Greek letters and some also bore the name
of this king. Similar enameled tiles had also been found in Persian
deposits in Persia. 
Ramses III mortuary temple of Medinet Habu resembles very much the|
portal style of temples like the Khonsu temple, the temples of Edfu
and Kom Ombro. These are late temples reaching from the fifth century
to Ptolemaic times. To place Medinet Habu into the 12th century is an
anachronism based on style alone. [Other temple portals to compare are Philae,
Dendeah & Esneh.] The temple of Kom Ombro has lion reliefs which show a
striking similarity to lions as they were portrayed by artists under the Ptolemies. 
|3.||The deterioration in art, characteristics of expressions and even outright usage of Greek and also Hebrew terms in the literature of the period of Ramses III [Letters of Arsames] indicates a much later date than currently assigned to this pharaoh. At Medinet Habu from the doorway into the First Hypostyle Hall also reliefs of the king were found to which inlays were attached at the crown, neck, forearms and feet by means of still preserved attachment holes. Such method was rarely used in ancient Egypt as well as the ancient Greece. A set of small Syrian figures from Tell Fakhariyah made of Gypsum, painted and inlaid with stones have pegs on their heads ostensibly to be used to attach hair or wigs. From Greece there exists an Aphrodite bronze of the 4th Century B.C., in which 'the eyes were inlaid with some material indicating their natural colour, such as a vitreous paste, ivory and ebony or gems'. Such attached inlays seem also to testify to a later period for Ramses III than convention assigns. |
The War of the Sea Peoples of Ramses III finds their parallels in the Wars of Nectanebo I against the Libyans and the Persians as described by the Greek author Diodorus. We find evidence that the `p-l-s-t' or `p-r-s-t' [Egyptians had no letter `l' and so we read `r' instead in translating from hieroglyphics] are not the Philistines at all but the Persians. As a consequence we read `Ramses' rather than `Lamses'. This reading of `Prst' meaning Persians rather than `Plst' for Philistines we find attested to in the famous, trilingual, clickable `Canopus Decree'. In the Hieroglyphic section the decree describes the carrying off of the sacred images of Egypt by the `P-r-s-t-t' and in the Greek section it tells of them being carried away by the Persians. These `P-r-s-t' soldiers make up the largest portion of the combined Sea Peoples contingents.|
In the El Amarna Letters, particularly written by Abdi-Hibe from Jerusalem, we believe, his adversaries, the Philistines, are called `habiru', while in those letters written in the northern regions, they are called `Sa-Gaz-people'.
Quotations from the Great Papyrus Harris
"I extended all the boundaries of Egypt; I overthrew those who invaded them from their lands. I slew the Denyen (Athenians) in their isles, the Thekel (Tjeker or Teucrians? from Dor) and the Peleset [Pw-r-s-t-y, Pereset] were made ashes. ..." 
The Papyrus Harris also mentions Punt, Pekanan and God's Land. "I built for thee a mysterious house in the land of Zahi ... in Pekanan ... The Asiatics of Retenu came to it, bearing their tribute before it, for it was divine." Please notice the mention of `Zahi', the land where Yuya, of the time of Akhnaton, was from. 
"I made for thee transports, and galleys manned with people in order to transport the products of God's Land to thy treasury and thy storehouse." 
Because of the mention of Pekanan, just like in the records of Seti the Great, we are obliged to place Ramses III after the reign of the Israelite king Pekah (752-732 BC). For more on Pekanan see Encyclopedia `P'.
The question conventional historians sometimes ask themselves is, since Ramses maintains that he won a great victory and if he "so utterly destroyed the Philistines as he alleges, how is it that they settled in some of the choicest real estate in the province of Canaan?" 
The answer of course is that Ramses III never had anything to do with the Philistines.
When Pharnabazus drafted his large size army they encamped at Acco, Syria, for several years.|
"When the king's forces came to Aces (Acco), in Syria, and were there mustered, there were found 200,000 barbarians, to be under the conduct of Pharnabazus, and 20,000 Grecians, under the command of Iphicrates." 
"They set up a camp in one place in Amor [Syria]." 
As others already pointed out:
"Ramses III's inscriptions specifically mention the towns and orchards of the `Plst' - which stands clearly against the idea that they were all new arrivals from elsewhere in the Mediterranean. Many `Plst' must have already been settled in southern Palestine. These points, originally stressed by Alessandra Nibbi (1975), have since been echoed in the work of other scholars including Peter James (in numerous lectures and in an unfinished postgraduate thesis of the early 1980's), Phoenician archaeologist Patricia Bikai (1992) and classicist Bob Drews (1993, 52-3)." 
We have no reason to believe that these same scholars probed the situation in the revised context presented at this website. But they make this fact into somewhat of an anchor point for the correctness of their interpretation. In their thinking, since the `plst' were not new arrivals, they must have been the Philistines. Of course the Persians were not new arrivals either in 374 BC. Persian armies had come and gone for many years. But in this particular campaign against Egypt, with the Persians under their leading general Pharnabazus, they were spending years for their preparation to return the income from Egypt to the Persian crown. It is no wonder they had occupied towns and planted orchards. These many military personal had to live on something. 
The changing of sides of the participants of these wars, as represented|
at Medinet Habu, find their perfect explanation in these same writings
of Diodorus but none in conventional history.
If you click on `Diodorus' you will find the pertinent text plus the images all
brought together for easy comparison and visualization.
a. At first the `Pereset' and `Peoples of the Sea' (Persians & Greeks) support the Egyptians against the Lybians in a land war. |
b. Then we see the Egyptians supported by the Greeks fight the Persians in a land war again  and finally
c. we see the Egyptians fighting the Persians and Greeks in a naval battle (374 BC). Diodorus explains how this came about .
One of the royal throne names, the Horus name of Ramses III, even contains the part `Nectaneb'. [Ka-nekht-mau-pehti-nekht-a-neb-kephesh-Sati]|
According to the Institute that should read:
Since Budge and Gauthier provided this name the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago made a study of all his names at Medinet Habu and came up with his title as `nekhi-a-neb khepesh' (`strong arm, possessor of power'), saying that could not be mistaken for `Nectanebo', `Nakht'ranebef'.
|8.||There is no positive evidence why we should place Ramses III into the 12th century BC. He was conjectured into this time period already by visitors to Egypt before and during Napoleonic times, before anyone could even read hieroglyphics.|
The prominent and unique `feather headdress' of the `P-r-s' [Persian] soldiers strongly resembles that of the Persian guardsmen on the walls of Persepolis underscoring the fact that they are not Philistine soldiers. If the Peleset/Pereset really were the Philistines shouldn't we expect to find them mentioned or represented on the monuments of Seti I, Ramses II and Merneptah?|
The rich and uniform looking kilts of the Pereset as well as the Peoples of the Sea indicate they were members of a rich state and not wandering nomads. To dress armies up in `uniform' attire was probably at that time, as it is today, a costly undertaking. There is no reason to assume that the Philistines had the capability to outfit their soldiers in such a way. Asia minor could have also been the source of fine military wear:
Archaeological evidence was found which points to the involvement of the Sardinians in such industries and crafts but their main occupation for up to 3000 years was that of shepherds.
Another example of a feather headdress comes to us from an ivory gaming piece found at Enkomi, Cyprus. We know of course that Persians had contacts with Cyprus. Elsewhere we have information on the chronological implications of excavation results from Enkomi.
|10.||The varying types of weapons seen at Medinet Habu - sword and spear lengths, target sizes and Greek helmets with horns and those with horns and a sun disk between them illustrate the reforms introduced by Iphicrates in the Greek ranks. Also the lack of beards for the rank and file soldiers points to the 4th century BC.|
It is a fact that Egyptian texts refer to the Persians as foreigners, "I passed seven years as administrator of this god Thoth... men of foreign land ruled Egypt... No work was done (in the temple) since the foreigners had come and had invaded Egypt." |
But if the 20th Dynasty reigned in the 12th century BC, who could these foreigners have been?
Some Relevant Quotations from Medinet Habu|
"The countries --, the Northerners in their isles were disturbed, taken away in the frey - at one time. Not one stood before their hands, from Kheta (Ht'), Kode (Kdy), Carchemish (K-r-k-m-s), Arvad ('-r'-tw), Alasa ('-r'-s'), they were wasted. [They set up] a camp in one place in Amor ('-m-r'). They desolated his people and his land like that which is not. They came with fire prepared before them, forward to Egypt. Their main support was Peleset (Pw-r'-s'-t), Thekel (T'-k-k'-r'), Shekelesh (S'-k-rw-s'), Denyen (D'-y-n-yw, sic!), and Weshesh (W'-s'-s'). These lands were united, and they laid their hands upon the land as far as the Circle of the Earth. Their hearts were confident, full of their plans." 
|12.||In its designating the Persians as `foreigners who had invaded Egypt' we find the very words and expressions we also find in the letter of Ourmai, whom we recognize as a contemporary of Cambyses. We also find this reference to Persians in the testimony of Ahautinofer, a temple porter who spoke of `foreigners' who occupied the temple and removed the high priest.||
From a relief scene outside the North Wall and in the Second Court - Over the Officials|
"Utterances of the princes, companions, and leaders of the infantry and chariotry. ... Now follow loudations of the king ... The heart of the Temeh is [dis]turbed, the Peleset (Pw-[r']-s'-t) are hung up, [...] in their towns ..."
The Canopus Decree from Ptolemaic times refers to the Persians as `P-r-s-tt' which the Greek writers, Diodorus and Xenophon, call `barbarians' even though that is not meant to be a derogatory term but just means foreigners. But in Greek literature `barbarians' is regularly applied to the Persians.|
Ramses III also uses Hebrew words in his inscriptions at Medinet Habu. The bas-relief we are referring to shows Ramses III standing on a rostrum before a fortress built at a mouth of the Nile. His officials present him with captives.
Over the Castle|
"Migdol of Ramses, Ruler of Heliopolis."
Before the King
"... Come, to [take] them, being: Peleset (Pw-r's'-t), Denyen (D'-y-n-yw-n'), Shekelesh (S'-k'-rw-s'). ..." 
Discussion: The order of the foreign captives may be of interest in that it shows who, in Egyptian eyes, were the most guilty and influential of his enemies. These were the enemies of the Peleset/Pereset/Persians [as we have shown from the Canopus Decree] and the Denyens/Athenians/Greeks, who eventually had sided with the Persians.
Over the Chariot|
"Lo, the northern countries, which are in their isles, are restless in their limbs; they infest the ways of the harbour mouths. ..."
Over the Officials
"Utterances of the king's-children, the princes, and the companions ..."
|Other groups participating in the War of the Sea Peoples were the Meshwesh, Ekwesh, Teresh and Weshesh.|
He is saying:|
"That which I commanded is come to pass, and my counsels and my
Over the fortress it is written: "Migdal" which means in Hebrew a
Another example of preference of a Hebrew word used by Ramses III, even though
"Keper (K'-pw-r') came to salam, like [--], he laid down his arms, together with his soldiers.
The word used here is `d-k', Hebrew , tzaek for cry. Egyptian choices may have been `au', `am' or `akeb' used in the sense of weeping and lamenting. Other examples are the Hebrew word ashek is used for `oppress' in the `Papyrus Harris' , aliah is used for `ramp' , barekh for `to bless' , keseth for `cover'  and marcheshet for `pan'. 
The word used here is `d-k', Hebrew , tzaek for cry. Egyptian choices may have been `au', `am' or `akeb' used in the sense of weeping and lamenting. Other examples are the Hebrew word ashek is used for `oppress' in the `Papyrus Harris' , aliah is used for `ramp' , barekh for `to bless' , keseth for `cover'  and marcheshet for `pan'. 
|The Medinet Habu inscriptions represent a break with the past in language and style. It is as if the Egyptians had forgotten how to use the old style of writing in Hieroglyphics. Here are some|
Observations to illustrate that:|
the language is bombastic. Texts are- "turgid, stupidly pompous,
careless, and grammatically irregular. They employed false archaism
and vagueness in the proper use of etymology (suppression of suffixes)." 
Observations on paleography:|
The cutting of signs is coarse and evidence of careless haste is universal.
Scribes who prepared the outlines for the stone cutters were clearly
more familiar with hieratic signs and thus disfigured the hieroglyphic
signs. A loss of dignity and orthodoxy is counterbalanced by a gain in force
Who influenced who? Persian artists those of Ramses III or vica versa?|
As historians study the various questions raised on the correct time for Ramses III they decide today that his conventional setting makes more sense. One study deals with the `capitals' of Ramses' temples compared to the `Late Period' `capitals' of Nectanebo at Philae and Luxor. On this issue we need to remember that Nectanebo/Nekhthorheb would come a few decades before Ramses III/Nectanebo. The monuments of Nectanebo are said to demonstrate late period characteristsics while Ramses III's pillared capitals resemble earlier styles.
Are such more detailed architectural features a safe guide to assign time?
What about the floral capitals and broken lintels of Nectanebo over doorways at Philae? They are supposed to demonstrate his Late Period affinity. Again, his `contractors' were not the same as those of Ramses III and their style was one chosen based on criteria we really cannot fully analyze as to its period today.
The name Paser we know already from the days of Ramses II who had a vizier by that same name. First we want to find the hieroglyphic name of Paser which is not separately pointed out in the source but which is closely associated with the word for mayor, `mer nu-t' and deceased, `m3-hrw'. There is no indication that this Paser was anything else than a mayor. 
Why is it that we cannot find the same sort of helmets worn by the Peoples of the Sea and here described as mercenaries under the Greek generals Chabrias and Iphicrates on Greek monuments? We can only at this time speculate on an answer to this question. Despite searching for similar looking helmets in books on Greek history we also could not find exact examples of the type illustrated in the Medinet Habu reliefs. Even though there seem to be no examples in Greek monuments similar helmets are found on the heads of Lydian soldiers from one of the divisions of Ramses II against Kadesh/Carchemish [#3]. These helmets have horns and a sun disk between them. There is a time difference of about 230 years between the famous battle of Kadesh and that of the Sea Peoples wars (605 vs. 375 BC), enough time to account for the differences in the shape of the helmet itself. Another, Thracien type bronze helmet is kept in the Louvre, comes from Bryastovets, Bulgaria and according to the description is probably of the 3rd century BC.  From the Thracien example then we can say that during that approximate time period (3rd century BC) horned helmets were in use but we have no proof that they were in use according to conventional dates for Ramses III. We feel that Greek artists mainly portrayed kings or legendary figures wearing the top of the line military products and rarely, if at all, the rank and file mercenary soldier. Another reason could be the source for these helmets may not have been Greece itself but Asia Minor as we see from the Lydian division  of Ramses II. To be sure we are looking for examples from 380-360 BC, not before or after, which further limits the number of monuments showing such examples. Since, we have found an undated tetradrachm coin showing a man/warrior kneeling as if to loosen or installing his bowstring who wears a hat or hair-do with an up-turned point. If this is reminiscent of horned helmets we don't know. |
Also note the horned helmet from Enkomi and shown in Pamela Garber (See #5).  This figure was dated to the 12th century BC precisely because of the correlation to the sea battle images at Medinet Habu and, we say, the Greek warriors depicted there. But the best images for Greek helmets of this approximate time period are a few shown on a 4th century BC frieze illustrating Macedonian/Greek hoplites fighting against Persians, where the helmets they wear are somewhat similar to those of the sea battle scenes, indicating that their methods of manufacture were quite rapid and advanced. [Lionel Casson, `The Greek Conquerors', 1981, p. 79.]
Another feature of the artists rendition of the troops of Ramses II and those pictured by Ramses III at Medinet Habu seems intriguing. Taking a good look at the soldier in the very left image and how his facial features are rendered and comparing them to the one from Ramses II carvings, they seem to have the same or similar facial characteristics, the shape itself, the way the hold their chin up with lips tightly closed, their neck and proud outlook to a distant point. Perhaps this is an indication that both artists illustrate troops originating from the same region, the old Lydian kingdom.
Conventional authors do not present this connection since they place Ramses II into the 13th century BC.
Why are no triremes pictured on the bas-reliefs at Medinet Habu?
The bas-relief is crowded with ships. They look quite like a square-rigged vessel on a Theran (Thera on the Island of Santorini) wall painting exhibited at the `National Museum' in Athens, and seen on p. 26, illustr. 11 in Sandar's book. The Egyptian vessels have a decorative lion head jetting out at the bow which could be used to ram other ships . The Persian vessels have a straight up bow with a small point protruding at the bow. For a better view of these items click Here! Diodorus wrote the Persians had 300 triremes and 200 vessels with 30 oars which apparently were not triremes and smaller since they take second place. These ships were probably commandeered from the Phoenician coast since the Persians themselves had apparently not an online Persian natives owned shipyard at this time. The Persians were also accompanied by a great number of supply ships. While Ramses III did not illustrate triremes it does not mean therefore that this battle could not be a sea battle of the 4th century BC. Reading carefully about the extensive preparations Egypt made to meet the crisis, it is very probable that the delta waters did not allow unhindered movement of the warships in many places, thus making longer and deeper draft triremes unsuitable to help in the assault. A clue that various types of seagoing vessels were constructed in the Egypt of Ramses III reads like this:
"I made for thee transports, galleys and barges, with archers equipped with their arms, upon the sea. I gave to them captains of archers and captains of galleys, manned with numerous crews, without number, in order to transport the products of the land of Zahi and the countries of the ends of the earth to thy great treasuries in `Victorious Thebes'." 
Ramses also mentions fire being used as a weapon during this fighting, a method not known to be used in the 12th century BC.
In essence then we can say that Ramses III tactics to deal with his emergency was different from that of previous kings in that the enemy could invade his land by the way of the desert or by sea. Consideration of this situation alone demands to place Ramses III. into the 4th century BC. The king decided this time to let the enemy come to him. Despite his victory, however, Egypt lost its power and greatness soon afterwards underscoring the fact that his enemies were vastly superior in manpower and his era was still embedded within the Persian domination of Egypt.
The Mariannu (Aramaic=nobleman) were foreign warriors on Egyptian soil. Aramaic is a Semitic language which supplanted Hebrew after the Babylonian Exile (532 BC). The oldest Aramaic inscriptions date from the 9th and 8th centuries. The Elephantine papyri were found on an island by Aswan in 1906. They originated in the 5th century and contain names of Persian kings and talk about the existence of a Jewish military colony at Elephantine. This colony had a temple where Yaho (Yahweh) together with Anath-Venus was worshipped. This colony existed already when Cambyses overran Egypt. The first word of that papyrus which was written in 407 BC is `el-maran', `to the sir'. This word `maran' is repeated over and over again. The singular and possessive forms are `marenu' and `mareinu'. Here we have proof that the military colony still existed in 374 BC because Ramses III wrote:
"I organized my frontier in Zahi, prepared before them the princes,|
the commanders of the garrison, and the Mariannu." 
|`Maran' was put before the name of the satrap in Jerusalem when the chiefs of the colony wrote to him. Using this term in the 12th century, or even the time of Ramses II., makes no sense.|
Additional Considerations which place Ramses III into Persian Times.|
Why Pharaoh Nectanebo I of the 30th dynasty is not Nekht-hor-heb
and Nekht-nebef is not Nectanebo II.
The identity of Ramses III being Nectanebo we established on much more compelling information than identity of names: but coming on top of all the other evidence, the identity of names is most welcome. But in order for Ramses III to be Nectanebo we also must divest Nectanebo of the identity on the Egyptian monuments modern scholars assigned to him. When searching the monuments for Nectanebo scholars chose several candidates. We shall discuss each one. 
Several monuments survived to our days from the time of Nekht-hor-heb and Nekht-nebef, who had been assigned to be Nectanebo I and Nekht-nebef who is said to be Nectanebo II. Significantly enough E.Naville introduces a chapter in one of his books as follows:
"It is in the hypostyle hall, near the entrance of the hall of Nekhthorheb, that we meet with all the monuments of this (the 20th) dynasty."
The significance of Naville's statement is the close association of Nekhthorheb of the 5th century BC, the conventional shoe in for Nectanebo I of the 30th Dynasty when Naville wrote this in 1891, with the supposedly 12th century BC Ramses III in mind. But we know that Nekhthorheb oversaw the affairs in Egypt for the Persian satrap Arsames. He was no seated king. The monuments of Nekhthorheb were there before those of Ramses III.
The disturbing fact was that neither one of them, Nekhthorheb and Nekht-nebef, mentioned in their many inscriptions anything about the wars that both of them were supposed to have carried on. Nectanebo I's wars against Artaxerxes III before he was defeated in the final campaign. Their inscriptions are vainglorious, and therefore in the absence of any reference to war exploits crowned by victories seemed enigmatic. In view of the many inscriptions left by them it could not be claimed that only by chance did their many building and donation inscriptions survive while the monuments dedicated to the conduct of the wars and the memorials to their triumphs all perished. Yet, for lack of better choices, the identifications were made.
Then early in the 20th century W.Spiegelberg, a German Egyptologist, found reason to rearrange the identifications and Nekht-nebef was pronounced to have been Nectanebo I and vice versa. We shall ask, who were these two?
Nectanebo ruled from 376 - 361 BC when the particular Arsames, who resided in Babylon, was the Persian satrap overseeing affairs in Egypt. His business affairs were huge. Cuneiform tablets from the time of Darius II (~413/412 BC) show that on one day a transaction involving 1809 heads of cattle took place. [This Arsames is not the same we discuss next but a later one and probably the private name of Artaxerxes II (404-358 BC) himself.]
In 1932 L.Borchardt purchased in Cairo a leather pouch full of leather scrolls. These scrolls were letters from Arsames, the satrap, to his administrator in Egypt by the name of Psamshek and another named Nekht-hor, both Egyptians. It was a surprise to learn that Aramaic was the official language for this kind of correspondence at the time.
The letters show that Psamshek preceded Nekht-hor in his post. Arsames writes with a haughty attitude toward his plenipotentiaries in Egypt. They deal mainly with exacting tribute and even more with personal land and serf properties of Arsames and his cohorts. We learn from these letters that property was unceremoniously confiscated and added to Arsames possessions. People from everywhere were made bondsmen and marked with his brand, this way becoming his possession.
Of Arsames we can justly say what Ramses III said of Arsa, the foreigner who, many years after the overthrow of Egypt "from without", following which event there was no native ruler in the country, "was with them as chief." Everything points to Arsames, the satrap and writer of the Aramaic letters as being Arsa of the Harris Papyrus who "set the whole land tributary before him" and "plundered their possessions." The ending `mes' means son and could easily be dropped by the Egyptians.
Psamshek [about 445 BC, Psammetich] was the one who send grain boats to Athens. It is quite certain this was done with the knowledge of Arsames. In 407 BC Nekht-hor-heb deplored the death of his master Psamshek. These two fixed dates help us to disentangle a number of problems.
Bas-reliefs exist which show in parallel Nekht-nebef and Psamshek and therefore these two must have been contemporaries functioning under Arsames. Perhaps one was the governor and the other the chief treasurer; or one in the north and the other in the south.
Underwater evidence speaks for itself
Many years ago Minutoli visited and described the temple of Umm-Ebeida in the Siwa Oasis where he noticed two cartouches which he reproduced in his book of drawings. The significance of these cartouches is that they bring together a 21st Dynasty character with a supposed 30th Dynasty potentate. 
Ahmed Fakhri wrote that these cartouches belong to Nectanebo II.  The 1990 edition altered the original text in some critical areas.|
"The name of Nectanebo II was written on the facade but in the inner
chamber we find the name of the builder of the temple [Wennamon]
repeated several times."
In the 1990 edition we read:
"We are grateful for the sketches of Von Minutoli identifying the builder
Even though the hieroglyphic characters in the repeating row are not exactly the same, such variations in name representations can reportedly occur. The name is found again on a different part of the wall where it compares well with text book representations of his cartouche even though some characters are damaged.
We would like to repeat it again: The significance of the Umm Umbaydah reliefs is that they bring together a representative of the 30th (Nekht-hor-heb) with one of the 21st Dynasty (Wenamun/Wenamon). The fact that Nekht-hor-heb and Wenamun were contemporaries negates the possibility that Nekht-hor-heb could have been Nectanebo II. The chronological order of the representatives of the Persian satrap Arsames in Egypt went from Ahapi to Psamtek and Nekht-hor-heb, the latter of which was active in the last years of the 5th century until to the death of Arsames in about 407 BC. Nectanebo II did not reign until 355 BC for about 16 years. None of the chronologies of Kenneth Kitchens, David Rohl and Peter James and their proponents can provide such a multitude of synchronisms already pointed out in this paper. These relationships are just as strong or stronger in our opinion than the `Neser-amun' family tree and the Har-Psusennes/ Maatkheperre Sheshonk reference. The facts are Nekht-hor-heb was not king Nectanebo II, neither was Psamtek king Psammetichus.
In conventional history "the destruction of the last Late Bronze Age city of Hazor, stratum XIII, was fixed at 1230 BC by Ygael Yadin (1972) on the basis of imported Mycenaean ware belonging to the Mycenaean IIIB period. This date has also been taken over by A.Furumark (1941), who equated the end of the reign of Ramses II in 1234 BC with the end of the Mycenaean IIIB wares. This equation, however, is inaccurate. In Ugarit in the last Bronze Age layer a sword was found that carried the cartouche of Merneptah, whose reign lasted until 1204 or 1203 BC (conventional dates); Mycenaean IIIB ware has been found in abundance in this layer. The use of Mycenaean IIIB ware is therefore proven until about 1200 BC." 
In revised history Merneptah is pharaoh Hophra of Jeremiah and Apries of the Greek historians. He was co-ruler at the end of Ramses II reign from 585 - 568 BC. For this reason we know that Mycenaean wares were in use much longer than archaeologists suspect. It also means that the neat layers established must be moved forward in time by some 600 - 700 years. Scholars may claim that this cannot be done because then all cross referencing would be impossible. That is probably true. But we must remember that this vast structure of assigning metal ages and pottery schemes has been established by modern scholars and is based on erroneous Egyptian dates and is therefore only propagating its own intricate error system. For more on this history click Here.
Of all the scenarious we now also have to address this one of Peter James who insists that Ramses III was the pharaoh who sacked the temple of Jerusalem in the days of Rehoboam. It appears he feels this needs to be so since Palestinian stratigraphical considerations require that. What is our response? Palestinian stratigraphy is one thing, what we need to consider is the stratigraphical evidence from Egypt itself as to the time of Ramses III. We should be very careful when evaluating Palestinian stratigraphy since that can have many more unexpected twists and turns than we might suspect. But please let us not make Ramses III/Nectanebo I into a 10th century figure after all the evidence we presented to the contrary. We do not believe that those who defend this view use better judgment or skill in discerning layers of dirt than anyone else. For those following the disagreements between Kenneth Kitchens and Peter James will understand that neither of these two have an edge on historical insights. We believe that our evidence thus far provided is forceful enough to withstand their claims. It is not enough to reposition kings, one also has to explain who in Egypt was Psammetichus, Neko, Nectanebo and so on. Even though historians like to claim they have shown that already, it is a rather insufficient, flimsy construction they have to offer on these accounts. Ramses III has been firmly tied into late Greek times by
1. the tiles with Greek letters,
Palestinian stratigraphy, confused as it is more often than not, has to be subservient to these parameters.
One of the very few Pharaonic Statues ever found in Canaan|
`Among the artifacts found at Beth-Shean is a pharaonic statue which for several years was the only one of its kind ever found in Canaan until that time, a basalt carving of Ramses III (1185-1153 BC) The statue was found in the courtyard of one of the city's temples, in a stratum that postdates the Egyptian departure from Beth-Shean in the late 12th century. Apparently the statue, moved from its original location, became a cultic object, revered perhaps by subsequent generations at Beth-Shean. Besides that a carved stone lintel ostensibly from the `Governor's House' has the cartouche of Ramses II on it. - Since then a small New Kingdom Dynasty pharaonic statue showing a seated figure from the hip down was found in Jerusalem . This is another example where an artifact found in situ is explained away as being a cultic object kept around for years to account for its presence in later strata.
Among the administrative buildings exhibiting Egyptian features, the so-called Governor's House contains many carved stone lintels bearing hieroglyphic inscriptions. One depicts an official of Ramses III by the name of Ramesses-User-Kephesh, the garrison commander.' 
The 25 foot massive wall on the eastern slope with an impressive city gate belongs to Solomonic times. This also accounts for indications of Egyptian domination. A broken black stone statuette of Thuthotep was found there who is said to be a high Egyptian official of the 19th century BC but whom we identify with a high official of the 18th dynasty. The so-called palace found by Schumacher contained a skeleton laying on a bench, with a variety of gold adornments and gold-mounted scarabs.|
But here "stratum VIIA represents the last unmistakable Canaanite city. In its layout it resembles stratum VIIB, which, according to the presence of imported Mycenaean IIIB ware, was destroyed around 1200 BC. In addition to objects marked with the cartouche of Ramses III, fragments of Philistine ceramic were also found in stratum VIIA. Furthermore, a bronze pedestal carrying the name of Ramses VI was found hidden under a wall of stratum VIIB, but it probably belongs to stratum VIIA." 
Are we then to assume that Megiddo existed clear into the 4th century BC? Is there any evidence which would preclude that possibility? The valley of Megiddo was referred to in the days of Josiah (640-609 BC). [2.Chronicles 35:22]
Quite recently Israeli archaeologists excavated an Iron Age site which reportedly had only one stratum. We read:
"Another curious - but helpful -characteristic of the site was that the settlement had only one stratum. ... In a large building, we call the `governor's house', ... the most significant find made inside the house was a scarab with the royal name of Ramses III ... The pottery and architecture found at el-Ahwat indicated the site was inhabited for only a short time - about 50 years, from 1220 to 1170 BC, give or take 10 years." 
More recently we read:
"Our city wall was analyzed at many points along its perimeter, including the 200 foot strip in area C (the domestic quarter). In all the houses that we inspected, the floors that abutted the city wall and integrated the wall into the structure of the house yielded pottery, jewels, scarabs and other objects that came entirely from Iron I (this is conv. dated by the author to 1200-1000 BC)." 6700] (For additional info click Here.)
These 50 years were of course calculated on the basis of conventional dates for Ramses III whose scarab was found inside a building. Pottery finds include a) hill-country Israelite pottery, b) pithoi, c) large, rough, undecorated vessels, d) plains (Canaanite) pottery and e) more Egyptian scarabs of the 19th dynasty. 
"But not one painted Canaanite sherd turned up. Nor did a single sherd imported wares (Mycenaean or Cypriote). These locally produced and imported wares are found in almost every contemporaneous site in the Levant. Why not here?" 
But the strangest discovery was that the architecture resembled nothing found in Israel before but had features known from Nuragic sites on the island of Sardinia. The author then wonders:
"The pottery and architecture found at el-Ahwat indicated the site was inhabited for only a short time - about 50 years ... We could see that whoever built the site did so on virgin soil. Once abandoned the site was never again occupied, apart from some agricultural activity in Late Roman and early Byzantine periods. This early abandonment did not make sense. Approximately 200,000 cubic feet of stones were used for the wall alone. People don't generally invest in a huge fortification project, use it for 50 years, then leave and never come back. How to account for the short occupation of a settlement that had required such a great effort to build?" 
In revised view the site was not occupied for 50 years but more like 170-200 years from the time of the 19th/26th dynasty to somewhere in or just after the time of Ramses III (379-361 BC). This chronology also demonstrates the problem of the dating by pot sherds examples of which have been assigned to wrong time periods which are the cause for so much confusion in Israelite archaeology. Of course we do not expect Canaanite and/or Mycenaean artifacts to turn up in quantities in the revised time frame of el-Ahwat.
However the Sardinian correlation with the site assuming there are no such architectural features attested in other regions like Persia, regions which had contact with Israel between the years we assign, seems to suggest that people from this island had migrated to Israel in the wake of the Babylonian exile and established themselves there until they decided to pack up their belongings and move out, leaving hardly a trace of their implements or artifacts. If this was a regular town or a military city we don't know. A beautiful ivory ibex head testified to trade with Egypt and a stone incised with a soldier testifies to the military connection of the town. A black stone cylinder seal and a deity wearing a high Anatolian tiara presented a Hittite/Chaldean connection not surprising in revised view. 
"The Canaanite city in Gezer stratum XIV was probably destroyed|
under Merneptah around 1210 BC. This assertion is not only
substantiated by the Merneptah stele (Israel stele), on which the
conquest of Gezer is expressly mentioned, but also by the fact
that the name of this pharaoh appears on two cartouches on an
ivory chain at the site."
Here again we have the Israelite city in stratum XIV according to the revised chronology. The rest fits in just like at Megiddo and Aphek. Similar situations exist in the archaeology of Lachish and Beth-Shean. Excavators also found `excavated inscriptions' for Ramses III, Ramses IV, Ramses VIII and Ramses IX at Gezer the placement of which in the strata was not possible since they originate from the R.A.S. Macalister excavations.  We may venture a guess that such artifacts could also be traded around even in those days by travelers or mercenaries during the years after these kings lived since they cover a time span of about 80 years in our reckoning (420-342 BC) and some 74 years in conventional time (1182-1108 BC).|
David Ussishkin conducted these excavations in 1986, seven years after his earlier work at Tel Lachish. This time he dug deeper.
"But the fact is that this time some of our answers, especially|
our historical reconstructions, are less sure. Many questions
remain. We are in a period where history is less certain and
scholars themselves are often in disagreement about major
points. But is also a period when archaeological evidence
is especially important and abundant, providing new evidence,
almost daily, about this shadowy period of Israel's origins." 
Of this site David Ussishkin says that it is almost certainly Lachish. It probably is Lachish but if it is not, all conclusions based on the evidence and history of that location would have to be reassessed. Here level VI was assigned to the 12th century on the basis of a partially damaged cartouche of Ramses III found 12 feet below level III/IV in one of the city gate chambers. Together with this bronze piece bearing the cartouche, discarded bronze tools like a pair of tongues, an ax head, two borers or awls, and a knife blade were found.|
This presents a problem for the revised chronology since the time of Ramses III belongs to the level I, Persian period at Lachish and not level VI. The sole evidence of the Persian period seems to be a solar shrine. The archaeologist Starkey had found 2 anthropoid clay coffins in a tomb said to be associated with level VI at the foot of the mound. He also found 4 bowl fragments in Egyptian hieratic script in the foundation fill of the later Judean palace-fort. These bowls document that `smw', the harvest tax, was paid to Egypt at that time.
Ussishkin further writes that "contrary to the Biblical traditions, Canaanite Lachish was not destroyed by the Israelite tribes."  But the telling lack of Philistine pottery at level VI, sherds of which should have been found there considering its close proximity to the Philistine cities of Tel Zafit (Gath) and Tel Miqne (Ekron) should give us pause on the correctness of chronology.
Conclusion: As we have pointed out elsewhere already the Philistine region of Palestine was also where major caravan routes led from Egypt to Mesopotamia. There were peoples of many nations who came through here and left their marks behind. What is commonly referred to as Philistine pottery is more likely Greek style pottery, Greek people who came to this area starting in the 7th/6th centuries BC. In the context of the revised chronology, the evidence at Tel Lachish leads us to conclude that the lack of so-called Philistine pottery in level VI points to the intrusive nature of the artifacts found at that level. In other words, during the sieges and conflicts a pit was dug, for water most likely, and the objects were thrown into it at some point. We must always keep in mind that at the University of Pennsylvania excavations at Memphis, Egypt, the 21st dynasty layers were immediately under the Ptolemaic layers.
"At Tell el-Fara  South Petrie excavated a large mud-brick fortress that also seems to have been erected by the Egyptian administration. Its history is not clear, but it appears that it continued to serve the Philistines in the later part of the Iron Age I. The cemeteries adjacent to the mound are of great importance for the study of the Late Bronze - Iron Age transition. Cemetery 900 contains a series of solitary burials, rock-cut tombs with stepped dromos, and a burial chamber with broad benches. The finds in these tombs include many vessels made in the Late Bronze Age tradition but no Mycenaean or Cypriote imports. Scarabs of Ramses III, Ramses IV, and perhaps Ramses VIII were found, thus dating the cemetery to the final days of Egyptian rule in Canaan."
"Stratum VI at Lachish provides a good example of the cultural sequence of the first half of the 12th century. This stratum follows stratum VII and Fosse Temple III, in which Cypriote and Mycenaean imports appeared, and has been dated to the 20th Dynasty, on the basis of the discovery of a bronze object bearing the cartouche of Ramses III. Votive bowls bearing hieratic inscriptions, similar to those found at Tel Sera', are dated to the same time, as is a tomb containing a clay anthropoid coffin inscribed in Egyptian hieratic script, which probably belonged to an Egyptian official. The temple found in Area P at Lachish resembles a temple of the same period at Beth Shean; both contain many Egyptian elements."
"Stratum VI at Lachish provides a good example of the cultural sequence of the first half of the 12th century. This stratum follows stratum VII and Fosse Temple III, in which Cypriote and Mycenaean imports appeared, and has been dated to the 20th Dynasty, on the basis of the discovery of a bronze object bearing the cartouche of Ramses III. Votive bowls bearing hieratic inscriptions, similar to those found at Tel Sera', are dated to the same time, as is a tomb containing a clay anthropoid coffin inscribed in Egyptian hieratic script, which probably belonged to an Egyptian official. The temple found in Area P at Lachish resembles a temple of the same period at Beth Shean; both contain many Egyptian elements." Click also Here for the following paragraph! The authors comparison of the Sea-Peoples headress bands with those shown on anthropoid coffins implies that the Persians buried their dead in such clay coffins. [See `Readers Digest - Great People of the Bible and How They Lived', 1974, p. 112.] Is it a Philistine or a Persian officer on this anthropoid casket? - I vote for it being more likely a Persian, since we have no idea what Philistines looked like, but know what Persians looked like by independent means. During the reign of Ramses III, he was attacked by sea and by land by Persians and their allies. The Persians spent years preparing for the war while living in Palestine, up and down the coast. It was the Persians who followed the fashion of wearing this type of headgear most closely. In the case of the anthropoid coffin, they just indicated such headgear very sparingly, due to the circumstances. If the Philistines came from Greece anciently, they probably would have worn helmets rather than the type head gear we see. A similar image of such a group of soldiers wearing no doubt costly beaded or decorated bands during the sea battle can be seen in N.K. Sanders, The Sea Peoples, 1978, p. 128, illustr. 83. - The whole idea does not fit the Philistines background.
The lack of Mycenaean consumer goods at Tell el-Farah in the revised dating of Ramses III ought not to surprise us and may argue indirectly for the revised date of the here defended chronology for this king. The meager showings of artifacts pointing to the 20th dynasty at Lachish stratum VI could be explained as `chronological contamination' since storing away a bronze object for some intended use of any period in history later than the production of the object is no surprise either.
The Inverted Water
Sometime after the Sea Peoples Wars against Persia Ramses III prides himself to have undertaken a `Punt Expedition'.
"I hewed great galleys with barges before them, manned with numerous crews, and attendants in great number; their captains of marines were with them, with inspectors and petty officers, to command them. They were laden with the products of Egypt without number, being in every number like ten-thousands. They were sent forth into the great sea of "the inverted water", they arrived at the countries of Punt, no mishap overtook them, safe and bearing terror. The galleys and barges were laden with the products of God's-Land, consisting of all the strange marvels of their country: plentiful myrrh of Punt, laden by ten-thousands, without number. Their chief's children of God's-Land went before their tribute advancing to Egypt. They arrived in safety at the highland of Coptos; they landed in safety, bearing the things which they brought. They were sent forward downstream and arrived amid festivity, and brought (some) of the tribute into the (royal) presence like marvels. Their chiefs children were in adoration before me, kissing the earth, prostrate before me. I gave them to all the gods of this land, to satisfy the two serpent-goddesses every morning." 
Undoubtedly this inscription echoes the Punt expedition of Queen Hatshepsut which stood out in the memory of all Egyptians as it was carved in the walls of her mortuary temple at Deir el Bahari. Ramses III had an insatiable appetite for grand display and wanting to have all these famous events happen to him too, even if only in his poetic dreaming. If this account represents real events may be debatable. Coming from Egypt there were 2 seas which according to our geographical knowledge could be described as `great seas',
1. the Mediterranean Sea and
If the Mediterranean Sea is meant, where could the inverted river be? The only sizable rivers flowing from the north to the south would be in Asia Minor, i.e. the Ceyhan River flowing into the Gulf of Iskunderun, or its western neighbor, the Seyhan River.
The Orontes River also flows for a short distance in a south-western direction just before entering the Sea, but its doubtful that was impressive enough to refer to it in this way.
The other often quoted choice is the Euphrates River, by way of the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf. This choice certainly is possible. God's-Land and Punt then would be their new trading partner in that region.
Besides the Euphrates it could also be the Indus River in Pakistan, which is not any further to travel to than the Euphrates River coming from Egypt, provided a ship would leave the coast.
With Greece being a center of civilization, their only rivers flowing south are the Nestos, Struma and Axios Rivers. How significant a river they then were is doubtful.
In Italy we have the Garigliano and Tiber Rivers, again not really major bodies of water either.
Looking down the African coast, there are the Dschuba, Tana, Ruaha, Sambasi and Limpopo Rivers. Of these the last two are major rivers. Certainly they could be a choice just as well as the other rivers mentioned.
Lastly, we shall consider the Jordan River. The problem with that choice is that the Jordan is not a major river either and does not flow into the Gulf of Aqaba but into the Great Dead Sea.
Perhaps then we should reconsider what the meaning of `the great sea of the inverted water' could be. May be the inverted water is not a good translation, perhaps it is an Egyptianism and means `deep water' letting Ramses send his galleys across the Great Green Sea to a Palestinian port. After all standing on an Egyptian beach, the waves come from the north, or northerly directions, giving rise to the appearance that its water flows in the opposite direction of the Nile. No doubt that would be the best, sensible solution to such a passage. Certainly Punt/Israel/Palestine was at a distance which ships could navigate safely even at that time with a safe return. Or is Ramses III account just a way to express his dreams?
This then is the scenario of the history as presented in the revised version of chronology in a nutshell. It represents a natural evolution of the historical data available to us and leaves the scriptural account intact. The only thing it does not leave intact is the history of these nations as represented by modern historians who, unfortunately, had selected a wrong starting point for their historical account probably as the result of some of the ideas having been entertained by them as described at the beginning of this summary.
Once decided on and written about in books, taught to students and then finding evidence that in a strange way seemed to support their viewpoints, [as for example Shishak and So, one being Thutmoses, the other pharaoh Shoshenk in the revised view but both being Shoshenks in the conventional view  their theory eventually was pronounced irrefutable fact. Dissenting scholars were themselves helpless in voicing caution and for the lack of a better explanation acquiesced eventually to the majority view.
During excavations artifacts were found at times that would again present a chronological problem but in each instance was explained away. Some of the more prominent disagreements among scholars were those of Naville, Griffith, Dörpfeld and Fürtwängler. In the writings of more recent scholars, archaeologist and historians there may or may not be these kinds of discrepancies discussed. But there seem to be very few published, established scholars whose views do not reflect conventional thinking. (Notable exceptions include perhaps Peter James and David Rohl.) In our view this is a problem of unfamiliarity on the views of the revised chronology. As already stated this is just a short overview of the history. Many more data and correlation are available to fill in the missing points.
Comments on other authors writing on the `Peoples of the Sea'
1. Alessandra Nibbi :
The author seems to present an Egyptian micro cosmos where everything mentioned in monumental texts applies to something within the traditional geographical limits of Egypt itself. This applies to names of people groups, geographical terms and so on. It seems to us that this approach ignores the many evidences of trade, war carried beyond its borders into distant regions, diplomatic ties, foreign visitors in ancient times which make it difficult to believe in an Egypt which isolated itself and only mentioned things and events within its own borders. We suggest that this sort of view is exactly what we find when an erroneous chronology is carried to its unfruitful conclusions. To rescue the ancient history of the Middle Eastern countries it is absolutely imperative to apply the kind of revisions we are outlining on this website. We may not have all details polished enough but we present a well rounded, ancient sources friendly view which synchronizes all historical phenomena within its time frame to a satisfactory degree not achieved by any other historical sequence.
2. Trude and Moshe Dothan :
In their description and discussion of the Sea Peoples affairs in ancient history the authors skillfully present their archaeological expertise and conclusions reached from extensive experience as working archaeologists. But they received their training exclusively within the confines of conventional chronology. Being faithful advocates of that line of interpretation of data the authors are unable to adequately present and decidedly identify the participants of the Wars of Ramses III and the Peoples of the Sea for these wars touched Palestine only incidentally in as much as the Persian army accompanied at a given time by Greek soldiers passed through it. On these long marches, according to Herodotus , the Persians were accustomed to take along horse drawn carts with their women (concubines?), a practice also known from Assyrian times. Therefore the layer by layer interpretation of excavations cannot by themselves account for the events described. There were geopolitical decisions involved in these wars reaching from Thebes/Memphis to Cyrenaica, Athens, Sardis and Susa to name a few.
Conclusion: As we have shown that Ramses III fought against the forces of the Persian Empire by means of external evidence as exemplified by the scenes from Medinet Habu and with the help of the Canopus Decree alongside all the other evidence, we feel rather safe in our conclusion that, indeed, Ramses III is to be identified as Nectanebo of the Greek historians. The barrier modern interpreters of the history of Egypt are up against is one related to the difference produced by ancient Egyptians telling us their story in hieroglyphics vs those ancient historians and books which bear on the subject matter writing in alphabetic scripts. Despite some 200 years of Middle Eastern Studies we still have not achieved a true picture of the interactions among all the countries, cultures and people involved. Once a wrong chronology is ardently defended and data are nearly exclusively interpreted according to their dictates, these errors become institutionalized. We are trying to point out a different, documented path. We believe that our documentation is just as good or better than conventional history can muster. We realize that excavation research produces results fulfilling their own `prophecy'.
Just like in the far out conventional history of Pharaoh Ramses II and Necho occurs duplication of major events so also in the conventional history of Ramses III and Nectanebo I. Both fought the Libyans, they fought together with their allies and then against each other on land and on the sea. Both won against their enemies and Ramses III left the account cut in stone at his mortuary temple while no records telling this story were found by the representative of Nectanebo. Just recently an intact stone stela described as from Nectanebo by Franck Goddio was found and even this one has nothing to say about the gallant, victorious wars he fought. Wake up friends of ancient history.
Notes & References
 It appears that the conventional 31 years attributed to Ramses III include the reign of his predecessor Setnakht/Achoris (393-380 BC). In revised view his reign endured from 379-361 BC.