For teaching purposes: quote cited references only
[References for this review may be found at <Nyland>]
[Note: All Basque words are in Italics and Bold-faced Green]
THE SEA PEOPLES *
All at once, they were on the move, scattered in war. They laid their hands upon the lands to the very circuit of the earth, their hearts confident and trusting; Our plans will succeed... " (Ramesses III).
The name "Peoples of the Sea" comes directly from the Egyptian records, describing the Sea Peoples' exploits. As their collective name tells us, they were tribes who had developed a life style almost totally dependent upon the sea. They perfected boats, sailing and navigational techniques for fishing offshore as well as long distance travel and explored much of the Atlantic ocean. They invented or improved the easily constructed leather boats (coracle) by discovering that oak-tanned hides would keep their shape and usefulness when used in contact with salt water and to keep their boats sea-worthy, even after many days at sea. It appears that all the Sea Peoples adhered to the ancient religion of the one Great Goddess. Close contact was maintained by boat between these tribes trading goods and to standardize their religion, universal language, traditions and oral history. As all the Sea Peoples were actively involved in exploring the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Atlantic, the people keeping up the contacts must have heard fascinating tales of daring deeds, strange discoveries, amazing experiences and also of enormous hardships and loss of life. All these legendary tales are now irretrievably lost. (See Nyland (2001) for more details)
It appears that, as a result of the conquering of Crete by the aggressive Achaian pirates from the Greek mainland in about 1,400 bce., the Sea Peoples realized that their way of life, religion and their very existence was threatened by the new cult of the cruel sky gods of the Near East. The tribes of the Goddess then bonded closer together and formed the league of the Sea Peoples, the religious leadership of which was centered on the islands of Malta(1) and Gozo(2). It must have been a heart-wrenching decision to organize and arm for war, because most of these traditionally non-aggressive, fun- and life-loving people had rarely been at odds with other people. They had been too busy exploring and settling the empty parts of the earth, which had earlier been inaccessible or made unlivable by the ice and unfavable climate of the last ice age. There was no war mentality among them.
Many written references exist in Egypt documenting the activities of the Sea Peoples. Here in brief are a few of those mentioned in historical documents and elaborated on elsewhere:
1341 bce., ambassadors of the Sea Peoples, possibly from the British Isles and Ireland, brought special gifts for Pharaoh Akhenaten and his Queen Nefertiti, indicating a good relationship between their countries. The pharaoh and his queen had tried to break the hold of the polytheistic, male-dominated religion of Egypt and had returned to the old ways of the Great Goddess.
1290 bce., a major attack by Sea Peoples on Egypt. Ramesses II appears to have had trouble warding off the attack because in 1,278 bce., a source reported: "the Delta now lies safe in its slumbers now that the King has destroyed the warriors of the Great Green Sea". This may have been the end of the hostilities started in 1290.
1274 bce., Sherden auxiliaries, probably from Cyrenaica or Libya, fight alongside the Egyptian troops in the Battle of Kadesh. These may have been mercenaries who had been taken prisoners in the fighting of the past years.
1231 bce., In the fifth year of Pharaoh Merenptah's reign, the Libyans attacked the western Nile delta over land, supported by a group of Sea Peoples who had come from Anatolia by boat to Libya (probably Kirrukaska from the north coast of Anatolia). The attack was defeated, many were captured and settled in camps and trained as Egyptian mercenaries.
1210 bce., Pharaoh Merenptah wins a decisive victory over the Libyans in the western desert. The allies of the Libyans had been the Aqaiwasha people of the "foreign lands of the sea" probably the British.
1193 bce., In the fifth year of Ramesses III's reign, the Sea Peoples attacked Egypt by land and sea but few details are available.
1190 bce., In the eighth year of Ramesses III the attackers came back, again on both land and sea. The sea forces were driven off and sailed away in westward direction. Those who came by land were captured, branded with the Pharaoh's name and settled in military camps in the southern Palestinian coastal district, where the overland trade route to Syria was threatened by Bedouin attackers. These people were also used later as mercenaries against their own kinfolk who came back in 1,180 bce., and were called the Meshwesh people by the Egyptians.
1,180 bce.., some books say 1186, a truly massive attack by the League of the Sea Peoples started in the north of the eastern Mediterranean with the destruction of the Greek pirate states (except Athens), and continued on along the Turkish coast where all the harb cities were ransacked and burned and the Hittite empire was totally eliminated. This attack was followed immediately by the destruction of all the city states on the east shore of the Mediterranean. Correspondence has been found which shows that all these disasters had been reported to the Egyptians so that, when the Sea Peoples eventually sailed up the Nile river, Ramesses III was ready and waiting for them with his newly built fleet of oar-driven war galleys. A fierce battle followed during which the large, poorly maneuverable sailing ships were either capsized or captured and large numbers of fighters killed in the fighting or later executed. This action finally ended the efforts of the Sea Peoples to defeat the aggressively advancing patriarchal forces of the sky gods. A detailed description of these events may be found in Nancy K. Sandar's book "The Sea Peoples" (1987), chapters 5 to 8.
THE SEA PEOPLES IDENTITY
Originally the Sea Peoples had been those tribes which had developed boat building, sailing, oak tanning of leather and star navigation and who led a life style almost entirely dependent on the sea. They may have started their experimentation on the ocean as early as 38,000 bce. and had learned that the sea could provide a reliable food supply at all times of the year and as a result had developed highly advanced sea-food harvesting methods. They coined the name 'ocean', Greek 'okeano', oke-ano, okegin (fulness, plentiful) ano (food supply): "plentiful food supply". When the central Sahara became unlivable because of fast advancing desertification (See Climate), which forced them to flee to the coast, the Sea Peoples were ready and available to ferry the displaced tribes and their livestock north to Europe. The Sea Peoples included the following three main tribes:
1) The dark featured, Rh-negative Berbers, originally from Morocco, Algiers and Senegal, who had discovered and populated the Canary and Cape Verde islands, all of the Atlantic islands off Europe, the Basque country and had established reindeer hunting camps in Finnmark in Arctic Norway and leather tanning stations on the southern tip of Sweden and the west coast of Ireland. They controlled all Atlantic traffic and the far western part of the Mediterranean. The Berbers from Morocco likely were the Shekelesh (3) of the Egyptian records, while the people of Britain may have been called the Aqaiwasha. It appears that the people of the Hebrides and Scotland were known to the Egyptians as the Tyrrhenoi(4), the people of Odysseus' tribe, later known to the Romans as the Picts. Their migration was a simple one and covered an area that was within easy reach of the homeland.
The geographical name Cyrenaica (Kirunaika) is an agglutination of three words:
Very early on they had concentrated their efforts on exploring the lands around the Black Sea and must have been impressed with the potential for settlement. In northern Anatolia, on the shore of the Black Sea, they were known to the Hittites as the Kaska or Kirrukaska(6), and their descendants still live in the north east of Turkey under the name of Circaskian Turks. In their extremely wide ranging migration they sailed to the north shore of the Black Sea, and pulled, portaged and rowed up the almost endless Dnepr river and in time populated the Ukraine as far north as modern Lithuania. They then went on to settle the islands in, and the lands surrounding, the Baltic Sea. After settling the mainland of Norway and the Friesian islands they ended their migration in Iceland. In the Odyssey, the people who settled Norway are known by the name of Phaiakians or Phaikians, now called Vikings.
from the beautiful island of Kaphtor. They were in control of all sea traffic and trade in the eastern Mediterranean. When the very large volcano on the Isle of Thera erupted in about 1,420 bce., it devastated Crete with terrible earthquakes, a thick layer of volcanic ash and the north coast was savaged by terrible tsunamis, which destroyed the ships and towns on the north coast and drowned most of the people living there. After that disastrous time, the Philistines of Cyprus and Lebanon, known to the Egyptians(8) as Pulisati(9), filled the sea commerce void left by the demise of the Keftiu. They may have been refugees from Crete.
Other ocean sailing Sea Peoples lived on the shores of the Indian ocean, one of them being the Yemeni from southern Arabia, who traveled regularly to India, Ceylon and Indonesia, but we are not concerned with them here.
SEA PEOPLES HISTORY
During the Ice Age, enormous amounts of water had been stored as ice on the northern continents, which had lowered the world's ocean level some 100 meters and probably even more. The peak of glaciations and the lowest ocean level came about around 16,000 bce. (See Climate) and was followed 4,000 years later by a very warm period which sent so much water cascading down the mountains and rivers, that during several years in a row the ocean level jumped up by an incredible 10 cm each year. Associated with violent storms, it caused enormous flooding and disastrous conditions in the low-lying coastal areas all over the world. Memories of this most destructive time are still told around the earth as legends of The Great Flood. The warm period ended about 9,000 bce. Then a Mini Ice Age followed lasting some centuries, during which the still present glaciers recovered some of the lost ground. The famous Irish archaeologist Michael O'Kelly wrote:
"In the Post-glacial Stage, which commenced about 10,300 years ago [= 8,300 bce.] the climate again began to improve and thus began the present warm stage' in which we now live".(10)
It is likely that the first settlers arrived in Ireland at this time. Imagine the Atlantic coast of Ireland around 8,000 bce. The glaciers and ice fields on the continents were again melting fast and the ocean level at that time had risen to about 25 meters below what it is today, still leaving part of the continental shelf exposed. Low lying, often-flat areas, such as what later became the North Sea and the Irish Sea, which had connected Ireland and Britain with the continent, were now being flooded. The people who were living on these low-lying shores, close to the sea must have known that the sea level was rising relatively fast. They had to live near the sea for at least part of the year because they were dependent on fish, small whales, squid, shellfish etc. for sustenance. The first people to settle on the west coasts of the islands were likely the support crews for the reindeer hunters of Finnmark in Arctic Norway, who needed safe harbs, resting places, supply and repair services for their ocean transport ships. The first and most important of these bases established was likely on Orkney, which has the longest record of continuous settlement of the British Isles and has rich archaeological sites to prove it. The traditional view of the origin of the Picts is that they started out settling the other islands from Orkney as is written by Bede in "The Eclesiastical History of the English People" (731 A.D.) which may well be true. It was also roughly the halfway point between the Basque country and Finnmark. The people sent there had brought any needed tools, livestock, and nets along with them from the Bay of Biscay(11), or even farther, from Morocco. It is sure that they imported goats and pigs, because these animals could survive with little care in the coastal forests and were an essential part of their food supply. Many of the dwelling sites these people had been living in are now well below sea level, it is not likely that much they left behind in these low areas would be recognizable today because of the incessant wave action. The weather appears to have been considerably better than it is today as O'Kelly wrote:
"In circa 9,600 BP [= 76,00 bce], the Boreal Phase, birch was still present but hazel began to expand greatly. The lowlands and lower mountain slopes became covered in woodland and the heath lands seem to have disappeared. Pine also became prominent and while hazel continued to increase at the expense of birch, the oak and the elm made their appearance. The climate was relatively dry and not unlike that of the present day, although perhaps less stormy because the forest was able to spread right down to the western coastline. It is known that man was in Ireland at this time..."
Sailors from Morocco and the Basque(12) country had explored the entire west coast of Europe(13) at a very early date, possibly as early as 9,000 bce. Already at that early stage, these intrepid sailors had perfected boat building and star navigation, and explored as far north as Arctic Norway and in the process they discovered the immense migrating herd of reindeer, which moved between present day Russia and Norway. Reindeer hide was an essential material because their sails were made out of leather. Up to that time they had obtained the needed sail skins from another large herd on the high plateau in southern France and the highlands of the Pyrenees, where they had hunting camps. However, by 8,000 bce, the glaciers had retreated into the Alps and the reindeer followed until they were out of reach of the hunters, so a new source was urgently needed, which they knew existed in Finnmark, Norway.
THE Rh-NEGATIVE BLOOD FACTOR
The people of the first ocean-born migration, which populated the northwest coast of Europe, had a very special blood peculiarity that their descendants are still living with today. This was the only tribe in the world with many of its members having Rh-negative blood. Dr. Luigi Cavalli-Sforza published a map of the populations with the highest percentage of their members with Rh-negative blood. He wrote:
"Rh-negative genes are frequent in Europe, infrequent in Africa and West Asia, and virtually absent in East Asia and among the aboriginal populations of America and Australia. One can estimate degrees of relatedness by subtracting the percentage of Rh-negative individuals among, say, the English (16%) from that among the Basques (25%) to find a difference of nine percentage points. But between the English and East Asians it becomes 16 points, a greater distance that perhaps implies a more ancient separation".(14)
The highest percentage is found among some of the tribes still living in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco (40%). The next highest are the Basques, reported in different publications as having 25 and 32%, depending on location. The people of northwest Ireland, the Highland Scots and the western islanders of Norway all have between 16 and 25%, while the Lapps of Norway and Finland have between 5 and 7%. In addition, Cavalli-Sforza reports two small isolated populations of the same tribe, one in Chad and another in Senegal, each with about 25%. On his map, he shows an Rh-negative population in Chad, still living near the formerly enormous Chad lake. Only part of this lake still exists on the spot where the boundaries of Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon meet. These people may originally have been the sailors on Chad lake. Could it be that this is the original location of the Rh-negative population that then moved to Morocco and Algiers to become the Berbers? Or would it be the other way around?
When the Rh-negative people, we now call Berbers, first came to what is today Euskadi (pronounced: oos-ká-di), the Basque country, they found there a small but most creative population which, according to the archaeologists, may have lived there already for some 20,000 years before the Rh-negative peoples arrived. The two peoples were quite different genetically. The endemic population had brachycephalic (round) skulls. The Berbers had dolichocephalic (long) skulls, wedge-shaped heads, wide at the temples and narrowing to a pointed chin and they were Rh-negative. The most amazing features of the area are the many beautifully painted cathedral caves of enormous antiquity, decorated with great difficulty and personal sacrifice by artists, in honor of the Great Goddess. In southern India, such cave paintings are still being made, and all the artists are women, which may have been the case also in the Basque country. To this day, the Rh-negative people live mainly in the coastal areas. They were without doubt, the most experienced sailors of the Atlantic. They probably arrived in the Bay of Biscay about 10,000 bce. to hunt reindeer for sails. The original round-headed people do not appear to have belonged to the tribes of the Sea Peoples and even today, their type is not common among the Basque fishermen.
The people, jokingly called the Black Irish, have dark hair and eyes, wedge-shaped faces and look like Berbers and Basques. Their blood type proves that Berbers and Basques were originally closely related people, as many of them have Rh-negative blood. They are likely the descendants of the first settlers to Ireland and Scotland. This type of people is especially common in Conamara and Donegal of Ireland and on the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.
Today in many publications, the presence of these dark-eyed people is explained as them being castaways of the huge Spanish armada which was defeated in 1588 by a coalition of British and Dutch sailors in the North Sea. They were wrecked on the islands by storms when the remnants of the fleet tried to sail around Ireland to struggle back home. Many of the sailors had indeed been Basques and several of those that made it safely to land, liked it there and stayed. However, the existence of these dark featured people had already been documented long before the armada was ever thought of. There is little doubt that the Black Irish are the descendants of the oldest population of the British Isles and Ireland.
Compared to the rather simple and restricted migration of the Berbers, the blond Tribe covered a huge area in Europe and Asia. They are easy to spot because they look quite different from the other tribes, with their blue eyes, fine and straight, straw-colored hair, and tall stature; especially the tallness of the women is notable. Wherever they went they built a reputation for being superb handlers and breeders of domestic animals, mostly horses and cattle. The word "blond" comes from. bel-ond., abel-onda, abelgorri (cattle) ondasuntsu (owning lots of): "Owning lots of cattle". What is rarely mentioned is that they were, and still are, superb sailors and navigators, in fact they were the "Shardana", one of the tribes which the Egyptians called "the Sea Peoples". Shardana comes from xar-dana, xarmagarri (attractive, good looking) dana (all of them): "All of them are good looking". They are also known for their independence of mind; "if you hire a Friesian, you hire a reliable worker and an argument" is the saying here in Canada. They don't seem to be able (or willing) to change that.
The blond people are well known in NE Turkey as the Circaskian Turks, who are considered to be among the best horsemen on earth. The blond peoples' migration to the fertile and safe Ukraine increased their numbers enormously and allowed them to live longer lives. From there they spread over large areas, so that we now call them Ukrainians, White Russians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Danes, Friesians, Vikings and Icelanders. The Friesians are known around the world for their "Friesian cattle", the best milk cows anywhere (often mistakenly called Holstein cattle). In the Dnepr valley they appear to have greatly improved on the strain of wheat, so it was adapted to the new climatic and edaphic conditions. They also improved on harvesting techniques and the storing of grain. The unbelievably fertile loess soils of the Ukraine provided abundant and reliable crops and they multiplied there exponentially, so after many centuries of healthy living even the enormous Ukraine became crowded. Academics agree that the blond tribe then fanned out to northern and western Europe. Similar migrations took place from the Caucasus but archaeologists also tell us that they cannot have been in the Caucasus or the Ukraine for more than 8,000 years. So where did they come from if they were not Caucasians? There was another population of blond people, located on the north east coast of Libya in North Africa, especially in Cyrenaica, which is wedged between Libya and Egypt. Nyland (2001) suggested that this could be the place where the original blond mutation originated. However, Fell’s (1982) idea that they rather descended from Norsemen immigrants around the time of the Sea Peoples' invasions is also a plausible explanation.
MIGRATION ROUTES OF THE BLOND SHARDANA
Being located in between the other powerful Sea Peoples, the Cretans and the Berbers, and controlling only a limited section of the central Mediterranean, the ambitious blond people from Cyrenaica looked for an area that was still unoccupied, and found the pristine Black Sea. The problem was that the Bosporus, giving access to and draining the Black Sea, was difficult to enter because of the extremely fast and locally turbulent flow of the water, considerably more so at that time than today. The Cretan seamen may have tried and given up, because their people were of much slighter build and unable to overcome the fierce current with muscle power. The Shardana experimented with the current and found that some parts of the flow were faster than in other places and learned how to bypass the most difficult stretches. They eventually became masters of the Black Sea, possibly as early as 6,000 bce. they brought their first migrants to the north coast of Turkey where these settlers later became known to the Hittites as the Kirrukaska or Kaska for short, kirru (blond) kaska (head): "The blond heads", today known as the Circaskian Turks. (The "s" in Kaska is pronounced as "sh"). From there, they sailed across the Black Sea to populate the delta and the valley of the navigable Dnepr. They didn't get very far north up the river when nature provided a major challenge to them in the form of 40 km of wild rapids where the river squeezes through the mountains east of the Carpathians, about 72 km south of Dnjepropetrovsk. In that stretch, the river drops 48 meters and no muscle power could overcome that. But these indomitable explorers were not the be defeated, after all, had they not overcome the great obstacle of the Bosporus? A long portage road was built around the rapids and on they went. Long stretches of navigable river were provided with a road suitable for draft animals to trek the loaded boats slowly upstream, an exhausting task which required many workers and took years to complete. Over time they explored and occupied the entire valley of this long river as far north as the second and last big obstacle, the Valdai Hills, (located west of Moscow) where they stopped for some time to consolidate their enormous holdings. Valdai(15) means, "Let's celebrate"; the very hard work of trekking boats upstream deserved a big celebration in the hills. The experiences involved in exploring, building the difficult portages and improving the long river for boat travel had been a very major accomplishment and would be worth a movie.
TRAVELS TO THE BALTIC
There are two navigable rivers running from the Valdai Hills to the Baltic. The easiest portage is to the headwaters of the Dvina River that flows west into the Gulf of Riga through what is today the city of Riga. Dvina(16) means: "Depart in the spring when the river is turbulent". Riga(17) comes from .ri-iga, ari-iga, arin (light) igaro (to travel): "Travel light", which is always good advise. The Volkov river runs north to Lake Ladoga, which drains via the short Neva river, running through the city of St. Petersburg, into the Gulf of Finland. Volkov(18) means: Crew singing a boat song". Neva(19) means: "Bring the evangelist here". Thousands of years later, the Swedish Vikings would use this long-established river-route to trade with the Near East. From the Baltic States some families moved west over land along the shores of what is now northern Poland; but the main exploration thrust continued by sail to the cluster of islands which is now Denmark. From here their path split into south-west and northerly directions. Those who went southwest became the Friesians, occupying the long string of Friesian islands and the adjoining mainland of NW Germany and northern Holland, while those moving north settled the Norwegian mainland and became the Vikings, or as Homer called them, the Phaiakians (Odyssey V: 35). Here they met the dark-haired Rh-negative Berber type people who had come north from the Basque country by sailing the Atlantic around 8,000 bce. (before Christian Era) and were firmly established on all the western Norwegian islands, Finnmark and also on the southern tip of Sweden. The long migration of the blond tribe would reach its farthest points west when the Vikings invaded Iceland that had long been settled by the Irish. They established a small population on the west coast of Greenland and explored the east coast of North America. Any future expansion west would be done by individuals, rather than in tribal format. It had been a very long "road" from Cyrenaica.
THE CYRENAICA - FRIESLAND ASSOCIATION
Cyrenaica lies in NE Libya, adjoining Egypt. Friesland lies along the North Sea and is divided by the three national administrations of Holland, Germany and Denmark. The Friesians may be far from Cyrenaica, but the two regions have much in common, geographically and population-wise.
1) The Wadi/Wad. Both regions have large flat areas that are intermittently wet and dry. In Cyrenaica it is rainwater that floods the "wadi" while in Friesland the "wad" is covered by the salt water of the ocean tides. Maps of Friesland some 300 years old still mark the tidal flats as "wadi"; today it is written as "wad". The Saharan word adi means watch out! The huge mudflats of both wadis are well known to be treacherous, if not deadly, to be on when the water comes back. As a matter of interest, the modern Friesian word 'ardi' means watch out!
2) TheAterpe/Terp. Since time immemorial, people have managed to live in the Libyan wadi by building aterpe, artificial hills or refuges. The Friesians did the same only they call such a refuge now a "terp", same difference. It was as if Friesland was made to order for the Shardana. Today in Friesland many of these ancient refuges/terps are still used by farmhouses. The former flooding around these "terpen" no longer occurs because dikes have been built which keep the storm floods and the tides out. The word 'dike' originates from the pre-Christian word daike, meaning "you may have it", which refers to the land protected from flooding by a dike. It was the convention that anyone acquiring new land in this way, was allowed to keep it. These parts of the mud flats therefore became part of the Friesian mainland.
3) The people were fearless. The name: Cyrenaica;(20) comes from Kirrunaika, kirru-unai-ika, meaning: The fearless blond herdsmen". The Friesians still call themselves Frysk(21), meaning: "The happy risk takers" or freely translated: "The daring ones", which appears to have been the name by which they were known in antiquity. The English words frisky (lively, frolicsome) and frisk (a caper, wild escapade) are derived from Frysk. The Shardana fought as mercenaries for the Egyptians and formed a renowned elite fighting unit. The people of the Goddess were all firm believers in re-incarnation and death to them was an inseparable part of life. Death was more an inconvenience than a disaster because re-birth would soon follow in a newborn body, and life would go on. The Frisians no longer believe in reincarnation but courage is still a characteristic of all of them, now especially when speaking their mind. Sea faring appears to be in their blood, because both the Vikings and the Frisians remembered their ancient sea peoples' traditions and navigational skills, even after their long sojourn in the Ukraine and today many of their young people still take to the sea like baby ducks to water.
HITTITES AND KIRRUKASKA
As the population in northern Turkey expanded, they and other newcomers from the Sahara migrated to the east coast of the Black Sea and populated the area today called Georgia. Almost the entire north coast of the Black Sea was under control of the blond tribe. Only the west coast, on both sides of the mouth of the Danube, was under the control of the redheaded Celts, but they were landlubbers, having never lived in contact with the sea. They had been the southern neighbs of the blond tribe in the Sahara and had been ferried by the Shardana to the mouth of the Danube river, the valley of which they occupied in time, and then took possession of the Alps. The blond-headed sailors controlled the entire Black sea, much to the annoyance of the later Hittites.
The clay-tablet library of the Hittites, found in their capital of Hattusas, records many years of troubles with the Kaska. They were no well-organized rival like Arzawa in the west, which irritated the patriarchal Hittites. The problem was that the tribal Kirrukaska had no organized central government with which a treaty could be made. O.R.Gurney writes in his book "The Hittites" :
"The northern border was a perpetual cause of anxiety. Hittite garrisons were stationed in the main centers, but they do not seem to have been strong enough to hold down the turbulent Kaska folk who inhabited these remote valleys. There is no hint whatever that the tribesmen were receiving help from beyond the borders of the Hittite world, yet the king was obliged every few years to lead his imperial army up into the northern hills to pacify the country. King Mursilis records such campaigns (in great detail) for years 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 19, 24, 25 and 26 of his reign. Each campaign seems to have been successful, yet no finality was achieved; the tribes were always ready to break out afresh at the slightest sign of weakness. It is difficult to avoid the suspicion that the causes of unrest lay deeper than the Hittites themselves knew." (p.33)
King Muwatallis was on an extended campaign with his army in Syria, so, to be closer to the action, he moved his capital from Hattusas to Dattassa, leaving the old capital only lightly defended. The Kaska didn't pass up such an opportunity and about 1,270 bce. they sacked and devastated Hattusas. When Hattusilis III succeeded his brother Muwatallis as king, he rebuilt the wrecked city, re-copied the archives and moved the capital back.
The Hittites may not have known about any support given to the Kaska from elsewhere, but it was of the greatest importance for the blond tribes to keep the Hittites out of the Black Sea, so all of them worked together to keep them from the north coast of Anatolia and to block the entrance to the Bosporus. No wonder the Kaska were able to come back year after year, because many of their fighters must have been drawn from the Ukraine and Georgia, if not from the far-away Baltic settlements.
Today, the deeply impoverished Kirrukaskan/Circaskian tribe still lives in NE Turkey; their capital is the seaport of Sukhumi. For over one century their most beautiful women were in demand by the Arabian sheiks for their harems, who paid well for them. The people were so poor that they could not refuse. The result is that today there are quite a few blond and/or blue-eyed people among the ruling families of Arabia.
The Circaskian/Kirrukaska men have always been known as the finest equestrians and horse trainers in the world. It is tempting to say that it was these courageous people who trained the first horses for riding, an event which probably took place between 4,000 and 4,500 bce. It is likely that, many years before, they had also been involved in the domestication of the camel of the Sahara. Most early words associated with horse trainings appear to have come from them. The legend of the ultimate horse-trainer, Kikkuli, is known to everyone. Kikkuli comes from kik-uli, kikildu (to intimidate, to train a horse) uli (shy): "He trained the shy horse". The name for barn is ikuilu, while ukuiluratu means to put in a stable. Touching a horse is called ikuitu; a frightened horse is called kikil. The act of "breaking" a horse for saddling is called kikiltze. The variety of words in their language associated with horse training is greater than in "Indo-European". There is no other tribe anywhere which can claim closer association with the horse than the Circaskians/Kirrukaska.
A large group of horsemen known as the Kirrugizon (blond-men) split off from this population and moved east to populate the huge grasslands north of the Aral Sea, which area today is known as the Kirghiz steppe; kir-giz, kirru (blond) gizon (man). From there they moved south-east into what is today Kirghiztan, located north of Afganistan. There still are fair numbers of blond and/or blue-eyed people among this population. The migration went farther east and today there are still blue eyed and blond individuals among the Punjabi people. It is interesting to note that the modern Basque wordorder of noun-adjective is reversed in Kirrugizon and Kirrukaska, which today would be written as Gizonkirru and Kaskakirru.
According to Herodotus (Hero I: 108), King Astyages of the Medes had a dream about his daughter Mandane, who was pregnant from her Persian husband Cambyses. The Magi interpreted his dream to mean that his daughter would produce a son who would usurp his throne for the Persians (I: 108). When the child was born, King Astyages ordered his property steward Harpagus to kill the baby. Harpagus took the baby but couldn't get himself to commit so foul a deed, so he assigned the dirty task to the slave Mitradates, who lived in the mountains. Mitradates' wife had just given birth to a dead baby and, you guessed it, Cyrus had found a new family.
When Cyrus was ten years old, he and some boys were playing "king" in the streets of the village and Cyrus was elected to play the role of king. He organized his boys into builders, the king's eyes, the king's bodyguard etc. However, one of the boys, the son of a highly placed official, refused to take orders from the slave boy, so the king had him arrested and severely whipped. The father, when shown what was done to his son, was furious with the cowman's brat. He took Cyrus to King Astyages and reported what had happened. Cyrus openly explained to the King that he had been fairly and honestly chosen to be king and he had nothing to be ashamed of. Almost before Cyrus had finished speaking, the King had guessed who the boy was, because "the cast of the boy's features seemed to resemble his own" (I: 117). Mitradates was called in and under torture admitted that this was the King's own grandson. The story goes on to say that Cyrus did overthrow his grandfather to become Cyrus the Great, possibly the most famous king of antiquity. The question is, how did King Astyages know right away that this was his own grandson? The answer lies in the name Cyrus, kirru-uz, kirru uzta, kirru (blond) uzta (harvest, straw) straw blond. The members of the royal family of the Medes were all blond, ruling over dark-haired people. The interesting thing is that in Russia the Cyrus name is still pronounced "Kirrus" which, abbreviated, became Rus and then Russia.
According to archaeologist Marija Gimbutas, the Lithuanians were the last people in Europe to be converted to Christianity, which happened some time around 1,600 A.D. A rich treasure of pre-Christian lore has been collected over the years which helps us to better understand this very different and ancient society of our ancestors. The Lithuanians call their country Litauen(22), meaning: "They always harvest an abundant crop". Lithuania was not always the small country it is today. At one time the entire watershed of the Dnepr and Pripet rivers, settled so many millennia ago by their forebears, was called Lithuania. It ran from the Black Sea all the way, to where the Dvina River runs into the Baltic. In 1569, when the Muscovy nation started to expand westward, Lithuania united with Poland to better be able to resist the eastern threat. At the end of the 18th century, Lithuania was partitioned and it became part of the Russian Empire.
During their first years on the shore of the Baltic they saw a huge herd of Beluga whales, which arrived in the spring to give birth to their young ones in the Gulf of Riga. These relatively small whales could be harpooned from boats, just like the Eskimos still do it in the Beaufort Sea of Canada. The name Baltic(23) meaning "Birthplace of the whales". The name Beluga(24), means "Abundant snow white animal". Many Lithuanians today are unaware of their early whaling tradition but their own names tell the story:
Balciunas, balki-una-as, bal(ea)ki (whale meat) una (bored, tired of) -z (eternal): "Sick and tired of the eternal whale meat".
They must have overdone the catch, because today there are no belugas left in the Baltic, not even a memory of them. Even when the waters of the Baltic have been cleaned up, it is doubtful that the herd can be re-established.
The migration continued west and, finding the Danish Islands unpopulated, they quickly established their agricultural pursuits on the fertile soils of the main islands. Sheep grazing was practiced on the sandy soils of Jutland, the mainland part of Denmark. From here the long string of Friesian islands was occupied which Apollonius of Rhodes called the Liburnian Islands; a liburnus much later was a Roman galley, therefore the name of the islands probably refers to the oar-driven boats of the inhabitants, similar to the boats the Vikings had. Then the horses were turned back towards the shore by drivers who sat on the backs of the horses, turning the wagon around and the sailors, already in their places, would row into the wild surf to save the lives of the castaways. It was a risky undertaking but the men did it without complaining. It is likely that such oar driven boats had not changed much from the time of Apollonius.
Most of the islands are made up of dunes and sandy meadows which permitted grazing of sheep, goats and cattle, and the growing of poor quality grains such as barley and oats, but peas and beans did very well. Fish became their main food supply until the people settled the adjoining mainland where, on the rich clay soils, the traditional wheat could again be grown. A priestess was installed on the isle of Griend, from grinadun (passionate), in the middle of the "wadi". As usual, the Benedictine monks came, devastated the religious site and built a large monastery on the island. However, nothing is left of either establishment because the island has changed location, moving east, and the original site of the buildings was washed away. Around 1400 AD, after a violent storm that flooded the island, the monastery and school were moved to the Hallum monastery on the Friesian mainland.
When more settlers arrived from the Ukraine, the only place to send them was to southern Norway, where they again found fertile soils suitable for grain growing. With healthy living conditions, plentiful fish in the fiords and abundant grain in the fields, the population of the Norwegian mainland exploded. Homer called them Phaiakians(25) (V: 35). The Homeric name "Faikians" was later altered to become "Vikings".
On the southern tip of Sweden the blond newcomers met a well established population of the Rh-negative leather tanners and boat builders, called Hilleans by Apollonius of Rhodes. They got along fine with them because the newcomers needed their products also. They were cutting and managing the oak forests of that area, removing the bark for tanning the boatloads of reindeer skins that their compatriots at Mount Komsa in Finnmark, Arctic Norway were sending south. From here the oak-tanned leather was sent to the Basque country and the Mediterranean to be used as sails. The oak wood was used for building boats. It probably was a very lucrative trade and the population lived well until a mini-ice age forced them out of the area and they fled south into Poland, where their many descendants can still be recognized by their blood peculiarity.
On the Norwegian islands of the west coast was another population of the dark featured Berbers, called the Vanir in legends, all related to and in regular contact with the Black Irish and Scots. The distance from Orkney to Finnmark had proven to be too long, and intermediate support stations were required. These groups of people at first appear to have resented the intrusion by the blond tribe of Sea Peoples, which gave birth to the legend of the enmity between the Vanir (the dark-haired islanders) and the Aesir (the blond tribe). Both these tribes spoke the same Saharan language, even though some dialectal differences had developed over the centuries. They all had long known about each other, because the chief priestess, located on Barra, had come from the blond tribe and trade with the Baltic had long been active. Both practiced different forms of the same Goddess religion.
All these people described above belonged to the Sea Peoples, speaking one language and believing in one Goddess in many manifestations. But trouble was brewing and their traditional system of communicating became the vehicle for the organization of, what the pharaoh called, "the League of the Sea Peoples". Nancy Sanders, in her book "The Sea Peoples, wonders where such an overpowering force could have come from:
".... we have to ask who was in a position to raise a fleet large enough, well enough organized and, most important, having sufficient incentive to carry out the massive devastation on land, as well as the action on the sea? No northern power would have been likely to do it". (p.181)
With "northern power" she meant the countries on the north side of the eastern Mediterranean, not north-western Europe. That is exactly where this enormous fleet came from, manned with people intent on reversing the changes, which had come to the Near East.
MAJOR CHANGE COMES TO THE EAST
The unity and strength shown by the League of the Sea Peoples soon developed into a most serious threat to the new patriarchy. In northern Greece the Dorians, who still adhered to the Goddess religion and did not belong to the Sea Peoples, revolted, informed the Sea Peoples what was going on and assisted the repeated Sea Peoples attacks on the pirate kingdoms by fighting the Achaians from the land side. The combined attacks were devastating and brought in what we now call the “Greek Dark Age", which lasted for some 650-700 years. In northern Anatolia, the Kaska, who controlled the Black Sea, had fought long and hard to stop the Hittites from gaining access to the shores of the Black Sea. They were now being reinforced with fighters and ships from the Ukraine. They slowly pushed the Hittite army back towards their capital of Hattusas in central Anatolia. They were prepared for the big push south when that was called for. King Mursilis' vassals in the area were becoming more and more restless, hence his move south to restore order in Ugarit and Syria. The City States of present day Lebanon and Israel were well-defended but even they felt the pressure building, as their kings' correspondence with the Pharaohs confirms. The stage was set for a massive upheaval in the Near East because the Goddess religion was making a strong come-back. The peoples living along the east shore of the Mediterranean, such as the Syrians and Canaanites, for centuries had a long history of reverting back, being very dissatisfied with the new regime, to the Goddess religion, a struggle well documented in the Bible:
"But we will do everything that we have vowed, burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out libations to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities if Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no evil. But since we left off burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out libations to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine." (Jeremiah 44: 17-19).and was elaborated on in great detail by Dr. Raphael Patai in Chapter 1 of his book "The Hebrew Goddess".
"... the worship of Ashera was introduced into the Jerusalem Temple by King Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, in or about 928 BCE.E. Her statue was worshiped in the Temple for 35 years, until King Asa removed it in 893 BCE.E. It was restored to the Temple by King Joash in 825 BCE.E. and remained there for a full century, until King Hezekiah removed it in 725 BCE.E. After an absence of 27 years, however, Ashera was back again in the Temple: This time it was King Manasseh who replaced her in 698 BCE.E. She remained in the Temple for 78 years, until the great reformer King Josiah removed her in 620 BCE.E. Upon Josiah's death eleven years later (609 BCE.E.) she was again brought back into the Temple, where she remained until its destruction 23 years later, in 586 BCE.E. Thus it appears that, of the 370 years during which the Solomonic Temple stood in Jerusalem, for no less than 236 years (or almost two-thirds of the time) the statue of Ashera was present in the Temple, and her worship was a part of the legitimate religion approved and led by the king, the court and the priesthood....". (p.50)
EGYPT’S TEMPORARY RETURN TO THE MOTHER GODDESS RELIGION
In Egypt, the Pharaohs had been very much in control and to build such a revolt was out of the question. Those people who still practiced the Goddess religion were too oppressed to assist, however, even here change had come some centuries earlier from a most unexpected side, from the highest possible level of the Pharaoh himself. The new Pharaoh Akhenaten had married a most remarkable woman by the name of Nefertiti who was to promote a world-shaking revolution. Nefertiti is known as the beautiful wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten, who was Amenhotep III's son. During the reigns of Amenhotep III and his father Thutmose IV, the Egyptian empire's military might was at its zenith, extending south deep into Nubia and east into Asia. Akhenaten became pharaoh ca 1353 bce. and shortly after he assumed the throne it became clear that he and his wife Nefertiti were not interested in the huge and confusing pantheon of gods and goddesses of the male dominated Egyptian religion. Male domination had taken root and altered the ancient Goddess based religion of Egypt. This change had degraded the position of the goddesses and placed the gods in commanding positions. In an astonishing effort of evangelical renewal, Nefertiti and Akhenaten decided to go back to the ancient monotheistic Goddess religion of their early ancestors. This probably meant that Nefertiti became the Chief Priestess and Akhenaten the prince. Her name tells us what she set out to do; it breaks down into (the f equals b):
.ne - efe - er. - .ti - iti
That is exactly what she and her husband set out to do. Akhenaten came from a long line of strong rulers, so why did he break with the established male domination tradition? The answer may be that he married a headstrong woman, who had been trained as a priestess, but where she came from or where she trained is not clear. Her looks were different from the Egyptian women, with her very long and elegant neck and fine features. She was more the type of the blond people of Cyrenaica, on Egypt's northwestern border, known as the Shardana, all of whom still adhered to the Goddess religion. Whoever she may have been, it is a fact that Akhenaten took the courageous step to go back to the Goddess religion of old Egypt. His name tells of his faith; it breaks down into:
ake - ena - ate -
Akhenaten was not so much a religious reformer as an ultra conservative returning to the days of the Queen of Heaven. In the fifth year of his reign, he shocked the Egyptian priesthood by forbidding the worship of the entire Egyptian pantheon and ordered the closure of the Amen temples in the country. He also changed his name from Amenhotep IV to Akhenaten. Only one of the former gods survived his purge; it was Apis, the sacred bull who had been worshiped as the "living sun-god Ra" in Heliopolis. He was returned to his original position as the universal symbol of male fertility. The formerly powerful and rich priests, afraid of losing their exalted and respected positions, were horrified but the people may have quietly applauded the pharaoh’s courageous action. On the wall of one of his new temples at Thebes Akhenaten listed the failings and folly of the old deities and tried to convince the people to go back to the caring Goddess of the heavens and of the living earth. The priesthood resisted but the pharaoh was the god-king, he had to be obeyed and they did, biding their time.
To worship his Goddess, Akhenaten built shrines at Thebes, beside the large Amen temple. In a complex that may have been more than one half mile long, the walls shone with brilliant relief carvings of the royal family, who were communicating directly with the deity.
Nefertiti played a prominent role in the celebration ... A tally of the reliefs in the remains of a temple built for her use reveals that her name and image appeared at least twice as often as those of the king. Inscriptions found at Karnak and elsewhere honor her with a list of fulsome epithets: Great of Favour, Mistress of Sweetness, Beloved One, Mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt, Great King's Wife whom He Loves, Lady of the Two Lands.(26) (p.90)
These epithets are exactly in line with the position of Chief Priestess, especially during the annual festivity of the Sacred Marriage. The walls of her palace must have been a splendor to behold, with colored glass, stone and ceramic inlays. Glazed tiles depicted art very much like the nature paintings, showing gardens of plants and flowers, swimming fish and dolphins, realistic farming and fishing scenes, reeds waving in the wind etc. What is not clear is who performed the duties of Tammuz, the volunteer human sacrifice that was required to bring back spring and fertility. If such a sacrifice had been dispensed with, the royal couple had taken the first step towards creating basic Christianity.
In the 12h year of Akhenaten's reign, 1341 bce., an elaborate ceremony was held during which delegations of envoys from many countries came bearing tribute. The tomb of Huya, the high steward of ex-Queen Tiy, has reliefs showing ambassadors of countries friendly to Egypt bringing fine offerings. Among them are
"Syria and Kush, the West and the East, all lands united at the one time, and the isles in the Midst of the Great Green Sea." (D. O'Connor, p.102).
The fact that the "Peoples from the Midst of the Great Green Sea", i.e. from Britain and Ireland, were present and bringing presents indicates good relations between their countries, which would not have been possible had Egypt still been dominated by the old militaristic patriarchy. The stylized art of the Egyptians underwent a total renewal towards more natural and living artistry. The decorations on the walls of Nefertiti's temples were almost identical to the art in the palace of the Chief Priestess in Knossos, Crete. It is proof that the royal couple was making a serious attempt to return to the peaceful and happy days of the Queen of Heaven when there were no standing armies or fortifications, no boundaries and a world that was wide open for everyone. It was a serious effort to put a stop to further expansion of the warlike promoters of the sky-gods and return to the original religion. It also must have been like a red flag waving before the charging bull of the new and aggressive proto-Judaic sky gods of the Near East. Such a return to peace and sanity could not be tolerated and plans were made accordingly to reverse the trend.
Despite the best efforts of the royal couple, the return to the theology of the Great Goddess did not succeed. After Akhenaten died at young age, Nefertiti may have reigned for three more years as regent for the young Smenkhkare, but the return to militarism under pharaoh Horemheb brought back the previous pantheon of dominant gods and submissive goddesses and started a systematic eradication of the memory and works of Akhenaten, Nefertiti and even their immediate successors. Dr. David O'Connor writes:
Presumably as a punishment for his heresy, the priestly scribes omitted Akhenaten's name from their chronological list of Egypt's kings. When some allusion to his lifetime was unavoidable, chroniclers made enigmatic references to 'the reign of that damned one', or the time of 'the rebel' (p.83)
A similar cunning action to wipe out part of history had been taken years before by the proto-Judaic priesthood when they decided to bury the memory of the beautiful Minoan civilization of Crete forever. They almost succeeded there. In time the same history-burying action would be taken against the memory of the huge effort by all the Sea Peoples of the Great Green Sea who had made such a valiant attempt to destroy male domination at its sources. Even the Odyssey was purged of any references to the peoples from the Atlantic and the true activities of Odysseus. Akhenaten's serious effort to restore the Goddess religion to Egypt had come too early. Had it been timed with the Sea Peoples attack of 1,180 bce. this world would have been a very different place for us to live in.
SEA PEOPLES' ATTACK OF 1,180 B.C.E.
Even though it was a huge military operation involving all of Europe and North Africa, the amount of descriptive detail available to us is quite limited. Except for the large Medinet Habu temple inscription, it is confined to Egyptian, Syrian and Lebanese correspondence, some clay tablets found in Pylos and Byblos, a single paragraph in the Odyssey and massive evidence of destruction caused by war, uncovered by archaeologists. The attack was certainly not unexpected, because the people of southern Greece had prepared by building large fortifications out of cyclopean size rocks, clearly aimed at a threat expected to come from the sea. At Mycenae, Athens and Tiryns immense fortifications were built, and large underground cisterns for storing water were hacked out of solid rock. In many isolated places along the coast promontory forts were built, obviously aimed at an enemy expected from the sea. The clay tablets of Pylos document the deployment of ships and troops to the various positions along the west coast. Michael Wood in his book "In Search of the Trojan War" wrote:
"One of the most important tablets is entitled: 'Thus the watchers are guarding the coast': command of Maleus at Owitono ... 50 men of Owitono to go to Oikhalia, command of Nedwatas ... 20 men of Kyparssia at Aruwote, 10 Kyparissia men at Aithalewes ... command of Tros at Ro'owa: Kadasijo a shareholder, performing feudal service ... 110 men from Oikhalia to Aratuwa. Some of the last tablets written at Pylos speak of rowers being drawn from five places to go to Pleuron on the coast. A second list, incomplete, numbers 443 rowers, crews for at least 15 ships. A much larger list speaks of 700 men as defensive troops; gaps in the tablet suggest that when complete, around 1000 men were marked down, the equivalent of a force of 30 ships". (p. 216)
It was all to no avail. It is not clear if all these fortifications were destroyed in one large attack because there may have been many, but the result was that almost all strongholds were taken and devastated during the big attack of 1,180 bce. The first wave of attackers appears to have been so large that it totally overwhelmed the defenses. Strangely enough, the palace of Pylos had not been fortified, apparently because the king relied on the strength of his forces to repel any attack. Some of the tablets mention that Pylos had a place where many priests-linguists were working on the new Greek language, who appear to have been the target of the first wave of attackers (author's translation):
"The enemy grabbed all the priests from everywhere and without reason murdered them secretly by simple drowning. I am calling out to my descendants (for the sake of) history. I am told that the northern strangers continued their terrible attack, terrorizing and plundering until a short time ago." (Pylos tablet PY Fr 1184)
The priests apparently were there to preach the new religion and to create and teach a new language to the people and introduce the newly invented Linear-B script. They must have been proto-Judean priests because the Egyptians tell us that the Achaiwoi were circumcised, a practice promoted by the new patriarchy. They must have been the main target of the first attackers. When the second wave of attackers arrived soon after, more than priests appear to have been massacred (author's translation):
"I fell back in fear from the huge massacre afflicted on us during this nightmare of suffering. They decided then to burn our refuge and to beat us. All were dragged from the stable and done evil with hammer blows". (Pylos tablet PY Ta722).
After the attackers had left, whoever was still able to function had to pick up the pieces:
"While remembering the terror, we had to recover from the defeat by gently giving the afflicted very good care and performing surgery" (Pylos tablet PY Sa794).
Carl Blegen, the archaeologist who found these tablets stressed that they were obviously written under severe duress of war. Tablets were not normally fired when kept as permanent records, however, these had been fired by the heat of the burning palace. Yet, when Michael Ventris translated them, the meaning he came up with, inexplicably, had nothing to do with war and destruction. For instance, the last one (Sa 794) was translated by him as: "One pair of wheels, bound with bronze, unfit for service". That is not the type of thing to write about when your priests are being drowned and the town is set on fire. Ta 722, according to Ventris translates to: "One footstool inlaid with a man and a horse and an octopus and a griffin in ivory". The difference is that Ventris used Greek to translate the inscriptions while Nyland (2001) used Basque, the universal language of the Sea Peoples. Ventris' contribution in decoding the Linear B script was tremendous but his translations need to be redone by a Basque scholar.
The academics have always been puzzled by the history preserved in Egypt. For some strange reason, few researchers have been willing to consider the islands in the Great Green Sea to be Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia (which at that time was thought to be an island). Yet the enormous and impressive stone structures on those islands indicated a civilization which had its roots in North Africa and was known in Egypt.
The Egyptians knew very well what was coming and took firm steps to counter the threat. On the temple of Medinet Habu is written:
"... the foreign countries made a conspiracy in their islands. All at once the lands were on the move, scattered in war. No country could stand before their arms. Hatti, Kode, Carchemish, Arzawa and Alashiya. They were cut off. A camp was set up in one place in Amor, they devastated its people and its land was like that which had never come into being. They were advancing on Egypt while the flame was being prepared for them. Their league was Puliset, Tjeker, Shekelesh, Denyen, and Weshesh, united lands. They laid their hand upon the lands to the very circuit of the earth, their hearts confident and trusting "Our pland will succeed". .... I (Ramses III) organized my frontier, in Djahi ... I caused the Nile river mouth to be prepared like a strong wall with warships, transports and merchantmen, entirely manned from stem to stern with brave fighting men...." (Michael Wood, p.220)
In the Harris papyrus in the British Museum, Ramses III says:
"I overthrew all those who transgressed the boundaries of Egypt, coming from their lands. I slew the Danuna from their isles, the Tjekkeru and Philistines ... the Sherden and Weshesh of the sea were made as if non-existent".
The overwhelming force these islands of the Great Green Sea could muster, complete with large fleets of sea worthy ships, each capable of carrying from 50 to 150 men, could not have come from places like Corsica, Sicily or Sardinia. These islands were well-known to the Egyptians through their trade and they certainly were not called by pharaoh Ramses III "the foreign lands, the isles who sailed over against his lands". No, it was the Odyssey which hinted that the "homecoming" of Odysseus was not from Troy to Ithaki in Greece, but from Egyptian captivity back home to the Hebrides.
Carl Blegen, the archaeologist excavating at Troy, wrote:
"We believe that Troy VIIa has yielded actual evidence showing that the town was subjected to siege, capture, and destruction by hostile forces at some time in the general period assigned by Greek tradition to the Trojan War, and that it may safely be identified as the Troy of Priam and of Homer". (Troy, Vol. IV, 1958).
The destruction by violence and fire was identical to what was described by Homer in the Odyssey. The pottery evidence indicated that it was likely destroyed in 1,180 bce. Blegen could not have known that Homer had bundled two attacks on Troy into one story, the first one was the Achaian attack, the second the Sea Peoples' attack with Odysseus. Did Odysseus sail from there directly to Egypt or did he first participate in the destruction of the Syrian and Lebanese harbours? We don't know, but Homer used Odysseus' words to describe his trip south:
"On the seventh day we went aboard and from wide Crete sailed on a North Wind that was favourable and fair. On the fifth day we reached the abundant stream Aigyptos, and I stayed my oar-swept ships inside the Aigyptos river. Then I urged my eager companions to stay where they were, there close to the fleet, and to guard the ships, and was urgent with them to send lookouts to the watching places; but they, following their own impulse, and giving way to marauding violence, suddenly began plundering the Egyptians' beautiful fields, and carried off the women and innocent children, and killed the men, and soon the outcry came to the city. They heard the shouting, and at the time when dawn shows, they came on us, and all the plain was filled with horses and infantry and the glare of bronze, and ... none was so hardy as to stand and fight, for the evils stood in a circle around them. There they killed many of us with the sharp bronze and others they led away alive, to work for them in forced labor. I wish I had died and met my destiny there in Egypt, for there was still more sorrow awaiting me". (XIV: 252-275)
Homer, who knew a good story when he saw it, obviously couldn't resist repeating this story in his Odyssey. He tuned it down as much as possible and hid it in the text as a "lying story" but it is clear that it was a highlight in the original travelogue which he worked from. Confirming this history is exactly what Ramses III had done on his funerary temple at Medinet Habu. Ramses explains how prepared he was for the attack:
"As for those who came on the sea, the full flame was in front of them at the river mouths, while a stockade of lances surrounded them on the riverbank. They were dragged ashore, hemmed in and flung down on the beach, grappled, capsized and laid out on the shore dead, their ships made heaps from stern to prow, and their goods...." (Wood p.220).
The "full flame" at the river mouth is mentioned a few times in the inscriptions but no satisfactory explanation of it has been given. Large numbers of the attackers lost their lives, many were captured and put to work as slave labourers and mercenaries. Odysseus also managed to survive. He tells us that he saw the Pharaoh approach and made the best of a bad situation:
"At once I put the well-wrought helm from my head, the great shield off my shoulders, and from my hand I let the spear drop, and went out into the way of the king and up to his chariot, and kissed his knees and clasped them: he rescued me and took pity and seated me in his chariot and took me, weeping, homeward with him; and indeed many swept in on me with ash spears straining to kill me, for they were all too angered, but the king held them off from me". (XIV: 276-283).
The terror experienced by the people from the Atlantic islands was also described on the Medinet Habu monument. When the battle turned against them:
"They penetrated the channels of the river mouths (Nile Delta). They struggle for breath, their nostrils cease. His Majesty is gone out like a whirlwind against them fighting in the battle field like a runner, the dread of him and the terror have entered in their bodies, they are capsized and overwhelmed where they are. Their heart is taken away and their soul is flown away, their weapons are scattered upon the sea. His arrow pierces whom he wishes, and the fugitive is a drowned man........"
The life of Odysseus had been saved by the lucky presence of the Pharaoh but he was now a prisoner. Knowing that the Sea Peoples were reliable people with a cause and good fighters, the Egyptians had traditionally made mercenaries out of them in a special unit of the Egyptian army. Again they were given a choice, to either become slave labourers working on the temples, or swear an oath to fight a certain number of years as mercenaries for the Pharaoh and, upon completion of satisfactory service, to earn their freedom.
"There for seven years I stayed and gathered together much substance from the men of Egypt, for all gave to me". (XIV: 285-6).
Odysseus would not have been given much substance as a slave labourer. It is clear that he took the mercenary option and became a soldier for the Pharaoh, probably on the eastern border of the empire. Plundering of conquered peoples was permitted and this was probably the source of his "gathered substance". He and his men must have performed well and after the contracted time, the Pharaoh, true to his word, released them, gave them back some of their ships and the famous Nostoi or Homecoming had started.
Ramses had the final defeat of the Sea Peoples commemorated in the extraordinary relief carvings on the walls of his temple in Medinet Habu. Many years later a similarly convincing victory over the last army of the Goddess, this time in Scotland, was memorialized in 842 A.D. on a somewhat less magnificent, but still very impressive, seven ton slab of rock. It was the victory of King Kenneth MacAlpin of the Christian Scots, over the "pagan" Picts. It looks almost as if King Kenneth knew about the huge inscription in Egypt and he wanted to do something similarly impressive to advertise the defeat of the last resistance of the people of the Goddess. The last recorded king of the Picts, Eoganan or Uuen, son of Oengus had been defeated and killed in battle in 839, and after that the Pictish forces were too much weakened to resist both the attacking Norsemen and King Kenneth' army.
"It is clear that this stone commemorates the victory of the southerners and the corresponding defeat and execution of the northerners. If we divide the contending parties into two factions into left and right, then there are a total of 42 to the left, losing side, and a total of 56 for the winners. The grand total is thus 98, including the 14 executed prisoners." (Anthony Jackson, 1993, p. 112).
The huge, almost seven-meter high stone, on which Kenneth recorded the demise of the last pre-Christian kingdom stands near Forres in Morayshire. In the 18th century, the monument was named Sueno's stone, after the Danish King Sueno (Sven) who lived ca 1000 A.D. and had absolutely nothing to do with it, but the name has stuck. The carvings depict the execution of the 14 leaders of the 14 main Pictish lineages; the inscription was intended to be a most appropriate epitaph to the final defeat of the Picts. In 842 A.D. the last true civilization of the Great Goddess succumbed to the attacks by Christians, but it has never been forgotten.
Homer could not acknowledge the role of the Atlantic Sea Peoples in Egypt or Scotland; his task was to bury that history for ever, but he must have had trouble explaining the seven years of mercenary service. Instead, he decided to add the seven years to Odysseus' recuperating time in the Orkneys, after he had been rescued from his ordeal in Charybdis (Corryvreckan) by Kalypso. Homer did not make any effort to explain what Odysseus did in those seven years, except to hint that he was kept as a love-slave, which was something that never had existed in a Goddess society, where free love always was available, especially for a hero like Odysseus.
1. Malta, ama-alta, Ama (Priestess/Goddess) altara (altar): "The altar of the Priestess/Goddess".
2. Gozo, from gozo (calming, peaceful): "The peaceful isle".
3. Shekelesh, a sheke is a young bull, ele is a story and esh may come from exzepziozko (exceptional): "The story of the exceptional young bulls"; could this refer to the bull fights which still are practiced in Spain, a leftover from the Moorish occupation of Spain?
4. Tyrrhenoi, again a name which the Egyptians must have given them in captivity. The name translates to: tirr.-.he-eno-o.i, tirri-ihe-eno-ohi, tirria (burning desire) ihesegin (to escape) enoratsu (to be covered in warts) ohil (savage): "The wart-covered savages have a burning desire to escape". That sounds like something Odysseus would have done. The names Thyrrenia, Tyrrhenian Sea and the modern Isle of Tiree must have all come from this name. Serious wart problems are also mentioned in the Ogam writings on standing stones in Ireland.
5. Shardana, xar-dana, xarmaz (attractive, good looking) dana (everybody, all of them): "They are all good-looking".
6. Kirrukaska, from kirru (blond) kaska (head): "the blond heads".
7. Keftiu, the people of Kaphtor or Kaftor, from .ka-af.-.to-or., eka-afa-ato-oro, ekarri (to bring) afa (joy) atondu (to beautify) oroegile
(Goddess): "It brings joy to beautify for the Goddess".
8. Egypt, from egi-ip.-.t., egi-ipu-uto, egin (to create) ipuin (legend) utopia (utopia): "They created the legend of utopia".
9. Pulisati, from .pu-uli-isa-ati, ipu-uli-iza-ati, ipurterre (bad-tempered) uli (coward) izate (nature, character) atxikiezin (unreliable): "Bad-
tempered cowards of unreliable character".
10. M.J.O'Kelly, "Early Ireland", page 7.
11. Biscay, bizkai, from .bi-iz.-.kai, ibi-ize-ekai, ibilkera (behaviour) izentxar (bad reputation) ekaizpera (stormy): "It has a bad reputation of stormy behaviour".
12. Basque, from bask, .ba-ask., eba-aska, ebatzi (to decide) askatu (to free): "We decided to be free".
13. Europa, eur.-.opa, euri-opa, euri (rain) opa (longing for rain): "Longing for rain" This name was coined by the people fleeing the burning Sahara. The names Europe and Africa must be explained together because "Africa" tells of the terrible drought that happened there: af.-.ri- ika, afa-ari-ika, afa (happy) arinari eman (to escape) ikara (tragedy): "Happy to have escaped the tragedy".
14. Scientific American, November 1991, pages 104-105.
15. Valdai, from bal-dai, balaku (happiness) daigun (let's have ...): "Let's have happiness" or "Let's celebrate".
16. Dvina, .d.-.bi-ina, uda-abi-ina, udaberri (spring) abiatu (to depart) inarrosi (agitated, turbulent): "Depart in the spring when the river is turbulent".
17. Riga, from ari-iga, arin (light) igaro (to travel): "Travel light".
18. Volkov, bol-kob, bolada (group of people, crew) kobla (boat song): "Crew singing a boat song".
19. Neva, one-eba, oneratu (to bring here) ebanjelari (evangelist): "Bring the evangelist here".
20. Cyrenaika, from kirru-unai-ika, kirru (blond) unai (herdsman) ikaraezin (fearless): "The fearless blond herdsmen".
21. Frysk, fa-arrisk, afa (happy) arriskatu (to take risks): "The happy risk takers" or "The daring ones".
22. Litauen, from.l-ita-au-en., eli-ita-au-ene, elikatu (food supply, crop) itaitu (to harvest) aukera (abundant) enetan (always): "They always harvest an abundant crop".
23. Baltic, bal-tik, bale (whale) -tiko (originating, birthplace of): "Birth place of the whales".
24. Beluga, .be-elu-uga, abe-elu-uga, abere (animal) elurzuri (snowwhite) ugari (abundant): "Abundant snowwhite animal".
25. Phaiakian, .fa-aia-aki-an., aba-aia-aki-ana, abantari (rowers) aja (ha, ha, ha, happy) akigabe (untiring) anaitu (united, in unison): "Happy rowers, untiring in unison".
26. Egypt: Land of the Pharaohs, by Dr. David O'Connor, professor of Egyptology, University of Pennsylvania. Publ: Time-Life Books,