Alan Henderson Gardiner on the history of Palestine

Peleset warriors depicted as conquered by Ramessēs III in the Medînet Habu reliefs (Luxor, Egypt).

Peleset warriors depicted as conquered by Ramessēs III in the Medînet Habu reliefs (Luxor, Egypt).
Image credit: Michael Palomino

Of deep interest alike to Greek scholars and to orientalists are three new peoples who emerge here for the first time, though it is just possible that the Danu or Danuna, surely the Danaoi of the Iliad, may have been mentioned once in the `Amârna letters.[2] Much more important, however, are the Peleset and the Tjekker, since the incursion of these tribes into Palestine was to some extent successful and permanent. A narrative dating from about a century later [after year 8 of the reign of Ramessēs III] describes the Tjekker[3] as sea pirates occupying the port of Dōr, but nothing more is known of them or the name they bore. The Peleset,[4] on the other hand, are the Philistines who were later alternately conquerors of and conquered by the Israelites, who gave their name to Palestine and whom our modern parlance still remembers in an unfairly depreciatory way; there was a tradition that they came from Caphtor or Crete, but this may have been only a stage in their migratory wanderings; in the Medînet Habu reliefs both they and the Tjekker have feathered head-dresses and round shields.
Alan Henderson Gardiner in The Egyptians: An Introduction, (London, England: The Folio Society, 1999), p. 276. First published as Egypt of the Pharaohs: An Introduction, (Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1961).


[2] Alan Henderson Gardiner, Ancient Egyptian Onomastica, Volume 1, (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1947), p. 124*ff; but see Oliver Robert Gurney, The Hittites, (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1952), p. 43f.
[3] Ibid., p. 199*f.
[4] Ibid., p. 200*ff.

Alan Henderson Gardiner Posted on behalf of on Friday, July 23rd, 2010 under Quotations.

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