sea People

Sea People
Around 1300 BC, Troy had fallen, and a horde, possibly of Indo-European origin, displaced by unknown causes, began to make its way across the Mediterranean. Known as the Sea People, they travelled with their belongings, including oxes and carts, and their families looking for new lands to conquer. Heavily armed, their warriors wore helmets with two curved horns or a plume of feathers. They sacked and destroyed Mycenae, provoked the fall of the Hittite Empire and even threatened the might of Egypt who finally sent its elite troops under the command of Rameses III to drive them off in 1170 BC.

Some settled in Palestine and became known to history as the Philistines of Old Testament fame. They also colonised Sardinia, which adopted the name of one of their tribes, the Shardana. And some are thought to have pressed on westwards until they reached the Balearic Islands although this is still debated by historians. We do not know if they had a written language. Word endings such as utx and atx are thought to come from them.

They were very conservative. Having arrived, they went no further (like so many modern visitors to the Island!). Until Phoenician traders and sailors appeared six centuries later, they lived in isolation from the world, and it was only when the Romans became incensed by their piracy that the Island was invaded and occupied.

However, even then they continued in their own ways and coexisted with the invader. Little changed with the invasions of the Vandals and the Byzantines. Not even the arrival of the Moors in 903 seems to have made much difference and it was only after the Catalan Conquest when King Jaume I brought over new colonists, expelling, enslaving and assimilating the local population that the chain going back to the Trojan War was broken.

Talayot Era. I. / Talayot Era. II.