A collective term referring to various maritime groups in the eastern Mediterranean. Some were probably of Aegean origin, some possibly central European warriors recruited as mercenaries by Mycenaean princes during a period of great political turmoil in the Mediterranean during the period from the mid 13th century bc through to the late 12th century bc. They seem to have been responsible for the destruction of cities such as Ugarit and Alalakh. Historical records in Egypt refer to raiders who were repulsed in the late 13th century bc by the pharaoh Merneptah, and again in the early 12th century by Ramesses III. See also Philistines.
Subjects: Archaeology — Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE).