View Full Version : The Sea People and the Vogelbarke of Medinet Habu

Sunday, November 27th, 2005, 07:50 PM
Interesting read about the Vogelbarke, the Sea People and developments in the Aegean Sea area:

http://www.fortunecity.es/imaginapoder/artes/154/E21_Ramses_III_temple_de_Medinet_Habu.jp g


The Vogelbarke of Medinet Habu. (December 2003)
Kristin Romey, A.B., Vassar College
Chair of Advisory Committee: Dr. Shelley Wachsmann
The Sea Peoples are generally assumed to be a loose confederation of clans that
first appeared in the historical record in the 14th century B.C.E. Over a century of
scholarship has puzzled over whether they were responsible for the collapse of several
Late Bronze Age civilizations or simply one of several catalysts that put that collapse in
motion. Many attempts have also been made to determine the origins of the various
groups of Sea Peoples using textual and iconographic evidence, as well as the material culture of the Sea Peoples identified in Cyprus and the Levant. This material culture is
characterized foremost by locally made Mycenaean-style pottery; as such, a considerable
Aegean or Mycenaean presence has been argued in the multi-ethnic Sea Peoples
The most important visual record that survives of the Sea People documents a
land and sea battle against the forces of Ramesses III in the early 12th century B.C.E. and
is recorded on the walls of the pharaoh’s mortuary temple at Medinet Habu. In 1964 a connection was first proposed between the distinctive ships of the Sea Peoples in the
Medinet Habu naval battle relief, with their high, angular stem- and stern- posts topped
with outward-facing water-bird heads, and the vogelbarke, or bird-boat, of Late Bronze
Age Central European religious iconography. Too little is still understood of both the
vogelbarke tradition and the maritime abilities of Bronze Age Central European
populations to conclusively state at this time that a vogelbarke-like vessel could have
plied the waters of the eastern Mediterranean during the Late Bronze Age. However,
additional archaeological evidence suggests a Central European mercenary presence in
Mycenaean Greece during the period of Sea Peoples activity, as well as Central
European participation in the multi-ethnic coalition reflected particularly in the material culture of the Sea Peoples identified in Cyprus. This evidence strengthens the possibility
that the vogelbarke-like vessel some scholars claim to see at Medinet Habu is indeed not a “duck out of water.”