This book explores the changes in the Mediterranean during the late 13th and early 12th centuries BCE. This was an exciting time when well established city states and cultures fell, and the Iron Age arose. The mysterious Sea Peoples were at the center of many of these changes.
I have long been fascinated by the Sea Peoples and will probably go on being fascinated by them because they will always remain something of a mystery. This book does an excellent job of giving an over view of what is known and what is guessed (in an educated fashion) about the Sea Peoples. Indeed, they were a collection of tribes and peoples and they came in more than one wave. Sometimes, some of them hired out as mercenaries and occasionally they fought on both sides of the same battle. Their origins are still in dispute, however descendants of some of the tribes that eventually settled have been verified through linguistical and archaeological analysis.
The most fascinating thing I learned was that these invaders brought iron weapons and whole new way of fighting with them. These two things revolutionized the whole area over a short amount of time. For instance, some well established civilizations, like Egypt, were still battling with chariots. Chariots take a lot of care and maintenance, not just for the wheeled contraption but also for the horses. Plus they also need a flat plain on which to be effective. The Sea Peoples with their iron age weapons and advanced fighting techniques, put the charioteers to shame.
If you haven’t read extensively on the Sea Peoples or simply want a refresher, then this is an excellent source. It’s a great lunch time break, feeding the mind while you feed your body.
The Narration: Jack Chekijian did a great job with this book. He came off as scholarly without being dry or stuffy. Plus there are several difficult to pronounce tribal names and personal names in this book – Chekijian nailed them all.