Erich Lessing

“They are capsized and overwhelmed…Their weapons are scattered upon the sea,” boasts the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses III (c. 1182‒1151 B.C.E.) in a hieroglyphic inscription in his mortuary temple at Medinet Habu, on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes.

Accompanying the temple’s inscriptions are reliefs showing the Egyptians defeating the Sea Peoples, who arrived in the eastern Mediterranean from the Aegean. One of these peoples were the Philistines; the typical triangular headdress of the Philistine warrior shown here is also worn by sailors in the next relief, which shows the Egyptian navy overwhelming Philistine ships.