Manacled Philistine prisoners. In this wall relief from Ramesses III’s mortuary palace at Medinet Habu, Philistines, whom Rameses has just defeated, are shown being led into captivity. This relief clearly depicts the distinctive Philistine dress—a short paneled kilt with wide hem and tassels. The battle headdress is also a Philistine trademark. Since these prisoners have been stripped of their armor, we do not see the ribbed corselets visible in the naval battle reliefs.
The hieroglyphic inscription over the prisoners’ heads reads: “The vanquished Peleset [Philistines] say: ‘Give us the breath of our nostrils, O King, Son of Amon.’” Other inscriptions at Medinet Habu relate that Ramesses III defeated the Sea People invaders in the eighth year of his reign, c. 1190 B.C. “Those who entered the river mouths were like birds ensnared in the net.” Ramesses eventually allowed the Sea Peoples, including the Philistines, to settle on the southern coastal plain of Palestine.