Terry Smith

Sea Peoples calling card. At about the same time as the naval battle depicted in the Medinet Habu relief was taking place, a new type of pottery made its debut in southwestern Canaan. Technically known as Mycenaean IIIC:1b or simply as monochrome pottery, it was made of local clays but followed closely the style of Aegean pottery of the same period. The name monochrome indicates that the pottery was decorated with a single color, usually red or black against a background. Monochrome pottery soon evolved into bichrome pottery (that is, decorated with two colors), the standard Philistine pottery for two centuries thereafter.

Monochrome pottery appears at Canaanite sites hand in hand with clear evidence of destruction at those sites. The conclusion is clear: The Sea Peoples arrived in Canaan early in the 12th century B.C., destroyed many formerly Egyptian settlements there and immediately began to settle into their newly conquered habitations—the first signs of which were the pottery styles they had brought with them from their Aegean homelands.