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Ramses III Wars With Sea People

Many people would probably never associate the Egyptians as a culture that relied on a Navy as a part of their military forces. One reason for this has to do with the fact that Egypt is usually associated with the desert and barren lands. Egyptian sea men were rated as some of the poorest sailors in the Mesopotamian region.

The truth is that Egypt did have a fairly decent naval force that was used for military and economic activities. In fact, the war with the Sea Peoples occurred around 1100 BC which is where it is found on the Bible Timeline with World History. During the reign of Ramses III, the Middle East was in an upheaval and many kingdoms were going through significant changes.

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Relief from the Sanctuary of Khonsu Temple depicting Ramesses III

It was around 1100 B.C., and the Libyans were starting to revolt once again. Added to this problem was the fact that there were a lot of unhappy people near the Delta region of Egypt who was also ready to revolt. Many of them were losing their homes because of invading foreign culture known as the sea peoples. Egypt put down the Libyan revolt, and Ramses turned his attention toward the sea people.

These individuals were marching hard against Egypt to destroy the empire. They had conquered and beaten many armies all over the Middle East and historians claimed that they had managed to wipe out the Hittites. The sea people were now sending a large force over land and by sea to complete the destruction of Egypt. Ramses had placed his navy at the mouth of the Nile within the Delta region. As the sea peoples tried to enter into the Nile from Mesopotamia they met a hail of arrows from archers posted on ships and land. They also had to encounter the Egyptian Navy, who used their ships to pull enemy vessels into their clutches. Once they pulled the boats close to their own, the Egyptian sailors bordered the enemy ships and killed its sailors in hand to hand combat.

Once the sea peoples were defeated, they were made subjects to Ramses III. Ramses battles with the sea peoples weakened the kingdom and to make matters worse one of his wives, known as Tiye, had participated in a plot to kill him so she could place her son on the throne. Ultimately she accomplished her objective even though she was killed for being a part of this scheme. Even though  Ramses had used Egypt’s naval forces to hold back the invaders their forces would not have been able to withstand repeated assaults.

Eventually, Ramses had to let go of many Asian territories before he died. He could no longer afford to keep garrisons in those lands, and he didn’t have the manpower to keep effectively control. After Ramses III death, Egypt officially went into decline. The leaders could no longer govern their country, and the land began to be dominated by other empires that were on the rise. Ramses naval battles were not that extensive, but the battles that he did fight were of important. They allowed the Empire of Egypt a few more years of glory before it finally came to an end.