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Mira and the Sea Peoples
Topic Started: Dec 19 2017, 10:26 PM (370 Views)
George Nicolaides
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An inscription allegedly showing that the Anatolian kingdom of Mira led the Sea Peoples Confederation that decimated the Near East the the end of the Bronze Age is discussed in this news article,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4963386/3-200-year-old-slab-tells-Trojan-prince-Sea-People.html

and more fully in the Journal Talanta,

http://www.talanta.nl/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/TAL-50-Zangger-Woudhuizen-7-XII-17.pdf

The inscription has yet to be fully authenticated. Has anyone heard of this?

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Matthew Amt
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Yeah, that's been going around, and I'm dubious at best. According to what I've read, the whole story is really shaky. And just what it supposedly says is the very definition of "too good to be true"--if you were to fantasize about the PERFECT archeological find to PROVE all the theories about the Trojan War and Homeric heroes and "Sea People", this would be it. It's been my experience that archeology like that just doesn't happen.

Matthew
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Dan Howard
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This is starting to look like a fake. It was written by someone who had a very poor understanding of the language.
Edited by Dan Howard, Dec 21 2017, 12:12 AM.
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Brock H
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The original inscription was destroyed, working off copies, all the original investigators have died--those are things that raise red flags. I'd say its fake unless and until overwhelming evidence otherwise is found.
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R. P. Samulka
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Hello again everyone. I guess it's time for my decennial comment on this forum. I was one of the original members back in the beginning but I think that in all this time I've only ever sent one or two comments in. I've been off the forum for some months due to some computer problems, but imagine my surprise when I came back on a few days ago to discover that there was a comment stream about a paper that I had just downloaded and had been studying for only a day or so.

I have to say I am taking a contrary point to what has been said so far in this comment stream. I am not sure if this translation being proposed is accurate, or if the original inscription is authentic, but I am not willing to dismiss it out of hand. About the same time many years ago as when I first joined this forum I also was following a web site about Arzawa (no longer extent apparently). I found that site to be quite interesting and it was one of the first things that got me interested in matters Luvian. On that web site there was once a brief discussion about an inscription that the author of the site had heard about that was being researched by an archaeologist that was said to have a great deal of information about the history of Western Anatolia in the Bronze Age. This data was different from what had been known up until that point and apparently more extensive in scope. But the author said that to his knowledge the archaeologist who had been studying this inscription had passed away and no one was aware of where his data was. He seemed to view this is a great loss to knowledge of the region, and despaired of anyone ever finding the data again. I wonder if this inscription we are now discussing in the forum might be the basis of what was said.

I have to admit my knowledge of Luvian hieroglyphics is minimal. I have a little more knowledge of Hittite, but still not a lot. As a result I'm not willing to render an opinion on either the inscription or the translation that has been offered. But on the other hand I am not willing to completely dismiss what has been interpreted by the translators. If this inscription is indeed accurate then it has only taken 139 years to get it translated. I know some of you would like to have either confirmation of the accuracy of the inscription or more faith in the accuracy of the translation, or even some degree of proof as to the actual validity of the inscription. I am not sure that at the glacial pace that knowledge of this inscription seems to be proceeding at that any of us will even be alive by the time a definitive answer can be found.

The way I view it is that we should tentatively accept, for now, that the inscription may be authentic. It will be difficult to prove this one way or the other, and it is unlikely hat anyone will try to prove it one way or the other anytime soon.

As to the accuracy of the translation the way I see it there are three basic options. The first is that they did a great job and their translation is pretty close to being completely accurate. I don't view this as being the most likely option, but as I've already said my knowledge of the language being translated is minimal so I'm not willing to completely dismiss this possibility. The second possibility is that the translation is at least partially correct, which is something I'm somewhat more willing to accept than the first possibility. If this is correct then at the very least we can get at least a few more names of individuals, names of cities and regions, and possibly even a little historical data. The third possibility is that it is a terrible translation of little or no use to anyone. I actually view this as unlikely, possibly even more unlikely than the first option. From what I see of the translation it seems as if the translators are too competent for this third option to be very likely.

One reason I am somewhat hopeful about this inscription and the translation having at least some validity is that up till now we have had to view the history of the Bronze Age in Anatolia almost entirely from the viewpoint of only a single political entity, namely the Hittites. I do find some aspects of the translation and the history that it seems to tell somewhat doubtful, but I have to wonder if this is because for over a century we have been told this same history from another viewpoint, and that since we have not had a second valid viewpoint to look at the historical data from we may now be biased in our judgment. Imagine what our knowledge of the Hittites would be now if no one had ever found the various clay tablets and other inscriptions in the Hittite Empire and translated them, and as a result all of our knowledge of the Hittites was only derived from Temple carvings in Egypt and mentions in the Old Testament.
Edited by R. P. Samulka, Jan 1 2018, 05:57 AM.
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George Nicolaides
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It is not looking good for this document's authenticity

https://luwianstudies.org/james-mellaart-forged-documents-throughout-life/

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Dan Howard
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For years there has been a growing body of work suggesting that the initial theories about the so-called "Sea People" were nonsense. The appearance of a single document that counters all those arguments and contains exactly the right evidence to corroborate those nonsense theories is pretty suspicious.
Edited by Dan Howard, Mar 14 2018, 01:06 AM.
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Matthew Amt
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A known con artist offers you proof of everything you want to believe. Do you *really* want to go with the assumption that it's true until proven false?

Matthew
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R. P. Samulka
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Hi, it's me again. Wow... 2 posts from me in less than 3 months. I was just about to post here with an update a few minutes ago after having no response to my initial post in 2 months, only to finally see some responses when I logged in. I wish to say that I didn't necessarily believe the inscription, only that I was trying to keep an open mind for a while until more data came in. I didn't expect any more data about the inscription so soon, and the paper by Zangger and Woudhuizen didn't seem overly critical. But I have been keeping an eye out for more information, which is why I logged on to post again. The inscription did seem a little too good, which is why I thought the translation being completely accurate was unlikely. I was putting more faith in Z & W and their translation skills, and I did not think Mellaart would have forged an inscription, having some measure of respect for him because of Catal Huyuk.

However, what respect I had for James Mellaart seems to have been misplaced. There is another article I came across just a little while ago that seems to indicate the whole inscription was phony, and since the source of this article is Zangger I have to give it full credence. A pity, since as I said it would be nice to have some non-Hittite sources about Anatolian Bronze Age history. The other article is from a site called Live Science:

https://www.livescience.com/61989-famed-archaeologist-created-fakes.html
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