‘Šrdn from the Sea’: The Arrival, Integration, and Acculturation of a ‘Sea People’
Jeffrey P. Emanuel Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 5:1 (March 2013): 14-27.
Despite a broad temporal presence in Egyptian records, the association of the Sherden with another ‘Sea Peoples’ group – the better known and archaeologically-attested Philistines – has led to several assumptions about this people, their culture, and the role they played in the various societies of which they may have been a part. This article separates the Sherden from the Aegean migration and greater ‘Sea Peoples’ phenomenon of the Late Bronze – Early Iron Age transition and focuses on the aspect of this people for which we have the best evidence: their role in Egyptian society. Once those layers have been peeled away, a close reading of the extant literary and pictorial evidence from the New Kingdom and beyond reveals the evolving role of the Sherden in Egypt, from adversarial origin, through a phase of combined military cooperation and social exclusion, to a final, multigenerational period marked by rapid and enduring acculturation and assimilation.