The Philistines are often claimed as having been one of the Sea Peoples described in the Egyptian records and frequently linked with the Peleset, one of the alliance. The idea seems to have originated with Jean-François Champollion, the renowned Egyptologist, who was probably the first to identify the Philistines with the Sea Peoples. His views had general acceptance, but the inevitable dissenting voices have made this is another controversial area for historians and archaeologists to squabble over.
Trude (1922-2016) & Moshe Dothan (1919-1999) in their People of the Sea identify the Philistines as part of the ‘Aegean Sea Peoples’, but with regard to the Shardana, they paint a more complex picture, noting that they were one of the Sea Peoples who settled on the coast of Caanan[p.214]. . However, it seems that they were not only part of the attack on Egypt, but at different times performed as mercenaries[p.213] for the Egyptians!
*In July 2019, a report was published offering DNA evidence that the Philistines had come from Europe(a).*
Even more contentious are the views of Jürgen Spanuth who claimed that what he calls the North Sea Peoples took control of what had been the coastal land of what was to become Lebanon and Palestine and were then known as the Philistines. He claimed that these Philistines later integrated with the Caananites to become the highly successful Phoenicians.
The Shardana (or Sherden) is usually accepted as another name for one of the groups that comprised the maritime alliance of Sea Peoples. The earliest reference to the Shardana is in the Amarna Letters (1350 BC). However, they are also recorded as mercenaries in the Egyptian army. Since a number of writers have linked the Sea Peoples with the Atlanteans, the Shardana may be legitimately included in any comprehensive search for the truth of the Atlantis story.
The Shardana do appear to have a more complicated history than we are initially led to believe. They are first mentioned in the Amarna Letters (14th century BC.) where they are depicted as part of an Egyptian garrison, after that, some of them were part of the personal guard of Rameses II, later still they are listed as part of the Sea Peoples. A subsequent reference describes them occupying part of Phoenicia.
They are generally identified with the ancient Sardinians, who were the builders of the Nuraghi. Leonardo Melis, a Sardinian, has written extensively on the subject. Links have also been proposed between the Shardana and the lost tribe of Dan and even the Tuatha De Danaan who invaded Ireland.
Trude & Moshe Dothan in their People of the Sea identify the Shardana as part of the ‘Aegean Sea Peoples’, who settled on the coast of Caanan[p.214]. They also note that “There was as well linguistic and archaeological evidence connecting them with the island of Sardinia, where Mycenaean IIIC:1b pottery was found. Sardinia may have been either their original homeland or, more probably, one of their final points of settlement.”
D’Amato & Salimbeti concluded that ” on the basis of the combined evidence from Corsica and Sardinia, it is difficult to conclude with any confidence if the Sherden originated from or later moved to this part of the Mediterranean.” They find the second theory “more reasonable.”[1152.17]
*David Rohl has suggested that the Shardana had originated in Sardis in Anatolia, but “ended up settling in the western Mediterranean, first on the Italian coastal plain west of the Apennines and then in Sardinia – which is, of course, named after them – and Corsica. Their name was clearly pronounced ‘Shardana.'” [229.410]*
DNA testing has shown links between Sardinia and Anatolia in Turkey. The late Philip Coppens also noted that the Sardinians are genetically different to their neighbours on Corsica and the mainland of Europe and suggested an Eastern Mediterranean origin for them.(a)
Giovanni Ugas an archaeologist at the University of Cagliari has written extensively on the subject of the Shardana, who he claims were the builders of the nuraghi. Ugas has also touched on the subject of Atlantis, which he locates in northwest Africa(b), across Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
Obviously further research is required to try to establish with greater certainty the exact origins of the Shardana and their links, if any, with Sardinia and/or Atlantis.
(a) (See: Archive 2131)