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Where did the Libyans live?

 
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:33 am    Post subject: Where did the Libyans live? Reply with quote

No not a trick question Very Happy

The Libyans are mentioned as one of the traditional enemies of the egyptians. They were named Tjehenu of Tjemehu. And later maybe the Meshwesh?

From what I have read though, the area to the west of Egypt was a desert, and sometimes these Libyans are called desert dwellers? How did they create a power basis to atttack the egyptians though? Were there large Libyan cities and / or settlements that would have been their home base? I can't find much info about them.
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I understand it the Libyans had been an ongoing problem to the Egyptians from the very beginning, though until the New Kingdom they were usually little more than a nuisance. What we call "the Libyans" was actually a collection of semi-nomadic tribes to the west, one of which was the Tjehenu, which you mentioned. They were constantly at Egypt's northwestern borders. What's interesting is that the Egyptians depicted them as light-skinned and sometimes even blue-eyed.

Then, about the time of Seti I, the Meshwesh and Libu (the latter from whom we get the word "Libya") settled where the Tjehenu had lived. It wasn't a big deal to hold them back until the reign of Merenptah, when the Meshwesh and Libu and numerous other tribes allied with the Sea Peoples, attempted an invasion. They failed that time. But these peoples desired the fertile lands of the Delta and kept moving farther and farther east.

The more Egypt weakened internally, the less able its government and military were to hold back these early Libyans. It didn't help that the thousands of prisoners taken years earlier by Merenptah settled in Egypt and became powerful themselves because of the collapse of the government at the end of the New Kingdom.

I think of them kind of how historians look at the Hyksos. It was not some massive invasion force but a building migration of foreign peoples who took control when the Egyptians themselves weakened.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That makes more sense. If they moved into Egypt over the years, then they took over egypt from a more internal position.

I think that all the other enemies had a country with large cities, so that you can point to a place where they came from.

It seems that the Libyans then were more desert dwellers. I did find a page about expeditions into the Libyan desert
They talk about trails into the desert, and some inscriptions. No mention of cities however.
That site is what made me wonder.

These stone circles are interesting:


from: http://www.fjexpeditions.com/frameset/Bagsc.htm

It seems that the Phoenicians established Tripoli in ca 700 BC.
There are supposedly neolithic structures present throughout the land.
I wonder if they just haven't found the pharaonic time places yet.
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