Weshesh (W-s-s)

The Weshesh were part of a combined force of Sea Peoples which attacked Egypt during the reign of Ramesses III. The Medinet Habu inscription attested "They were coming forward toward Egypt, while the flame was prepared before them. Their confederation was the Peleset, Tjeker, Shekelesh, Denyen and Weshesh, lands united. They laid their hands upon the land as far as the circuit of the earth, their hearts confident and trusting: Our plans will succeed!..."The Sea peoples did not learn any lessons from this defeat, as they repeated their mistake in the Year 8 with a similar result. The campaign is recorded more extensively on the inner northwest panel of the first court. It is possible but not generally believed that the dates are only those of the inscriptions and both refer to the same campaign. In Ramesses' Year 8, the Nine Bows appear again as a "conspiracy in their isles." This time they are revealed unquestionably as sea peoples: the Peleset, Tjeker, Shekelesh, Denyen and Weshesh, which are classified as "foreign countries" in the inscription. They camped in Amor and sent a fleet to the Nile. The campaign of the Year 12 is attested by the Sudstele found on the south side of the temple. It mentions the Tjeker, Peleset, Denyen, Weshesh and Shekelesh. Furthermore the Weshesh together other sea peoples are mentioned in the Papyrus Harris I which suggests a wider campaign against the sea peoples, but does not mention the date. In it the persona of Ramesses III says: "I slew the Denyen in their isles and burned the Tjeker and Peleset...", implying a maritime raid of his own. He also captured some Sherden and Weshesh of the sea and settled them in Egypt. As he is called the "Ruler of Nine Bows" in the relief of the east side, these events probably happened in Year 8; i.e., his majesty would have used the victorious fleet for some punitive expeditions elsewhere in the Mediterranean. Little is known about the Weshesh, though even here there is a tenuous link to Troy. Some have theorized that they, like the Denyen, became part of the Israelite confederacy (as the tribe of Asher). The Tribe of Asher is one of the tribes of Israel.