"Museo dei dolmen" (Dolmen Museum) is a virtual museum of Mediterranean and Western Europe prehistory and early history, set up and directed by Federico Bardanzellu.


Dolmen Museum     


Prehistory and Early History of the Mediterranean and Western Europe


Museo dei Dolmen


Movements of peoples in Mediterranean Sea between Bronze and Iron Age


1. Sea Peoples, who were they?  > Read more  

2. Iconography of the warriors > Read more

3. The Bronze Age collapse > Read more

4. Origin area of the Sea Peoples  > Read more

5. Sea Peoples in Syro-Palestinian Levant > Read more


6. Doric invasion in Greece  


                 Greek dialects


Heracles and his child  Telephus


Excavation of Pylos Royal          Palace


Heracles slaying Nemean lion


            Phoenician Melqart



       Greece of the twelfth century BC was invested by a people commonly known as the Dorians, in possession of weapons of iron.

  When , in the eighth century, the Helladic peninsula and the Aegean area come from the obscurantism of the Middle Ages before its time, the Dorians are stabilized in the central-southern Peloponnese, Crete, Rhodes , and other islands of the Aegean Sea, and a part of the Anatolian coast (the " Doris").

  They speak a dialect variant of the Greek language.

  Who were the Dorians and where they came from, is the father of all historical and archaeological riddles of ancient Greece.




According to the testimony of Herodotus and Thucydides, the Dorians were the "Heraclides ", ie the Asian descendants of Heracles, that circa 1100 BC took possession of the Peloponnese, and in particular of Laconia and Messinia, under the pretext of kinship between the greek hero and the royal house of Argos. Eratosthenes of Cyrene, is even more precise: the "return of the Heraclides" would take place eighty years after the Trojan War , ie in 1104 BC.

  Most modern archaeologists, however , considers that the invaders came from the north of Greece, namely from the Balkan-Danubian; would indicate the introduction of the rite of incineration, common to the "Urnfield culture" of the Bronze Age in Central Europe.

  This hypothesis, however, is difficult to reconcile with the linguistic data: if - as it appears logical and supported by the majority of scholars - the Dorians came from outside of Greece, why, in historical times, they would speak a dialect of greek? Sporadic examples of burials and cremations, then, were already present in the Final Bronze Age and it is not at all sure that its generalization in the Iron Age is due to Doric populations .

  f Dorians coming - on the basis that this theory - from the inside of the Balkan Peninsula, should not have been in possession of navigation technical knowledge. It 'strange, then, that the first Greek colonization in the West has been mainly Doric (foundations of Taranto, Syracuse, etc.).







  More recently seems to be spreading among archaeologists another theory: Dorians were  Mycenaean serfs who would take power after the  economic and political collapse on thirteenth century, which is why they would speak a language of the same family of the other Greeks.

  The seizure of power by the lower classes, however, is not archaeologically documented: at Mycenae, on the contrary, the destruction of part of the settlement (1250 BC) seems to precede that of the "palace" itself (1100 BC); it is also to be demonstrated differentiation of language, albeit only dialect but with ethnic characterizations, among the servile classes and the aristocracy of Mycenaean Greece.



 An archaeologist who gives a different answer is the British John Chadwick, ie the closest collaborator of the deciphered Mycenaean writing,  Michael Ventris.

  After participating in the excavation of the Anaktoron (royal palace) of Pylos, Chadwick has publicly argued that there are consistent indications that the invaders came from the sea and that the Sea Peoples were the main culprits.



 In fact, the hypothesis that some Sea Peoples and, mainly, greek speakers - that is, the Teucers , the Danaans  and perhaps also part of the Pelasgians/Philistines - can be identified with the Dorians, solves many of the alleged puzzles:

• It resolves, in fact, the linguistic data: Teucers and Danaans were greek-speaking, and thus introduced in the countries they conquered a language that was different from the "native" one only for certain dialect aspects;

• It explains the name of Dorians, attributed to the invaders, as they come, in all probability, from the Palestinian port of Dor, the common Palestine outlet to sea of Teucers, Danaans and probably also Pelasgians /Philistines;

• It explains the identification with Heraclides , having the Sea Peoples introduced in Phoenicia the cult of the Mycenaean hero Erakles, then transformed into the Phoenician deity Melqart;

It explains why the first Greek western colonization has been mainly Doric: descending from the Sea Peoples these warlike population were definitely possessing appropriate knowledge navigation techniques;

It explains, finally, the name taken from the region of Achaia, since repopulated by the Achaeans of the south-central Peloponnese, fleeing in face of Dorians.

  The Sea Peoples bequeathed their knowledge of navigation techniques to the peoples of Syro-Palestinian corridor.

  After a century/a century and a half in close contact with the Sea Peoples, the inhabitants of Canaan were transformed by breeders and experienced sailors, such as "Phoenicians" and began to compete or even precede the Greeks in the domination of the seas and in the colonization of the West.


 7. Sea Peoples in Sardinia and Corsica > Read more

8. Sea Peoples in Sicily and the Italian peninsula > Read more

9. The Iron Age > Read more

10. Phoenicians beyond Melqart Pillars > Read more

Credits - Text by  Federico Bardanzellu  2013      facebook