Unrivaled discovery to unravel origins of notorious and enigmatic peoples of the Hebrew Bible

Outside the walls of ancient Ashkelon, a major city on the southern coast of Israel, of the Philistines between the 12th and 7th centuries B.C.E., an unprecedented find may finally reveal the origins of one of the Hebrew Bible’s greatest villains.


Non-Semitic people of southern Palestine in ancient times, came into conflict with the Israelites during the 12th and 11th centuries bce. The Philistines, from whom the country of Palestine took its name, were one of the Sea Peoples who, according to the Bible, came from Crete and settled the southern coastal plain of Canaan in the 12th century bce.

File:Philistine ship of war.jpg

A relief in the mortuary temple of pharaoh Ramses III depicts his battle against the Sea Peoples around 1180 B.C. and records the names of several of the tribes, among them the Peleset, who are featured with distinctive headgear and kilts. => A Philistine Ship of War. – A Philistine Ship of War. – Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

At the time of the Judges the Philistines had a sophisticated culture. Their control of iron supplies and their tight political organization of cities made them a rival of the people of Israel for centuries. Among their ranks were the devious Delilah, who robbed Samson of his strength by cutting his hair, and the giant Goliath, who made King Saul’s troops tremble in their tents until a young man named David took him down with a slingshot.

According to rabbinic sources the Philistines of Genesis were different people from the Philistines of the Deuteronomistic history books. The latter describe the land of the Philistines as a pentapolis in southwestern Levant comprising the five city-states of Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, and Gath, from Wadi Gaza (HaBesor Stream) in the south to the Yarqon River in the north. This description portrays them at one period of time as among the Kingdom of Israel‘s most dangerous enemies. {Fahlbusch & Bromiley 2005, “Philistines”, p. 185.} But according to Biblblical passages the Philistines are also connected to other biblical groups such as Caphtorim and the Cherethites and Pelethites, which have both been identified with Crete and which has lead to the tradition of an Aegean origin, where the first high civilization on European soil could be found, although this theory has been disputed.

In 2016, there was discovered a huge Philistine cemetery. Now, the discovery of this cemetery containing more than 211 individuals and dated from the 11th to 8th centuries bce will give archaeologists the opportunity to answer critical questions regarding the origin of the Philistines and how they eventually assimilated into the local culture.

File:Philistine captives at Medinet Habu.jpg

Procession of Philistine Captives At Medinet-habu. – G. Maspero – ed. A.H. Sayce – trad. M.L. McClure, History of Egypt Chaldea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, VI.C, London, 1903-1904. – Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.

At first it was thought those “uncircumcised” sea-people, wreaked havoc across the eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Late Bronze Age, in the 13th and 12th centuries  bce,  buried their dead in the sea, like the Vikings, because no graves were found. The complexity of those early civilizations was not suspected before the excavations of archaeologists in the late 19th century.

Associate Professor of Mediterranean Archaeology, Department of Maritime Civilizations, University of Haifa, Assaf Yasur-Landau, says

“Finding the Philistine cemetery is fantastic because there are so many questions regarding their genetic origins and their interconnections with other cultures.”

This discovery of human remains from indisputably Philistine sites are available now for researchers to study. The DNA found on the remains may help to find where they came from. every element found at the site was registered but also digitally mapped so that a 3D recreation could be created of the burial site.

The probe in Grid 51

July 13, 2016: the Iron I, 11th century, in the Grid 51 probe was reached. They hope to reach Phase 21, the Late Bronze Age, by the end of day tomorrow.

During a construction survey in the early 1980s the Leon Levy Expedition team uncovered the Philistine burials. The investigation of the cemetery continued up through the project’s final excavation season, which ended on July 8 of this year with the recovery of the remains of more than 211 individuals.

The excavations revealed a burial practice that is very different from that of the earlier Canaanites or the neighbouring Judeans. Instead of laying a body in a chamber, then collecting the bones a year later and moving them elsewhere (a “secondary” burial), the individuals buried in the Ashkelon cemetery were buried individually in pits or collectively in tombs and never moved again. A few cremation burials were also identified.

Unlike the Egyptians, the Philistines deposited very few grave goods with each individual. Some were adorned with a few pieces of jewellery, while others were buried with a small set of ceramics or a tiny juglet that may have once contained perfume.

The remains of the very few children found in the cemetery were deliberately buried under a “blanket” of broken pottery pieces. The archaeologists say that it is too early to determine whether these burial practices have concrete ties to cultures in the Aegean. {Discovery of Philistine Cemetery May Solve Biblical Mystery}




Please do find more reading and photographic material on this subject:


Preceding article: Royal seal of King Hezekiah found near southern part of the wall surrounding Jerusalem’s Old City


Additional reading:

  1. Objects of God’s final wrath
  2. Gaza in Bible Prophecy
  3. Ancient Goliaths Discovered In Israel
  4. Hamas the modern Philistines


Further reading

  1. New Frontiers of the Bronze Age Collapse (Pt. 2/3)
  2. Assyrians on the Mediterranean Coast
  3. Maritime trade in the Eastern Mediterranean under Assyrian rule
  4. A Lingering Hope
  5. Philistine Cemetery at Ashkelon
  6. Philistine Cemetery Found at Ashkelon
  7. Philistines were more sophisticated than given credit for, say archaeologists
  8. 1510-1512 Dale Manor – Tel Beth Shemesh
  9. 1513 Remembering Yoram Tsafrir
  10. Field Study: Shephelah, Negev and the Dead Sea
  11. Philistines from the North?
  12. Philistines introduced new plants to the coastal plain
  13. Archeologists Have Uncovered The Gates Of Gath, Where Goliath Lived
  14. Iron Age Gate and Fortifications Uncovered at Philistine Gath
  15. Archaeologists Uncover Gate to Biblical City Gath, Home of Philistine Goliath
  16. Archaeologists Uncover Gate to Biblical City Gath, Home of Philistine Goliath
  17. Archaeologists Unearth Another Impressive Biblical Find
  18. Goliath Gates: Archaeologists Uncover Entrance to Famous Biblical City of Gath
  19. Goliath Gates: Entrance to Famous Biblical Metropolis Uncovered
  20. Jerusalem: ‘ Cradle of History at the Beginning the United Kingdom at the End ‘
  21. Bar-Ilan U. archaeologists uncover entrance gate and fortification of Biblical city
  22. Archaeologists Find Entrance Gate to Goliath’s Hometown
  23. ‘Goliath gates’ discovery
  24. Biblical City of Gath, Hometown of Goliath, Discovered
  25. Philistines!
  26. Hiding in Fear
  27. Saved by the Bell!
  28. May 27 Samson: The Lord, the Man, and the Myth
  29. Divine Mathematics
  30. Guided by God
  31. Bible Stories:David’s Courage
  32. Looking for Help in the Wrong Place
  33. Stuck in the Middle
  34. Taunting the Enemy
  35. Balsam Tree, Shaking in Fear
  36. Looking for a Champion
  37. February 21 @ Judges 12-16
  38. Catching The Foxes
  39. Our foes are monsters!
  40. An Atheist Reads The 1st Book Of Samuel: How Do You Make A King?
  41. 3,ooo men of Judah ask Samson to go
  42. Samson return’s for his wife, surprise!
  43. Samson’s Riddle
  44. The Battle of Jawbone Hill [Judges 15]
  45. Yahweh takes matters into his own hands: God’s victory over the Philistines. 1 Samuel 5-6:11
  46. March 28 @ I Samuel 11-15
  47. 1 Samuel 23-31: Cat and mouse games
  48. Samson, The Mighty
  49. Samson and Delilah (the Israelite Woman)
  50. Samson and Delilah: A Tale of Desire and Deceit
  51. Delilah: Treacherous Beauty by Angela Hunt
  52. You are not able
  53. Goliath’s 23andMe results forthcoming
  54. The Woman of Endor
  55. verses Finally, they cried out to the Lord for help, saying, “We have sinned against you because we have abandoned you as our God and have served the images of Baal.”
  56. Rescued – a battle between Israel and the Philistines
  57. The Bible | Part 9.4
  58. The Bible | Part 9.6
  59. The Bible | Part 10.1
  60. Strong and Foolish
  61. An Amazing Victory
  62. Going Up to the High Places
  63. Heart and Soul
  64. Palestine: 68 years of Misinformation

2 thoughts on “Unrivaled discovery to unravel origins of notorious and enigmatic peoples of the Hebrew Bible

  1. Pingback: Ga naar buiten. Laat de wereld binnen. | From guestwriters

  2. Pingback: Demise of the Late Bronze Age | Bijbelvorser = Bible Researcher

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