Monday, July 11, 2016

A Philistine cemetery at Ashkelon

ARCHAEOLOGY: Discovery of Philistine Cemetery May Solve Biblical Mystery. An unprecedented find in southern Israel may finally reveal the origins of one of the Hebrew Bible's greatest villains (Kristin Romey, National Geographic).
An unrivaled discovery on the southern coast of Israel may enable archaeologists to finally unravel the origins of one of the most notorious and enigmatic peoples of the Hebrew Bible: the Philistines.

The discovery of a large cemetery outside the walls of ancient Ashkelon, a major city of the Philistines between the 12th and 7th centuries B.C., is the first of its kind in the history of archaeological investigation in the region.

Naturally, the key discovery was made on the last day of an excavation season (2013). That's what always happens.

Long, informative article. Read it all.

As I've mentioned before, I was a lowly staff member at the Ashkelon excavation way back in the 1987-88 seasons, when I was a doctoral student.

Related: Philistines Were More Sophisticated Than Given Credit For, Say Archaeologists (Reuters/The Forward).
ASHKELON, Israel, July 10 (Reuters) - Philistines were no “philistines,” say archaeologists who unearthed a 3,000-year-old cemetery in which members of the biblical nation were buried along with jewelry and perfumed oil.


We may need to rethink today’s derogatory use of the word philistine, which refers to someone averse to culture and the arts, said archaeologist Lawrence Stager, who has led the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon since 1985.

“The Philistines have had some bad press, and this will dispel a lot of myths,” Stager said.

And then there's this: Philistine cemetery uncovered in archaeological dig in Israel, Goliath's people were 'normal sized' (AFP). No giants! Deane Galbraith, call your office.