The Philistines Of Gaza, Remarkably Civilized In 800BC

A discovery in Israel may solve biblical mystery: where did the ancient Philistines come from and who are their descendants.  ABC News Sun, Jul 10 1:08 AM PDT

Where did the ancient Philistines come from? The Philistines left behind plenty of pottery. But part of the mystery surrounding the ancient people was that very little biological trace of them had been found — until 2013. That’s when archaeologists excavating the site of the biblical city of Ashkelon found what they say is the first Philistine cemetery ever discovered. They say they have uncovered the remains of more than 200 people there. The discovery was finally unveiled Sunday at the close of a 30-year excavation by the Leon Levy Expedition, a team of archaeologists from Harvard University, …
The discovery was finally unveiled Sunday at the close of a 30-year excavation by the Leon Levy Expedition, a team of archaeologists from Harvard University, Boston College, Wheaton College in Illinois and Troy University in Alabama.

The team is now performing DNA, radiocarbon and other tests on bone samples uncovered at the cemetery, dating back to between the 11th and the 8th centuries B.C., to help resolve a debate about the Philistines’ geographical origins. The archaeologists have not announced any conclusions, saying they are taking advantage of recent advances in DNA testing to get the most accurate results.

“After decades of studying what Philistines left behind, we have finally come face to face with the people themselves,” said Daniel M. Master, professor of archaeology at Wheaton College and one of the leaders of the excavation. “With this discovery we are close to unlocking the secrets of their origins.”

The archeologists also discovered some cremations, which the team say were rare and expensive for the period, and some larger jugs contained the bones of infants.

“The cosmopolitan life here is so much more elegant and worldly and connected with other parts of the eastern Mediterranean,” Stager said, adding that this was in contrast to the more modest village lifestyle of the Israelites who lived in the hills to the east.
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Editor CED Notes?  “Philistine” is the the Arabic word for “Palestine”.  Could Palestinians be decendents of these ancient Philistines?

       

2 comments

The Philistines Of Gaza, Remarkably Civilized In 800BC | Mystery Worshiper's Blog
July 26th, 2016

[…] Article first appeared here. […]

Jeff
August 7th, 2016

Inasmuch as my brother in law is 1/4 Palestinian, this gets a bit close to home. The Philistine peoples only occupied a limited area of the country of Canaan, from the area of Ekron/Gath in the East, Gaza in the south, and the Yarqon River on their northern border. Historically, the name “Palestine” was imposed by Romans who wanted to obscure the Jewish association with the land in the aftermath of the failed 2nd century Jewish revolt under Simon bar Kokhba. When the name “Palestinian”/”Philistine” was assigned to the country in the 2nd century, it did not accurately describe the inhabitants of that time. After the Philistines’ failed invasion of Israel, the Assyrian conquest, and the subsequent Neo-Babylonian and Achaemenid periods, the Philistines disappeared as a distinct ethnic group [Source: Wikipedia]. At this stage, whatever obscure association with ancient Philistia might have existed during the 2nd century reign of Emperor Hadrian has been continuously diffused with the passage of eighteen centuries. Archaeological evidence convincingly points to either a maritime Cretan, a hellenic western Anatolian, or a Greek cultural and ethnic origin of the ancient Philistine peoples of southern Canaan. In contrast, the inhabitants who remained after Emperor Hadrian’s 2nd century expulsion of Jews included various near eastern peoples who had little in common culturally or ethnically with the Cretan/Mycenaean heritage of the ancient Philistines. The Ban of Hadrian was not in effect outside the district of Jerusalem, where Edomite communities, and large Jewish majorities, remained in place, which is the most likely origin of the considerable semitic heredity of contemporary Palestinians. The subsequent decades of the Roman period, the Byzantine period, the era of Arab-Byzantine Wars, and the Arab and Ottoman periods brought Arabic culture and new waves of immigrants to the country. Neither any of these new cultural developments, nor these subsequent immigrants, had much in common culturally or ethnically with the ancient Philistines.

The name “Palestine” was permised upon a false nomelclature when the Romans first imposed it during the reign of Emperor Hadrian, and now, after the past eighteen centuries of cultural diffusion, invasions, migrations, immigration, etc, whatever obscure cultural and ethnic links to ancient Philistia may have existed are more obscure than ever. Even though calling Palestinians “Philistines” does sound closer to the Arabic, however, it is just as far from ethnic, cultural, and historical reality as saying “Palestinians.”