Home | Lilith, Adam's first wife | HEBREW MYTHOLOGY | GENESIS 6:1: When the sons of God mate with the daughters of man--JK | Sons of God & Daughters of Men, 2 scholars on | OLD TESTAMENT UNINSPIRED, THE PENTAUTCH--JK | TACITUS ON HEBREW'S ORIGIN and the Jews of his day | Egyptian Account of the Leper's Exodus | Sargon's birth legend and Moses' | NOT OUT OF EGYPT--Prof. Stiebing | CRITICISMS OF OLD TESTAMENT HISTORY | MORE CRITICISMS OF OLD TESTAMENT HISTORY | Old Testament--Sources | THE SAMARITANS | Gensis & Babylonian Creation Myths Compared | MYTH & LEGEND IN THE HELLENISTIC PERIOD--Britannica | The Biblical Date for Creation | PHILISTINES--a 10 page account by a Christian archaeologist


PHILISTINES--a 10 page account by a Christian archaeologist




Archaeological and Textual Considerations



Michael G. Hasel

Southern Adventist University



June 11, 1998

First International Jerusalem Bible Conference



OF COURSE THE AUTHOR FROM A CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY ASSUMES THAT THINGS WERE AS PORTRAYED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT—AN ANTQUITY FOR WHICH IS LACKING OUTSIDE OF THE BIBLE.  The informed, rational person must conclude, given the completeness of the archaeological record, that it is the Bible that has erred.--JK 

Jerusalem, Israel






Perhaps no other culture has had a more dramatic impact on readers of the Bible

than the Philistines. As the ever present foes of Israel they are epitomized as

the peoples who brought about the downfall of Samson by cutting his hair and

forcing him to work as a slave (Jdg 16). The Philistine are the only people who

ever actually conceived of capturing the ark of God (1 Sam 4-6). The Bible

records the story of the giant Goliath who challenged the armies of Saul and was

then defeated by a boy named David with a practiced aim who was blessed by the

Lord (1 Sam 17). Later David avenges the deaths of Saul and Jonathan at the

hands of the Philistines (2 Sam 5:17-25). So the Philistines have become part of

every childhood imagination of that which epitomizes evil and rebelliousness

before the God of heaven. Often they are accompanied by images of a barbaric,

uncivilized, and uncouth people. While the first association is biblical, the

second is a sociocultural assumption that requires further investigation.




Before the dawn of archaeology as a systematic discipline in the Middle East

during the last century, these recorded events, renowned as they were through

the Judaeo-Christian world, lacked any specific historical context. Today, that

picture has changed. We know a great deal more about the everyday life of this

ancient people, for the Philistines, perhaps like no ancient culture of the

Bible, have been vividly illuminated through archaeological excavations during

the past two decades.(1) I have personally been involved in excavating several

Philistine and "Sea People" sites in Israel and so this topic has a personal

touch to it from my perspective and experience.(2) This paper will consider the

textual, iconographic, and archaeological evidence that have recently brought

this people to new life.






Origins: Textual Considerations




Biblical Accounts. According to the Bible, the Philistines originated from the

islands and coast lands of the Aegean sea. In the table of nations of Gen. 10:14

the Philistines are mentioned as originating from Caphtor.(3) Jeremiah 47:4 and

Amos 9:7 also specifically associate them with Caphtor which can be identified

with the area of Crete.(4) Ezekiel 25:15-16 and Zeph 2:5 portray the Philistines

in poetic parallel with the Cherethites (also from Crete).(5) The Biblical

record regarding their origin is rather clear, but are there other historical


Egyptians and the "Sea Peoples." In 1778 Napoleon Bonaparte landed on the

beaches of Alexandria with a massive French force. Napoleon's main goal was of

course to secure a valuable colony for the young French Republic, but he also

had hopes of scientific conquest as well. He brought along with him a

"Scientific and Artistic Commission" composed of 167 distinguished scholars and

scientists who were to record and study the things found there.(6) One of the

most impressive sites discovered in Thebes in southern Egypt was the enormous

temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu.(7) On the walls of this temple, as on many

funerary temples in Egypt, military campaign records were written in Egyptian

and accompanied with reliefs that illustrated these actions vividly.(8) Often in

these military scenes the king is shown smiting the captives he has brought back

to Egypt.(9)




In one of these scenes at Medinet Habu an account is given of the arrival of the

"Sea Peoples," warriors who met the forces of Ramses III in boats,(10)

presumably somewhere in the mouth of the Nile Delta.(11) Several of these "Sea

Peoples" already appeared in earlier records of Ramses II(12) and Merenptah.(13)

Among those mentioned on the Medinet Habu reliefs, including the Tjeker, Denten,

Sharduna, and Weshesh, the prst (Peleset) or Philistines are mentioned for the

first time during the eighth year of Ramses III (1185 B.C.).(14) Taking a closer

look at these warriors we notice distinctive features. We certainly can be

thankful for the careful and meticulous scribes and artisans who preserved such

a detailed record of what peoples of the ancient world looked like. Asiatics and

Egyptians are clearly distinguished from these groups of newcomers. Other

reliefs show whole families of these groups traveling in ox-drawn carts and

warriors riding on horse-drawn chariots as they engage the Egyptians in land





According to the reliefs, the Philistines wore a plain shirt jerkin under some

armor which could be seen from time to time. All wore these elaborate feather

headdresses. They are clearly fighting against the Egyptians, and by the look of

it they are not winning. A closeup of one Philistine shows again the facial

features and a headdress resembling a mohawk is clearly apparent. This Egyptian

depiction looks quite similar to another face. Notice the same hairstyle or

feathered headdress. This appears as a coffin lid from Beth Shan, an Egyptian

stronghold during the Late Bronze Age.(16) Other ceramic coffins of this type

occur at coastal sites like Tell Far'ah (S) and Lachish.(17)




Some scholars have made a connection between these coffin lids and various early

"Sea Peoples"(18) or Philistines.(19) However, Larry Stager, of Harvard

University, has pointed out, the dating of coffins found at the Egyptian

garrison site of Deir el-Balah(20) may preclude an association with the

Philistines since they appear a century or two before the "Sea People" invasion

described in the records of Ramses III.(21) Stager, with others, assumes that

the first arrival of the Philistines did not occur until shortly before the

campaign described by Ramses III in 1185 B.C. While the evidence from the

coffins alone make such a connection difficult, it might also be possible to

conclude that they represent an earlier Philistine presence as described in

earlier biblical accounts. While later coffins could also have served the

Philistines(22) they may also have been used by the Egyptians who dominated

Palestine during the Late Bronze Age.(23)




Most scholars have concluded from the Egyptian evidence that the Philistines at

this stage were part of a massive invasion from the Greek islands across the

Mediterranean both by land and by sea. What caused this massive migration?

Various theories abound: 1) a volcanic eruption;(24) 2) massive earthquakes;(25)

2) famine or drought;(26) 3) overpopulation; 4) or a systemic theory of collapse

that may include several of these factors. There is no certain explanation. What

does become clearer from the textual, iconographic and archaeological record is

where they came from and the method of their settlement along the coastal plain

of Israel.(27)




From Biblical records we know that there were at least five Philistine cities

along the southern coastal plain in Israel. They were called Ashkelon, Ashdod,

Ekron, Gaza (Jer 25:20; Amos 1:8; Zeph 2:4), and Gath (Josh 11:22; 1 Sam 5:8;

Amos 6:2). Three of these sites have been excavated extensively and at two

sites, Gaza(28) and Gath (Tell es-Safi),(29) excavations were initiated last

year. We turn now specifically to the recent excavations at Tell Miqne-Ekron.






Origins: Recent Discoveries at Ekron




Architectural Affinities. The eighty-five acre site is located southeast of

modern Tel Aviv on the southern coastal plain. The first stages of Philistine

occupation followed this massive destruction of the Canaanite city.(30) This

same pattern of destruction is found at sites throughout Philistia including

Ashdod(31) and Ashkelon.(32) At Tel Miqne-Ekron over a meter and a half of

debris included charred roof beams and a beautiful bowl intact with dried figs

that were made into charcoal as a result of the intensive heat and thereby

preserved. The first stage of settlement was marked by numerous pits and storage

areas. The Philistines probably camped for awhile before building more

monumental structures.




Later this first phase was followed what became known as the "hearth" room

excavated in Field IV Lower. The hearth that functioned as a large fireplace in

a room with mudbrick walls that were covered with fine plaster. The hearth was

found and cleared in 1990, but was saved for thorough excavation in 1995 when I

was made responsible for carefully sectioning it and analyzing its contents. The

hearth was surrounded by standing mudbricks that formed the perimeter and

several sunken storage jars. We found considerable remains of charcoal in the

upper levels but it later dissipated as we excavated further. We found that in

fact the so-called hearth served initially as a storage silo that was nearly two

meters deep lined with mudbrick at the bottom. The conclusion was reached on the

basis of the architecture surrounding this unique feature, that the building

built around it belonged to a later phase when the storage silo was converted to

a hearth for ritual purposes. The hearth room at Tell Miqne-Ekron has striking

affinities to similar hearth temples in the Aegean.(33) At Pylos in Greece a

hearth room sanctuary was excavated and this is the artists reconstruction.(34)

It also had plastered walls, in this case beautifully and ornately painted.

These types of sanctuaries are altogether unknown in Palestine and only one

other sanctuary of this type was found at another Philistine site called Tell

Qasile.(35) In summary, both sanctuaries were surrounded by plastered walls, and

the hearth was the center object in the sanctuary, leading us to conclude that

the sanctuaries at Tell Miqne-Ekron and Tell Qasile were diminished versions of

similar sanctuaries at Pylos, Mycenae, and Tiryns.




Cultic Figurines. In addition to architecture features, such as the hearth

sanctuaries at Miqne and Qasile, we also have a number of figurines that

indicate cultic affinities with the Aegean world. At the Philistine site of

Ashdod a very interesting figure was found shaped like a chair but with some

prominent characteristics.(36) First notice the small necklace in the shape of a

lotus worn by this chair or woman. The prominent breasts and other designs

immediately pointed to some type of female fertility deity. This figurine,

called "Ashdoda" after the place it was found, resembled very closely the

figurines found in Mycenae, Greece and other locations. A similar figurine

depicts a figure seated in a chair with the same prominent features. This

figurine also holds a small child.(37) Another example from Greece shows the

same similar design and painting.(38) Not only does this indicate another

connection between the Philistines and the Mycenaean world of Greece, but it

also reveals that they transported their own religious and ideological practices

with them.




Other cultic artifacts include this stand used for burning incense that was

found at Ashdod emphasizing the close association of music with religion.(39)

Notice this artists drawing of these musicians playing. Music evidently held a

very prominent role in worship practices of the Philistines as can be seen from

another figurine of a lyre player.(40)




These cultic figurines and other elements seem to signify that the early

settlers brought with them the religious practices of their homeland, but as we

will see, soon thereafter they began to adapt to the local religious practices.




Ceramic Affinities. Perhaps the most important of cultural affinities with the

Aegean comes from the ceramic forms excavated at sites along the southern

coastal plain of Israel. In 1994, just north of the hearth sanctuary, and at a

level below its foundation, a heavy concentration of a specific type of pottery

called Mycenaean IIIC:1b was found in the initial level of occupation. This

pottery is painted in typical Mycenaean style in either black, or less

frequently, red. There are several different motifs, including birds, concentric

shapes, and other styles.(41) Painted pottery is quite rare in this region,

usually found only on imported wares or some typical Late Bronze forms(42) and

so connections to this type of painting and motifs were sought in other areas.

It was found that much of the pottery was related to forms and styles found

throughout mainland Greece, Crete, Cyprus, Syria, and Turkey.(43) This confirmed

the documentary and textual evidence of an incursion of Philistines over land

(from the north) and over sea (from the west). What was even more striking was

that the motifs and traditions found in this ceramic type did not continue in

the Aegean world after about the twelfth century B.C. "The Philistines appear to

have been cut off from the rest of the Aegean world for some still unexplainable





Trude and Moshe Dothan have suggested that the Mycenaean IIIC:1b pottery was the

precursor that influenced and led to Philistine bichrome pottery of subsequent

occupation levels.(45) Their theory is that the there were two waves of

settlement, one prior to the campaign by Ramses III characterized in the

material culture by Mycanaean IIIC:1b pottery found above the destruction of

sites like Ashdod and Tell Miqne-Ekron. The second wave of settlement came "in

the aftermath of their defeat by Ramesses III" in 1185 BC.(46) Another view,

argued by Larry Stager, also sees two stages of settlement and expansion, the

first occurring during the initial settlement of Philistia before the, but

unlike earlier treatments, Stager does not accept that the first stage of

settlement occurred with the settlement of the Philistines in Egyptian garrison

cities. Instead he sees them as conquerors who the Egyptians could barely

conatin.(47) Regardless of the two possible interpretations, the consensus

remains that the Mycenaean IIIC:1b pottery preceeds and incluences the

Philistine bichrome which later replaces it.




Having established that the style and painting designs were very similar to

Aegean forms another question arose. Were these pottery forms imported or were

they locally made? Neutron Activation Analysis (48) confirmed that the pottery

was of local origin.(49) The large number of pottery manufacturing kilns that

were found confirmed the results of neutron activation analysis.(50) Together

with the architectural elements like the hearth, the cultic elements such as the

seated figurine found at Ashdod, and the painted themes on the pottery, these

aspects provide crucial connections between Philistine culture and the Aegean





We thus have several lines of evidence pointing to an Aegean origin for the

settlers of these cities. 1) Egyptian military records not only mention several

groups originating from across the Mediterranean Sea they also depict what the

Philistines looked like; 2) Local Canaanite cities are destroyed and new

settlements are established; 3) Architectural designs of buildings and other

features such as the hearth at Tel Miqne-Ekron and Tell Qasile indicate a strong

Aegean connection. 4) The pottery designs and forms, as exemplified first by

Mycenaean IIIC:1b a monochrome type and later the bichrome wares of the

12th-10th centuries indicate the pattern of settlement and diffusion throughout

the Southern Levant. 5) The Ashdoda figurine and the musician stands indicate

Aegean affinities.




A sixth connection between the ancient Philistines and the Aegean world was

discovered during the final season at Tel Miqne-Ekron in 1996. But before we

turn to this point let us look how the Philistine occupation of the site







Philistia in Transition




Philistine culture flourished at Ekron throughout the next two centuries. In the

early tenth century B.C. Ekron was completely destroyed and abandoned "in the

wave of destruction that swept over Philistia."(52) Although excavators remain

uncertain whether the destruction was caused by the Israelites under David or

the Egyptians under Siamun, David could in fact have been responsible. Following

this destruction a small settlement was reestablished on the site, but it was a

mere reflection of the great fortified city that had preceded it. The ten-acre

occupation was restricted to the northern acropolis and was constructed on a

series of monumental stone platforms. The occupation of this smaller, fortified

site extended, according to the ceramic sequence, to the eighth century B.C.(53)





Assyrian Domination




Beginning already in the ninth century, the Assyrians in the east became a much

more powerful force and began to extend its empire.(54) As Isaiah writes God's

message to his people in the eighth century: "I will give them charge to seize

the spoil, to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the

streets. . . . For I have removed the boundaries of the nations, and I have

plundered their treasuries. Like a bull I have pushed down those who sat on

thrones" (Isa 10:13) The prophet's description of the Lord's action aptly

predicts and describes the activities of His servants the Assyrians as they

swept through Syria-Palestine. One of the most vivid pictorials is Sennacherib's

attack on the ancient city of Lachish on 701 B.C.(55) These reliefs found in the

Southwest Palace at Nineveh, the same city from which Jonah fled and finally led

to repentance, show the gruesome war tactics of the Assyrians. They are brought

vividly to life and it can only be assumed that these tactics were also applied

to the Philistines.(56) In the same chapter of Isaiah, however, a promise is

given to Israel, "The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob to the Mighty

God" (Isa 10:21 NKJV). God will be with His remnant.




It was not until the seventh century that Ekron became a vassal city-state of

the Assyrian empire.(57) At that time it expanded extensively to encompass more

than eighty-five acres. The Neo-Assyrian kings, Sargon II and Sennacherib,

captured and held it under their imperial jurisdiction in the same campaign that

took place against Lachish in 701 B.C. During the time of their successors,

Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal, the city became a highly developed and centralized

olive oil production site boasting the largest capacities for olive oil

production in the Near East.(58) To date 105 olive oil installations at Ekron

are estimated, producing 1,000 tons of oil annually, requiring over 48,000





During the 1994-1996 seasons, a Neo-Assyrian type temple of monumental

proportions was uncovered including frontal and side entrances with

four-meter-long, single-stone thresholds, thus far unique in Palestine.

Thousands of whole vessels were found in the building as well as a stele like

stone with incised lines and a rosette -- an Assyrian royal/cultic symbol. The

building also contained a number of Assyrian-type cultic vessels and a unique

carved elephant tusk with the figure of a queen and the name of the Egyptian

king Merneptah. In 1995 a 23-cm long, coiled, gold Egyptian cobra, or uraeus,

was found, and other Egyptian objects were discovered in other areas.(60) These

objects indicate strong Egyptian influence during the final stage of occupation.

The warnings of the Hebrew prophets against an alliance with Egypt predicting

their destruction and captivity were based on the realities that were soon to

take place (Jer 42:14-19; Ezek 17:11-24). The influence and domination of Egypt

over the Philistine cities in the final years of the seventh century would not

save them from the onslaught of Nebuchadnezzar.






The Dedicatory Inscription




It was in this last city that perhaps the most impressive discovery was made. In

the 1996 season an inscription was found in the destruction debris of the

sanctuary of the temple complex.(61) Found upside-down, the rectangular

limestone block is similar to those used for building purposes at Ekron. Its

find spot suggests that it was originally part of the western wall of the

sanctuary - perhaps its focal point as a royal dedicatory inscription of the

temple.(62) The inscription is complete containing five lines that are

translated by renowned epigrapher Professor Joseph Naveh of the Hebrew

University of Jerusalem:




1. The temple (which) he built 'kys son of Padi, son of

2. Ysd, son of Ada, son of Ya'ir, ruler of Ekron,

3. for Ptgyh his lady. May she bless him, and

4. prote[ct] him, and prolong his days, and bless

5. his [l]and.(63)




The most important factor is that it identifies the ancient site of Tel Miqne as

Ekron. It is the only confirmation of the name of the site since it was first

identified by J. Naveh in 1957.(64)




The ruler of that city is identified as Ikausu also mentioned as the king of

Ekron in the Assyrian records of Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal.(65) Its

consonantal spelling is the same as Achish the name of the well-known king(s) of

Gath identified in the Bible during the time of David and Solomon (1 Sam 21; 27;

28; 29; 1 Kings 2: 39-40)(66) three and half centuries earlier. Padi, the father

of Ikausu, is identified as the king of Ekron in the annals of Sennacherib in

the context of his third campaign in 701 B.C.(67) The additional forefathers

identified in the dedicatory inscription at Ekron appear here for the first

time, yet their significance cannot be overestimated. They indicate a dynastic

period of succession that lasted at least from the eighth through most of the

seventh century. Moreover, they help to secure a founding date for the temple

complex around 650 B.C.(68)




Finally, the mention of Ptgyh, the goddess to whom this temple is dedicated,

provides an important insight into Philistine cultic and religious practices.

The name is of non-Semitic origin, perhaps a Philistine or Indo-European name,

and even though unknown to us she "must have been a deity of considerable power

to safeguard the well-being of the dynasty and the city."(69)




Her power proved inadequate, however, for the commercial activities of this

Neo-Assyrian vassal city-state, now under the influence of Egypt, were abruptly

cut short with the invasion of Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar in 603/4 B.C. A

massive destruction level evidenced by tumbled columns, thousands of smashed

storage vessels, and collapsed upper floors of the monumental temple and

throughout the site attest to the destructive force of the invading Babylonians.

Other Philistine cities such as Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Timnah suffered similar

destructions at the hand of the Babylonians. Unable to regain momentum, and with

its cultural core lost, Philistine culture too, collapsed, its people either

dispersed or deported were quickly assimilated into the surrounding





Today only their remains are left to speak. Traces of what once was a

flourishing culture continue to provide clues to the now distant past. It was an

era where great men like David and Goliath lived and fought. A nation of people

whom God used to test Israel. The words of the prophet Zephaniah continue to

echo over the silent mounds of ruins:




"For Gaza shall be deserted,

and Ashkelon shall become a desolation;

Ashdod's people shall be driven out at noon,

and Ekron shall be uprooted.

Ah, inhabitants of the seacoast,

you nation of the Cherethites!

The word of the Lord is against you,

O Canaan, land of the Philistines;

and I will destroy you until no inhabitant is left (Zeph 2:4-5)"




The eschatological words of Zephaniah are couched in another message however, so

clearly articulated in Greg King's recent dissertation.(71) The message of

warning to the nations is couched in a call to repentance for Israel (Zeph

2:1-3) and a promise for the remnant.(72) Zephaniah 3:9 says "I will restore to

the peoples a pure language, that they may call on the name of the Lord, to

serve Him with one accord."




Today we too are faced with cultural influences of the world around us. Little

has changed over the millennia of time. Like the Philistines' relationship to

Israel, the technologies, cultural advancement, intellectual, and religious

achievements of the world may seem to dwarf at times the simple yet profound

truths of Scripture. Like the Israelites, Seventh-day Adventists have been

called to give a message, a message to be proclaimed to all nations, kindred,

tongues and people. How will this remnant respond to the call of God? May we be

faithful to Him who has foretold that all this too will come to an end and who

promises that He will be faithful to establish a new heaven and a new earth for

the remnant that persevere to the end.




1. Trude Dothan, The Philistines and Their Material Culture (Jerusalem: Israel

Exploration Society, 1982); Trude Dothan and Moshe Dothan, People of the Sea:

The Search for the Philistines (New York: Macmillan, 1992); Amihai Mazar, "The

Emergence of the Philistine Material Culture," Israel Exploration Journal 35

(1985) 95-107.

2. For a recent discussion, see Michael G. Hasel, "Excavations at Tel

Miqne-Ekron, 1994," Horn Archaeological Museum Newsletter 15/4 (1994) 5; idem,

"New Discoveries Among the Philistines," Ministry (March, 1998) 21-23; idem, "A

Silent Mound Reveals Its Secrets," Perspective Digest 3/1 (1998) 30-33.

3. Gary A. Rendsburg, "Gen 10:13-14: An Authentic Hebrew Tradition Concerning

the Origin of the Philistines," Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages 13

(1987): 90 n. 3.

4. F. R. Bush, "Caphtor," International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, vol. 1

(Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982), 610-611; Richard S. Hess, "Caphtor," The

Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 1 (New York: Doubleday, 1992) 869-870; cf. D. M.

Howard, Jr., "Philistines," In Peoples of the Old Testament World, ed. Alfred J.

Hoerth, Gerald L. Mattingly, and Edwin M. Yamauchi (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker,

1994), 232.

5. Although it is generally assumed that this group also originated in Crete,

the identity of the Cherethites is not certain. Indeed, some passages in the OT

juxtapose the Cherethites and the Philistines (Ezek 25:16; Zeph 2:5), yet there

remains some ambiguity whether the "Cherethites were identical with the

Philistines, a subgroup of the Philistines, or a separate ethnic entity," Carl

S. Ehrlich, "Cherethites," in The Anchor Bible Dictionary, vol. 1 (New York:

Doubleday, 1992) 898-899. William F. Albright ("A Colony of Cretan Mercenaries

on the Coast of the Negev," Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society 1

[1920-21] 187-194) believed that they were a mercenary group employed by the

Egyptians long before the incursion of the "Sea Peoples" at the time of Ramses

III while M. Delcor believes that they did not arrive from Crete until the time

of David ("Les Kéréthim et les Crétois," Vetus Testamentum 28 [1978] 409-422)

during whose reign they were used as guards (2 Sam 8:18; 15:18; 20:7; 20:23; 1

Kgs 1:38-44; 1 Chr 18:17).

6. Dothan and Dothan, People of the Sea, 13.

7. On the Medinet Habu reliefs, see The Epigraphic Survey, Medinet Habu II: The

Later Historical Records of Ramses III, Oriental Institute Publications 9

(Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the university of Chicago); For translations

of the text see W. F. Edgerton and John A. Wilson, Historical Records of Ramses

III: The Texts in Medinet Habu Volumes I and II. Studies in Ancient Oriental

Civilization 12 (Chicago: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago).

8. For a complete analysis of the use of military terminology in the texts of

the entire period, see Michael G. Hasel, Domination and Resistance: Egyptian

Military Activity in the Southern Levant, ca. 1300-1185 BC. Probleme der

Ägyptologie (Leiden: E. J. Brill, in press); more specifically cf. Barbara

Cifola, "Ramses III and the Sea Peoples: A Structural Analysis of the Medinet

Habu Inscriptions," Orientalia, n.s. 57 (1988) 275-306. On the reliefs, idem,

"The Terminology of Ramses III's Historical Records with a Formal Analysis of

the War Scenes." Orientalia, n.s. 60 (1991) 9-57; E. van Essche-Merchez, "La

syntaxe formelle des reliefs et de la grande inscription de l'an 8 de Ramsès III

à Médinet Habu," Chronique d'Égypte 134 (1992) 211-239.

9. Michael G. Hasel, Domination and Resistance, in press; Emma S. Hall, The

Pharaoh Smites His Enemies: A Comparative Study. Münchner Ägyptologischer

Studien 44 (Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 1986).

10. On the boats of these invading groups, see Shelley Wachsman, "The Ships of

the Sea Peoples," International Journal of Nautical Archaeology and Underwater

Exploration 10/3 (1981) 187-220; idem, "The Ships of the Sea People: Additional

Notes," International Journal of Nautical Archaeology and Underwater Exploration

11/4 (1982) 297-304; Avner Raban and Robert R. Stieglitz, "The Sea Peoples and

Their Contribution to Civilization," Biblical Archaeology Review 17/6 (1991)

34-42, 92-93.

11. Trude Dothan, "What We Know About the Philistines," Biblical Archaeology

Review 8/4 (1982) 30-35; N. K. Sanders, The Sea Peoples: Warriors of the Ancient

Mediterranean 1250-1150 B.C., revised edition (London: Thames and Hudson, 1985).

12. In the reign of Ramses II the Lukka and Sherden, two Sea People groups are

mentioned (Alan H. Gardiner, The Kadesh Inscriptions of Ramesses II (Oxford:

Griffeth Institute, 1960). The Lukka are mentioned as allies of the Hittites

(KRI II:17) while the Sherden are listed as mercenaries fighting for Egypt (KRI

II:6-10). The Tanis Stela describes a group of Sherden who overpower in raids

and assaults from the sea vessels (translation in J. Yoyotte, "Les stèles de

Ramsès II à Tanis," Kemi 10 (1949) 60-74, lines 13-16; KRI II:345,3); and the

Assuan Stela of Ramses' Year 2 refers to the king who "destroys the warriors of

the sea" (James H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt: Historical Documents,

vol. 3 [Chicago: University of Chicago, 1906] 779; KRI II:345,3). The Sherden

are also listed among Egypt's military in Papyrus Anastasi I (Alan H. Gardiner,

Egyptian Hieratic Texts [Leipzig, 1911] 58).

13. Several groups of Sea Peoples are mentioned in Merenptah's campaign against

the Libyans in the Great Karnak Inscription (KRI IV:2-12) and the Athribis Stela

(KRI IV:19-22). These include the Eqwesh, Teresh, Lukka, Sherden, and Shekelesh

as "northerners coming from all lands." Only the Eqwesh in this list are

eventually said to be "coming from the sea" (KRI IV:8,9; IV:22,13). These groups

are not mentioned in the Merenptah (Israel) Stela (KRI IV:12-19; on the military

campaign of Merenptah to Canaan, see Michael G. Hasel, Israel in the Merenptah

Stela," Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 296 [1994] 45-61).

14. The ethnic name prst was first noticed by Jean François Champollion, see

Dothan and Dothan, People of the Sea, 22.

15. Dothan and Dothan, People from the Sea, 21.

16. Ibid., Pl. 4.

17. Dothan, The Philistines, 260-279.

18. Some scholars believed that these coffins contained the Denyen, see E. Oren,

The Northern Cemetery at Beth Shan (Leiden: Brill, 1973).

19. Sir Flinders Petrie, when excavating Cemetery 500 at Tell Fara (S), first

associated these coffins with "five lords [seranim] of the Philistines," see

Jane Waldbaum, "Philistine Tombs at Tell Fara and Their Aegean Prototypes,"

American Journal of Archaeology 70 (1966) 331-340. Waldbaum and others have

associated the appearance of this form of burial with the Aegean world (cf.

William H. Stiebing, Jr., "Another Look at the Origins of the Philistine Tombs

of Tell el-Far'ah [S]," American Journal of Archaeology 74 [1970] 139-143. Trude

Dothan associated the first of these tombs at Deir el-Balah with the Egyptians

and suggests that this burial practice was later adopted by the Philistines

(Dothan, The Philistines, 288).

20. On excavations at Deir el-Balah, see Trude Dothan, Excavations at the

Cemetery of Deir el-Balah. Qedem 10 (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1979); idem, "Deir

el-Balah," The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land,

ed. Ephraim Stern (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993) 343-347.

21. Lawrence E. Stager, "The Impact of the Sea Peoples in Canaan (1185-1050

BCE)," In The Archaeology of Society in the Holy Land, ed. T. E. Levy

(Leicester: Leicester University, 1995) 341; see already on this point, James D.

Muhly, "The Role of the Sea Peoples in Cyprus during the LCIII Period." In

Cyprus at the Close of the Late Bronze Age, ed. Vassos Karageorghis and James D.

Muhly (Nicosia: Zavallis, 1984) 46.

22. So Dothan, The Philistines, 288.

23. So Stager, "Impact of the Sea Peoples," 341.

24. On the eruption of Thera and its influence on migrations around the Late

Bronze/Early Iron Age transition, see Spyridon Marinatos, "The Volcanic

Destruction of Minoan Crete," Antiquity 13 (1939) 425-439; L. Pomerance, The

Final Collapse of Santorini (Thera) 1400 or 1200? SMA 26 (Göteborg: Aströms,

1970); but see P. Kuniholm, "Overview and Assessment of the Evidence for the

Date of the Eruption of Thera." In Thera and the Aegean World. Proceedings of

the Third International Conress, vol. 3: Chronology, ed. D. A. Hardy and A.

Colin Renfrew (London: Thera Foundation, 1990) 13-18.

25. On the hypothesis that earthquakes caused many of the destruction of Late

Bronze Age cities, see C.F.A. Schaeffer, "Commentaires sur les lettres et

documents trouvés dans les bibliothèques privées d'Ugarit," Ugaritica, vol. 5

(Paris, 1968) 753-768; but see Robert Drews, The End of the Bronze Age: Changes

in Warfare and the Catastrophe ca. 1200 B.C. (Princeton: Princeton University,

1993) 33-47.

26. On drought or famine as the causative factor for the migration of "Sea

Peoples," see Rhys Carpenter, Discontinuity in Greek Civilization (Cambridge:

Cambridge University, 1966); August Stobel, Die spätbronzezeitliche

Seevölkersturm (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1976) 173-174; William H. Stiebing, Jr. Out

of the Desert? Archaeology and the Exodus/Conquest Narratives (Buffalo:

Prometheus Books, 1989) 182-187; but see Drews, The End of the Bronze Age,


27. There has been a question whether they were settled into Egyptian garrisons

after their alleged defeat under Ramses III (William F. Albright, "The

Excavation of Tell Beit Mirsim, I: Pottery of the First Three Campaigns," Annual

of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 12. [New Haven, CT: ASOR, 1932];

Albrecht Alt, "Ägyptische Tempel in Palästina und die Landnahme der Philister,"

Zeitschrift des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins 67 [1944] 1-20; Dothan, The

Philistines, 288; I. Singer, "The Beginning of Philistine Settlement in Canaan

and the Northern Boundary of Philistia," Tel Aviv 12 [1985] 109-122; idem,

"Egyptians, Canaanites, and Philistines in the Period of the Emergence of

Israel." In From Nomadism to Monarchy, ed. Israel Finkelstein and Nadav Na'aman

[Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1994] 232-238) or whether they were

invading conquerors that settled in the southern coastal plain of Palestine

despite the efforts of the Egyptians to quell their advance (on this view see,

Bryant G. Wood, "The Philistines Enter Canaan: Were They Egyptian Lackeys or

Invading Conquerors?" Biblical Archaeology Review 17 [1991] 44-90; Manfed

Bietak, "The Sea Peoples and the End of Egyptian Administration in Canaan," In

Biblical Archaeology Today, 1990. Proceedings of the Second International

Congress on Biblical Archaeology, Jerusalem, June-July, 1990, ed. A. Biran and

J. Aviram [Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1993] 292-306; Rainer

Stadelmann, "Die Abwehr der Seevölker unter Ramses III," Saeculum 19 [1968]

156-171; Stager, "Impact of the Sea Peoples," 340-341).

28. Hershel Shanks, "Gaza: Nascent Palestinian Authority Tackles a New Dig,"

Biblical Archaeology Review 23/2 (1997) 52-53.

29. Tammi J. Schneider, "New Project: Tel Safi, Israel," Biblical Archaeologist

60/4 (1997) 250.

30. Trude Dothan, "The Arrival of the Sea Peoples: Cultural Diversity in Early

Iron Age Canaan," In Recent Excavations in Israel: Studies in Iron Age

Archaeology, AASOR 49, ed. Seymour Gitin and William G. Dever (Winona Lake, IN:

Eisenbrauns, 1989) 6.

31. Dothan and Dothan, People of the Sea, 127-188; M. Dothan, Ashdod I, Atiqot 7

(Jerusalem: Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums, 1967); M. Dothan and

Y. Porath, Ashdod IV, Atiqot 15 (Jerusalem: Israel Department of Antiquities and

Museums, 1982); idem., Ashdod V, Atiqot 23 (Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities

Authority, 1993).

32. Lawrence E. Stager, Ashkelon Discovered: From Canaanite and Philistines to

Romans and Moslems (Washington, D.C.: Biblical Archaeology Society, 1991) 13;

cf. Idem, "Merneptah and the Sea Peoples: New Light on an Old Relief,"

Eretz-Israel 18 (1985) 64* n. 37.

33. Such temples existed at Pylos Mycenae, and Tiryns where they are as much as

four m in diameter, see Stager, "The Impact of the Sea Peoples," 347.

34. Dothan and Dothan, People of the Sea, 242-245.

35. Amihai Mazar, Excavations at Tell Qasile, Qedem 12 (Jerusalem: Magnes,

1980); idem, "Some Aspects of the Sea Peoples Settlements." In Society and

Economy in the Eastern Mediterranean, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 23, ed. M.

Heltzer and E. Lipinski (Leuven, Peeters, 1988) 251-260.

36. On the significance of the "Ashdoda" figurine, see M. Dothan, Ashdod II-III:

The Second and Third Seasons of Excavations, 1963, 1965, Soundings in 1967,

'Atiqot 9-10 (1971) 20-21.

37. G. E. Mylonas, "Seated and Multiple Mycenaean Figurines in the National

Museum of Athens, Greece," In Aegean and the Near East: Studies Presented to

Hetty Goldman, ed. S. Weinberg (New York, 1956) pl. XV:7.

38. Ibid., pl. XIII.

39. M. Dothan, "The Musicians of Ashdod," Archaeology 23 (1970): 310.

40. M. Dothan, Ashdod II-III, pl. LV:1.

41. For an analysis of these motifs, see T. Dothan, The Philistines, 94-217.

42. See Ruth Amiran, Ancient Pottery of the Holy Land (Jerusalem: Masada, 1969)

for local Late Bronze wares that include "chocolate-on-white" (pp. 158-159, pl.

49); the "palm and ibex" motif (pp. 161-163, pl. 50) and certain pilgrim flasks

with concentric patterns (166-170, pl. 51).

43. One of the first individuals who recognized this similarity was Walter Abel

Heurtley, "The Relations Between 'Philistine' and Mycenaean Pottery," Quarterly

of the Department of Antiquity in Palestine 5 (1936) 90-110.

44. Dothan and Dothan, People of the Sea, 51-52.

45. On Mycenaean IIIC:1b pottery and the question of Philistine origins, see

Heurtley, "The Relations Between 'Philistine' and Mycenaean Pottery," 90-110; A.

Furumark, The Mycenaean Pottery: Analysis and Classification (Stockholm: K.

Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, 1941); P. Mountjoy, Mycenaean

Decorated Pottery--A Guide to Identification (Gothenburg: Paul Aströms, 1986);

Trude Dothan, "Mycenaean IIIC:1b Pottery and the Arrival of the Sea Peoples at

Tel Miqne-Ekron," In Sixth International Colloquium on Aegean Prehistory

(Athens: The Ministry of Culture, 1987); B. Kling, Mycenaean IIC:1b and Related

Pottery in Cyprus (Gothenburg: Paul Aströms, 1989).

46. T. Dothan, The Philistines, 295-296; idem, "Arrival of the Sea Peoples,"

6-9; idem, "Tel Miqne-Ekron: The Aegean Affinities of the 'Sea Peoples'

[Philistines] Settlement in Canaan in Iron I." In Recent Excavations in Israel:

A View to the West, Archaeological Institute of America Colloquia and Conference

Papers 1, ed. Seymour Gitin (Dubuque, IA: Archaeological Institute of America,

1995) 41-59; idem, "Initial Philistine Settlement: From Migration to

Coexistence." In Mediterranean Peoples in Transition: 13th to Early Tenth

Centuries BCE, ed. Seymour Gitin, Amihai Mazar, and Ephraim Stern. (Jerusalem:

Israel Exploration Society, 1998).

47. In this he follows such leading Egyptologists as Manfred Bietak, "The Sea

Peoples," 292-306; Rainer Stadelmann, "Die Abwehr der Seevölker," 156-171; and

archaeologist Wood, "The Philistines Enter Canaan," 44-52, 89-93.

48. NAA is a test performed on pottery to detect some of the rarest elements

present. The pottery is bombarded with neutrons. The unstable radioactive

isotopes then release gamma rays as they decay into stable isotopes. Measuring

the gamma ray energy emitted allows one to determine what elements the pot is

composed of and in what quantities, thus providing a chemical fingerprint. When

these elements are known they are compared with various clay sources to

determine the provenance of pottery, see Maureen F. Kaplan, "Using Neutron

Activation Analysis to Establish the Provenance of Pottery," Biblical

Archaeology Review (March, 1976); Colin Renrew and Paul Bahn, Archaeology:

Theory, Methods, and Practice (London: Thames and Hudson, 1991) 317.

49. F. Asaro, Isadore Perlman, and Moshe Dothan, "An Introductory Study of

Mycenaean IIC:1 Ware from Tel Ashdod," Archaeometry 13 (1971) 169-175; F. Asaro

and Isadore Perlman, "Prevenience Studies of Mycenaean Pottery Employing Neutron

Activation Analysis," The Mycenaeans in the Eastern Mediterranean, Acts of the

International Archaeological Symposium (Nicosia, Cyprus: Department of

Antiquities, 1973) 213-224; Jan Gunneweg, Trude Dothan, Isadore Perlman and

Seymour Gitin, "On the Origin of Pottery from Tel Miqne-Ekron," Bulletin of the

American Schools of Oriental Research 264 (1986) 3-16.

50. Dothan, "The Arrival of the Sea Peoples," 4.

51. Trude Dothan, "Tel Miqne-Ekron: The Aegean Affinities of the Sea Peoples'

(Philistines') Settlement," 41-59.

52. Dothan and Dothan, Peoples of the Sea, 252.

53. Seymour Gitin, "Ekron of the Philistines, Part II: Olive-Oil Suppliers to

the World," Biblical Archaeology Review 16/2 (1990) 34.

54. On Assyrian military expansion, see Walter Mayer, Politik und Kriegskunst

der Assyrer, Abhandlungen zur Literatur Alt-Syrien-Palästinas und Mesopotamiens

9 (Münster: Uagrit-Verlag, 1995).

55. On the comparison of the archaeological evidence at Lachish with

Sennacherib's reliefs, see David Ussishkin, "The "Lachish Reliefs" and the City

of Lachish." Israel Exploration Journal 30 (1980) 174-175; idem, The Conquest of

Lachish by Sennacherib (Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University, 1982); idem, "Defensive

Judean Counter--Ramp Found at Lachish in 1983 Season," Biblical Archaeology

Review 10/2 (1984) 66-73.

56. On the tactics of the Assyrian military, see Erika Bleibtreu, "Grisly

Assyrian Record of Torture and Death," Biblical Archaeology Review 17/1 (1991)

52-61, 75.

57. Seymour Gitin, "Tel Miqne-Ekron in the 7th Century B.C.E.: The Impact of

Economic Innovation and Foreign Cultural Influences on a Neo-Assyrian Vassal

City-State." In Recent Excavations in Israel: A View to the West, Archaeological

Institute of America Colloquia and Conference Papers 1, ed. Seymour Gitin

(Dubuque, IA: Archaeological Institute of America, 1995), 61-79.

58. Seymour Gitin, "Ekron of the Philistines: The Rise and Fall of a 7th Century

BCE Neo-Assyrian Vassal City-State" Orient-Express (1994): 20-22.

59. D. Eitam, "Tel Miqne-Ekron - Survey of Oil Presses: 1985-1986," Excavations

and Surveys in Israel 1986, 72-74. See also, Gitin, "Ekron of the Philistines,

Part II" 32-42, 59.

60. Samuel R. Wolff, "Archaeology in Israel," American Journal of Archaeology

100 (1996) 745-747, fig. 21.

61. Seymour Gitin, Trude Dothan, and Joseph Naveh, "A Royal Dedicatory

Inscription from Ekron," Israel Exploration Journal 47/1-2 (1997): 1-16.

62. Ibid., 7.

63. Ibid., 9.

64. Joseph Naveh, "Khirbet al-Muqanna' -- Ekron. Israel Exploration Journal 8

(1958): 87-100, 165-170.

65. A. Leo Oppenheim, "Babylonian and Assyrian Historical Texts," In Ancient

Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, 3rd edition, ed. J. B.

Pritchard (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969), 291, 294.

66. The name in the dedicatory inscription has the identical spelling of the Old

Testament Achish. This puts to rest some earlier theories that found a Trojan

origin of this name as Anchises. The translators suggest that the name derived

from Akhayus or Achaean, meaning 'Greek.' This has important implications for

the origin of the Philistines. Gitin, Dothan, and Naveh, "Royal Dedicatory

Inscription," 11. Cf. D. L. Christensen, "Achish," In The Anchor Bible

Dictionary, vol. 1, ed. David Noel Freedman (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 55-56.

67. Oppenheim, "Babylonian and Assyrian," 287.

68. Gitin, Dothan, and Naveh, "Royal Dedicatory Inscription," 16.

69. Ibid., 11.

70. Gitin, "Ekron of the Philistines," 22; Gitin, Dothan, and Naveh, "Royal

Dedicatory Inscription," 3; For another view on the process of acculturation,

see B. Stone, "The Philistines and Acculturation: Culture, Change, and Ethnic

Continuity in the Iron Age," Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental

Research 298 (1995): 7-32.

71. Greg A. King, The Theological Coherence of the Book of Zephaniah

(Unpublished Ph.D. diss., Union Theological Seminary, 1996).

72. On the concept of the remnant in Zephaniah, see Greg A. King, "The Remnant

in Zephaniah," Bibliotheca Sacra 151 (1994) 414-427; on the concept of remnant

in general, see Gerhard F. Hasel, The History and Theology of the Remnant Idea

from Genesis to Isaiah, 3rd ed. (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University, 1980);

idem, "Remnant, idem, "Remnant" International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed.

G. W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988), 130-131.