There’s no connection between the ancient Philistines & the modern Palestinians, whose ancestors came from the Arabian Peninsula to the Land of Israel thousands of years later.
The Bible mentions a place called Caphtor, which is probably modern-day Crete. There’s no connection between the ancient Philistines & the modern Palestinians, whose ancestors came from the Arabian Peninsula to the Land of Israel thousands of years later.
A new study of DNA recovered from an ancient Philistine site in the Israeli city of Ashkelon confirms what we know from the Bible – that the origin of the Philistines is in southern Europe,” quoting research released last week by the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon, which revealed that the ancient people most known for their biblical conflict with the Israelites were immigrants to the region in the 12th century BCE.“For 30 years, we excavated at Ashkelon, uncovering Canaanites, early Philistines and later Philistines – and now we can begin to understand the story that these bones tell,” said Daniel M. Master, director of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon, who headed the excavations.
The Palestinians’ connection to the Land of Israel is nothing compared to the 4,000 year connection that the Jewish people have with the land.
The team used state-of-the-art DNA technologies on ancient bone samples unearthed during the excavation from 1985-2016. Analyzing for the first time genome-wide data retrieved from people who lived in Ashkelon during the Bronze and Iron ages (around 3,600 to 2,800 years ago), the team found that a substantial proportion of their ancestry was derived from a European population. This European-derived ancestry was introduced into Ashkelon around the time of the Philistines’ estimated arrival in the 12th century BCE.
“The Bible mentions a place called Caphtor, which is probably modern-day Crete,” Netanyahu continued in a follow up tweet. “There’s no connection between the ancient Philistines & the modern Palestinians, whose ancestors came from the Arabian Peninsula to the Land of Israel thousands of years later.” The authors of the Hebrew Bible made it clear that the Philistines were not like them: This “uncircumcised” group is described in several passages as coming from the “Land of Caphtor” (modern-day Crete) before taking control of the coastal region of what is now southern Israel and the Gaza Strip. They warred with their Israelite neighbors, even seizing the Ark of the Covenant for a time. Their representatives in the Bible include the giant Goliath, who was felled by the future king David, and Delilah, who robbed the Israelite Samson of his strength by cutting his hair.
Modern archaeologists agree that the Philistines were different from their neighbors: Their arrival on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean in the early 12th century B.C. is marked by pottery with close parallels to the ancient Greek world, the use of an Aegean—instead of a Semitic—script, and the consumption of pork. Many researchers also tie the presence of the Philistines to the exploits of the Sea Peoples, a mysterious confederation of tribes that, according to Egyptian and other historical sources, appears to have wreaked havoc across the eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Late Bronze Age in the 13th century and early 12th century B.C.
Now, a study published today in the journal Science Advances, prompted by the unprecedented 2016 discovery of a cemetery at the ancient Philistine city of Ashkelon on the southern coast of Israel, provides an intriguing look into the genetic origins and legacy of the Philistines. The research appears to support their foreign origin, but reveals that the reviled outsiders were soon marrying into the local populations.
The study analyzed DNA from ten sets of human remains recovered from Ashkelon across three different time periods: a Middle/Late Bronze Age burial ground (about 1650-1200 B.C.), which pre-dates the Philistine presence in the area; infant burials from the late 1100s B.C., following the arrival of the Philistines in the early Iron Age; and individuals buried in the Philistine cemetery in the later Iron Age (10th and ninth centuries B.C.)
Meanwhile, the excavation began in 2015 at the Khirbet al-Ra’i site, located between Kiryat Gat and Lachish, and was led by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel, head of the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University.
Researchers from a joint expedition including the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority, and Macquarie University in Sydney, said they believe they have discovered the biblical city of Ziklag, a Philistine city where a young David sought refuge from King.
The original Philistine settlement at Ziklag dates back to 12th century BCE. The excavation began in 2015 at the Khirbet al-Ra’i site, located between Kiryat Gat and Lachish. It was led by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel, head of the Institute of Archaeology at Hebrew University.About 1,000 sq.m. were excavated; the find revealed evidence of Philistine settlement dating to the 11th-12th century BCE. Large stone structures were uncovered, including finds characteristic of Philistine culture. Stone vessels and metal vessels found on site are similar to other finds from this period that were discovered at past excavations in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron and Gat – all ancient Philistine cities.
To date, several sites were suggested by archaeologists attempting to find Ziklag, such as Tel Halif near Kibbutz Lahav, Tel Shara in the western Negev, and Tel Sheva. However, according to the researchers, “in all of these sites there was no settlement continuity, including both a Philistine settlement and a settlement from the time of David. In the site at Khirbet al-Ra’i, evidence of both settlements were found.”Ziklag is mentioned several times in the Bible, most famously in the Book of Samuel, when the young David was granted refuge from King Saul by the Philistine King Achish of Gat. David was awarded Ziklag as a vassal state, under the protection of Achish, and he used it as a base for raids against the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites. According to the Book of Samuel, the city was destroyed by the Amalekites and the population was enslaved. After King Saul was killed in battle with the Philistines, David left Ziklag and traveled to Hebron to be anointed king of Israel.
Years archaeological study of the entire region, Garfinkel said he believes the finds he discovered at Ziklag and Khirbet Qeiyafa are consistent with scriptural references to the geography of the area.