Who Were The Philistines?

EnolaGaia

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Given their prominent recurring role as "bad guys" in the Bible, the so-called Philistines have been the subject of research into who they were. New research now indicates the group known as Philistines were genetically derived from southern Europe and geographically arrived in the Levant around the end of the Bronze Age or the very beginning of the Iron Age.
Philistines, Biblical Enemies of the Israelites, Were European, DNA Reveals
The ancient Philistines — famous for their appearances in the Hebrew Bible, including the story of David and the giant Philistine Goliath — weren't local to what is now modern-day Israel. Instead, this enigmatic group descended from a group of seafaring Europeans, a new study of ancient DNA finds.

After analyzing the ancient DNA of 10 individuals buried at a Philistine archaeological site, an international team of researchers found that the Philistines descended from people in Greece, Sardinia or even Iberia (present-day Spain and Portugal). These ancestors migrated across the Mediterranean during the late Bronze Age or early Iron age, about 3,000 years ago.

But this European genetic signal was short-lived. Once the Philistines arrived in the southern Levant, an area encompassing the eastern Mediterranean, they intermarried with the locals. ...

Historians and archaeologists have spent decades trying to decipher the Philistines' origins. In addition to mentions in the Hebrew Bible (the story of Samson and the Philistine Delilah also mentions the group), the Philistines also appear in texts left behind by the ancient Egyptians. By cross-referencing these Hebrew and Egyptian texts, archaeologists managed to trace the Philistines in time and geography to a region that includes the port city of Ashkelon, in what is now modern-day Israel. ...

Excavations there revealed a dramatic shift in culture, including in the style of pottery and architecture, between the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age. "They started to resemble findings from archaeological sites that were in the Bronze Age Aegean, so Bronze Age Greece," study lead researcher Michal Feldman ... told Live Science. "From this came the theory that the Philistine culture [in the Levant] that appeared during the Iron Age is migrated from Greece."

But not everyone agreed with that theory. Perhaps the locals were merely copying foreign pottery and culture, or maybe the migrants came from elsewhere in Europe, some scientists said. So, study co-researcher Daniel Master ... turned to geneticists to solve the mystery. ...

The geneticists sampled more than 100 specimens, mainly teeth and inner ear bones, which are both known to be good preservers of ancient DNA. But the researchers got DNA results from only 11 specimens belonging to 10 individuals who lived between 3,600 and 2,800 years ago. ...

But the DNA from the 10 individuals was enough to solve the mystery. When the researchers compared DNA from the earlier, Bronze Age people with DNA from the later, Iron Age Philistines, "we saw they had an ancestral component that the Bronze Age people didn't have," Feldman said. This ancestral component was traced to southern Europe. It's hard to say exactly where in southern Europe, however, as databases of ancient DNA from this time are spotty, Feldman said. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/65867-philistines-ancient-dna-europe.html
 

EnolaGaia

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The published article resulting from this DNA analysis can be accessed at:

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/7/eaax0061


Ancient DNA sheds light on the genetic origins of early Iron Age Philistines
Michal Feldman, Daniel M. Master, Raffaela A. Bianco, Marta Burri, Philipp W. Stockhammer, Alissa Mittnik, Adam J. Aja, Choongwon Jeong, and Johannes Krause
Science Advances 03 Jul 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 7, eaax0061
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aax0061
 

Victory

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Well for as long as I can remember, as Jews we regarded Philistines as being sea invaders, probably from Crete.

That was before this recent research.
 

feinman

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Sheds some light on the Sea Peoples too; there has been a furious debate about possible Aegean origins for some of them. Good news.
 
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