“[P]hilistine” is still sometimes lobbed as an insult for an uncultured or crass person.
But who were the Philistines, exactly? In the Bible, ancient cities like Ashkelon, Ashdod and Ekron were mentioned as Philistine strongholds. In the 19th and 20th centuries, scholars finally started to piece together a distinct archaeological record of Philistine culture.
The Philistines are written about in Egyptian hieroglyphs, where they are referred to as the Peleset, among the tribes of “Sea Peoples” said to have battled against Pharaoh Ramses III around 1180 B.C. Meanwhile, other scholars have suggested that the Philistines were in fact a local tribe, or one that came from present-day Turkey or Syria.
Now, researchers have extracted DNA from the remains of 10 individuals, including four infants, who were buried at Ashkelon during the Bronze Age and Iron Age. The results, which were published [July 3] in the journal Science Advances, suggest the Philistines indeed migrated to the Middle East from southern Europe.
“This is an excellent example of a case where advances in science have helped us answer a question that has been long debated by archaeologists and ancient historians,” says [archaeologist] Eric Cline.
Read full, original post: Ancient DNA Sheds New Light on the Biblical Philistines