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Sea Peoples on the wrong side of the Jordan?

20 February 2014

At www.timesofisrael.com/roving-sea-peoples-may-have-settled-transjordan-ar… … we learn that a site in the Jordan valley, currently being excavated by a Swedish team, has found artifacts which resemble those associated with the sea peoples – such as the Philistines. The news blurb says it amounts to proof sea peoples settled that far inland – at Tell Abu al-Kharaz. This is not where the Bible locates the Philistines and Israeli archaeologists appear to be sceptical. We do have the Biblical tribe of Dan, who went down in ships and was closely associated with the Philistines in SW Canaan. Some of them were also located near Laish, further north than the new site. There is no reason why a group of foreigners, defined as the tribe of Dan, merged with the other tribes (newcomers and old timers). The northern Dan may actually have an origin in SE Anatolia, and referred to by the Hittites. The Swedish team found pottery and loom weights that resemble those thought to have been introduced by the Philistines, an other groups, not just into the Levant but into Cyprus as well. Tell abu al-Kharaz is situated opposide Beth Shan on the eastern side of the Jordan. It is thought to be Biblical Jabesh Gilead (where Saul was killed by the Philistines).Bichrome pottery was also found, also commonly associated with the sea peoples, dating to the early Iron Age (around 1100BC on the orthodox model). Bichrome ware was found at Megiddo for example, again, in early Iron Age contexts, and Tell Reham (several km west the new excavations).

At http://bionews-tx.com/news/2014/02/14/evidence-that-biblical-philistines… … which provides a different spin on the story altogether. We learn that Tell abu al-Kharaz lies 4 km east of the Jordan, and is located on top of a hill in a commanding position.. It lies close to the wadi al-Yabis and the site flourished in antiquity because of its stategic location – as well as the fact it was a well wooded region with fertile soil. It has a history going back to 3200BC, and was destroyed and rebuilt on a number of occasions. It was especially important between 1600 and 1300BC, contemporary with dynasty 18, and again, between 1100 and 700BC (Iron Age). See also www.fischerarchaeology.se/?page_id=1692

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