Philistines

4 Jul 2019

At https://phys.org/news/2019-07-ancient-dna-biblical-philistines.html ... a dna study has been done on skeletons of Bronze and Iron age inhabitants of Ashkelon, one of the 5 Philistine cities. It was found there was an influx of European genes at the transition between the end of the LB age and the beginnings of the Iron Age, thus confirming mainstream historians. There is nothing surprising about this finding, nor the fact that the genes became diluted through admixture during the Iron Age (as a result of inter marraige). The local gene pool was the more significant indicating the newcomers did not overwhelm them and in fact absorbed them. The research is published in Science Advances (July 2019) - see advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/7/eaax0061 .. and the interesting point still is - where did they come from. Did they arrive directly from the Aegean (as one of the sea peoples) or are they related to the Pelasgians that were defeated by Ramses III in North Syria (arriving as prisoners of war and used as mercenaries). The latest theory is that the Philistines (or Pelasgians) first colonised North Syria and SE Anatolia as part of the initial folk movements associated with the sea peoples, founding the kingdom of Palashtu on the upper Orontes. When Suppiluliumas II organised his dominions in an effort to restore the Hitite empire the Pelasgians became caught up in the war with Ramses III (employed as mercenaries first by the Hittites and then by the Egyptians). This allows us to define Suppiluliumas II and Ramses III as contemporary with LHIIIC (itself defined by a pottery style). It would also mean that David was a late contemporary of Ramses III or one of his successors and the tribulations of his reign may reflect the downturn in climate and tribal inroads of mid to late dynasty 20. At this time Arameans became a thorn in the flesh of the Assyrian kings Tiglath Pileser I and Ashur bel Kala.

For revisionists of the Velikovsky school this may present a problem, especially if they favour downdating end of LB into the 9th, 8th or 7th centuries as the Philistines of David's time would not have an Aegean origin but must have been local warlords. Permutations are still possible. No doubt we shall hear some of them in due course.