Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Conference on the Philistines

Aren Maeir reported last week on an archaeological meeting in Beersheba that included eight presentations on recent research on the Philistines in Israel.  Reports like this are so helpful in giving the public a sense of the progress being made in the field.  Otherwise individual reports will appear in scattered journals or possibly an (over-priced) collection from a European publisher and be unknown by those with a general interest.  

You can read his summary of the presentations, but I’ll just note here Pirhiya Nahshoni’s excavation of a small Late Bronze fishing village which included “imported Minoan, Mycenaean, Anatolian, Cypriote, Egyptian and other finds.”  That’s quite a rich collection of imports.  Maeir had previously praised the significance of this site:

Meanwhile, what she has published in her MA thesis is of utmost importance! This study has been largely overlooked, but deserved close attention from anyone dealing with the final stages of the LB and the early Iron I periods. For example, the fact that the site is abandoned at the end of the LB and not resettled in the early Iron I, is a nice example of the major changes that occured in the settlement pattern, trade relations, economic structure, etc., between the two periods. It would appear to support the “normative” explanation on the Sea Peoples/Philistine phenomemon, i.e. that it is not a continuation of the LB, but rather, a new, intrusive event(s).

Maeir concludes his post with a description of the rocket attack he experienced while in Beersheba.

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