Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Ancient Philistine DNA Tends To Support The Archaeology Paradigm

Archaeology and contemporaneous Egyptian histories support the hypothesis that the "Philistine" people mentioned in the Hebrew Bible were Mycenaean Greek "Sea People" who migrated to the Southern Levant at the time of "Bronze Age Collapse" when a climate event disrupted agriculture causing Bronze Age states from Europe to South Asia to implode (although the dates implied by the Hebrew Bible are not quite right). They would have spoken Mycenaean Greek, an Indo-European language, in a place where Semitic and Coptic languages were predominant at the time.

Now Eurogenes reports on a new paper providing genetic evidence that supports that conclusion although the ancient DNA data released so far is not specific enough to conclusively distinguish between Mycenaean Greeks and other people with European ancestry although it is consistent with this hypothesis.
"The ancient Mediterranean port-city of Ashkelon, identified as 'Philistine' during the Iron Age, underwent a dramatic cultural change between the Late Bronze- and the early Iron- Age. It has been long debated whether this change was driven by a substantial movement of people, possibly linked to a larger migration of the so-called “Sea Peoples”. Here, we report genome-wide data of ten Bronze- and Iron- Age individuals from Ashkelon. We find that the early Iron Age population was genetically distinct due to a European related admixture. Interestingly, this genetic signal is no longer detectible in the later Iron Age population. Our results support that a migration event occurred during the Bronze- to Iron- Age transition in Ashkelon but did not leave a long-lasting genetic signature."

Update 4/7/2019: The paper has just been published at Science Advances [LINK]. One of the Ashkelon females clusters with Mycenaeans (S_Greece_LBA) and one of the males, who also shows a relatively high level of European ancestry, belongs to Y-Chromosome haplogroup R1 (probably R1b-M269). 
The ancient DNA data also suggested that the Philistines had few, if any, living descendants a few centuries later, which would be consistent with the Hebrew Bible account of religiously justified efforts by Semitic peoples in the Southern Levant to genocidally wipe out the Philistines, an effort that was apparently successful. (In fairness, the Hebrew Bible also describes religiously justified efforts by Semitic peoples in the Southern Levant to genocidally wipe out other Semitic peoples in the Southern Levant as well.)

The archaeological evidence also points strongly to the likelihood that the Philistines had suffered widespread malnutrition as children and adolescents, consistent with a Bronze Age collapse motivation for the "Sea People" to seek greener pastures in new, already occupied places.

UPDATE July 8, 2019

Wikipedia summarizes what is known about the Philistines and their language.

Key points from another post from Eurogenes:
It's likely that two of the Philistines from Feldman et al. 2019 harbor relatively recent steppe ancestry. They're labeled ASH067 and ASH068 in the paper. The former individual is a male who belongs to Y-chromosome haplogroup R1, which appears to be R1b-M269 judging by the data from the relevant BAM file.

This is just the second instance of Y-haplogroup R1 from the pre-Crusades Levant, and, of course, neither R1 nor R1b-M269 appear in the Near Eastern ancient DNA record prior to the expansions of the Yamnaya and other closely related pastoralist groups from the steppes and forest steppes of Eastern Europe.

So how did the Yamnaya-related ancestry spread into the Biblical-era Levant? Did it come via Anatolia, the Caucasus and/or the Mediterranean? . . . .

Bell_Beaker_FRA are nine samples associated with the Bell Beaker culture (BBC) from what is now France. Interestingly, the BBC population was rich in Y-haplogroup R1b-M269.
Bell_Beaker_FRA 0.116±0.059
GRC_Minoan 0.507±0.111
Levant_ISR_Ashkelon_LBA 0.377±0.117
tail prob 0.530432
chisq 9.018

Bell_Beaker_FRA 0.237±0.044
GRC_Minoan 0.763±0.044
tail prob 0.943265
chisq 4.736
In my opinion, these models basically confirm that both ASH067 and ASH068 harbor Yamnaya-related ancestry. It's heavily diluted and minor, but it's there.
I'm not sure if Davidski really thinks this is a mystery, as the history strongly supports a scenario in which the Philistines are Mycenaean Greek Sea People migrating to the Biblical-era Levant from the greater Aegean Sea, with the Mycenaeans themselves being Indo-European conquerers of Greece who admixed with the local derived proximately from Indo-Europeans in the Balkans not more than a century or two earlier and possible a little as a few decades earlier, who in turn derived from Indo-Europeans from the steppe.

Since we know that the Mycenaean Greeks were Indo-European language speakers and that the Philistines of Ashkelon were probably culturally Mycenaean Greek and probably spoke the same language, it is notable that some of the Philistines were Y-haplogroup R1b-M269 which was common in the Bell Beaker culture (but, if I recall correctly, also not that uncommon among Minoans).

On the other hand, is Davidski notes in the comments, quite surprisingly:
The Mycenaean sample set caused the marker count to dip below 100K, and this definitely had an impact on the models. The tail probs went up and so did the standard errors. 
As a result, I combined the Mycenaeans with the Empuries Greeks, because they basically form a single cluster as far as I can see, and with that the marker count went up to over 100K. But then the tail probs dived. 
In fact, none of the models with the Mycenaean/Empuries Greek reference pop produced better fits than the models that I included in the zip file.
If the Philistines were linguistically Indo-European, and are genetically a mix genetically of Bell Beaker and Minoan people, it would seem that this would be some of the strongest evidence that the Bell Beaker people were indeed Indo-Europeans (the more common view) rather than linguistically Vasconic (the most popular minority view).

But, see the comments below (note that I have liberally omitted portions of the quoted material and while I have tried to indicate where I have done so, I have probably failed to indicate some omissions, check the original to be sure). 

Another good comment at the post discusses the implications of the paper for the source of steppe ancestry in the modern Levant, since this early trace didn't persist.
Erikl86 said... 
What is apparent, is that while indeed the Philistines carried Steppe ancestry into the Southern Levant, it didn't last, and the Steppe-like admixture seen separating MBA Levantines from later Levantine populations, already existing in Roman-era Northern Levantines (as detailed in Haber et al. 2019), didn't come from the Sea People and, doesn't appear to have existed in the Southern Levant by the 10th century BC in any meaningful significance. 
This is quite substantial, for several reasons: 
1. We now know that the vast majority (the one that actually appear to last to Roman-era and contemporary times) of Steppe-admixture most likely reached the Southern Levant after Iron IIA, which is rather late. 
2. This puts the dating post Mitanni or Hittites, which leaves either Assyrians from the Neo-Assyrian Empire era, Persians or later Macedonian/Hellenistic Greeks. Because we now know it already existed among Roman-era Levantines. 
3. Perhaps it already existed in the Northern Levant during the Iron IIA, as suggested by the previously released Levant MLBA sample from Tel Megiddo, and only later reached the Southern area. That would require Iron IIA samples from Lebanon. It's unlikely that it happen this way though, because we know the Mitanni and Hittite had already affected culturally the Southern Levant by that time, and given the Mitanni didn't rule directly over the Southern Levant, it must have reached via Northern Levantines moving from North to South or trade. So if they already had Steppe-like ancestry, it would spread with that cultural influence. 
This, IMO, makes me believe even more that the best candidate for the Steppe ancestry in all of the Levant would be the Neo-Assyrian Empire, not direct Mitanni or Hittite. I also believe the Persian Empire didn't rule for long enough the Levant nor did it experience with movement of populations to the extent of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. So this leaves mostly two candidates - Neo-Assyrians vs. Macedonian/Hellenistic Greeks. The sheer disparity between just how extensive Iran_ChL ancestry among contemporary Levantines, as well the still mysterious Mesopotamian pull we see in many non-Muslim Levantines, compare to the almost total lack of any visible remaining European Mediterranean admixture in modern Levantines, makes me pretty certain the Neo-Assyrian Empire and it's expansion and long rule over the Near East, proceeded by the Babylonians, is what brought most Steppe ancestry to the Levant.
The same person made this follow up comment:
Erikl86 said...

IMO, and this is something which is brewing in my head for some time now, we're looking at a very complex genetic "pendulum" kind of scenario, reflecting the turmoils of the post Bronze Age collapse and the different waves of migration entering into the Levant throughout the Iron Age. I believe at first, especially in the very Late Iron Age (so 8th-6th centuries BCE), Iran_ChL admixture had risen to be more than the 45-50% that was suggested by Haber et al. (2017) for MBA Levantines and which we repeatedly confirm with Global25 and other tools for both contemporary and Roman-era Levantines. I believe Assyrian, then Babylonian, then Persian penetration and rule over the Levant from roughly the late 10th century BCE all the way to the early 4th century BCE, had brought in both Steppe admixture and additional Iran_ChL admixture....
Then, since the 9th century BCE onward, Arab tribes began migrating and settling in the Levant - this is actually documented by the Assyrians and and other Near Eastern Empires of that period. Those Arabs would have more Levant_N than Iran_ChL, and would resemble the EBA Levant samples from Jordan more than the MBA Canaanite samples....

So when I try to model Roman-era Lebanese samples with both additional Iran_IA, Hellenistic Greek, AND Arab-like Levantine (with 67/33 balance between Levant_N and Iran_ChL), I get the best distance.... 
Probably later Ghassanid and other Arabian people which kept on migrating and settling in the Levant during late antiquity (aka Byzantine time) further introduced more Levant_N. 
It would be best if we could have:
aDNA from Mesopotamians (Assyrians or Babylonians).
aDNA from Arabs. 
To actually test if these models really do represent reality. 
Because honestly, if this "pendulum" scenario did occur in one way or another, we are left with extremely enigmatic question as to why Samaritans pretty much overlap with Canaanite MBA, while Roman-era Levantines already show more Steppe ancestry, and why Lebanese do not overlap to the same degree. I mean I just have really hard time accept that Samaritans stayed exactly the same (other than extremely drifted due to severe intermarriage) since 1750 BCE, while other Levantines haven't. 
July 7, 2019 at 5:55 AM
Also interesting is this comment:
Leron said... 
An ancient account from Sudas mentions Sardinians in Crete at the time of a king Minos (relating to a myth of Talos). There are also the enigmatic Elymeans of Sicily that are hypothesized to speak an Anatolian language and were considered to have come from Troy.

If we assume the Sherden of the Sea Peoples were Sardinians and the Peleset a Southwestern Anatolian tribe, it seems to reveal a wide Mediterranean confederation spanning the Nuragic people on the western side and West Anatolians on the east. A clue to this might be the mysterious Piyama-Radu, who could have been a chief of such confederation. He was a Luwian but operated way off into the sea, outside the reach of Hittites and their vassals in Asia Minor that he repeatedly harassed. The Hittite king had to plea to the Mycenaeans to capture Piyama-Radu for them, maybe indicating that his base was in Crete or even further west. 
Also this:
Andrzejewski said... 
Many religious Jews wouldn’t be happy to hear that, but many Canaanites were assimilated into rather than exterminated by the incoming Israelite IA tribes/confederacy. Turns out that 1/3 of Canaanite kings’ names were Hurrian, namely Kura-Araxes in origin. Jebusites were an offshoot of the Mittani Kingdom with some Indo-Aryan elite plus admixture with Hittites. Therefore, the name “Aravna” was Indo-European. It’s theorized that many rituals practiced by the Jebusites formed the basis for the temple worship in Jerusalem. Solomon himself was half-Hittite. I am sure that’s how the Ancient Biblical Jews have acquired their Steppe and EEF admixture. 
And this:
Mark said... 
It has been suggested in theories dating back to 1846 that the Philistines were the same as the "sea people" who ravaged the Mediterranean: 
Who were the sea peoples? It always seemed logical to me that since the Urnfield Culture was busy ravaging Europe at the exact same time that they would make and obvious candidate. They expanded to the tip of the Italian peninsula, so the idea of them grabbing some boats from their conquered victims "grand-theft-auto" style and continuing their rampage across the sea is plausible: 
Two unique identifiers of the Urnfields: 1. cremation and 2. Y-haplogroup R1.

The Philistine site showed: 1. cremation and 2. R1 Y-haplogroup. Nobody else practiced cremation in the Levant at that time. 
Also, if I remember correctly from the earlier archaeological report on the Philistine site the use of cremation lasted only a couple generations which coincides with the recent paper stating the genetic impact of this group not lasting in the Levant.

Now that you have shown that the Philistines have a Bell Beaker genetic affinity that would make perfect sense since the Urnfields were descended from BBC. 
So it all matches up. 
Andrzejewski said... 
@Sam "Everything doesn't have to be looked at from Steppe-perspective. The biggest news for Philistine DNA some of them have southeast European ancestry which of course includes minor Steppe admix."

It matters if we are to judge whether they spoke a Greek-like IE language or a non-IE Minoan or Lemnian Pelasgian one. 
So far, the few words/names/toponyms in the Old Testament betray a West Anatolian/Luwian speaking ethnos, such as "Goliath"=Aliathes and "Seren"=tyrannos. 
My money is that Philistines are nothing but uprooted refugee Luwian-speaking Trojans. 
July 7, 2019 at 12:40 PM
Andrzejewski said... 
For instance, "Abraham"'s migration from Haran, a Kura-Araxes center, with lots of Book of Genesis customs being actually Hurrian-based, non-Semitic. Other facts were the presence of Hurrians, Hittites and Philistines who are probably mostly ANF/EEF with some Steppe and non-Steppe-CHG.

The bible also talks about tales of deportations of Judeans and Samaritans into Babylon, with some exiles coming back and some deportees from other fringes of the Assyrian/Babylonian empires forcibly moved in. Moreover, Ezra and Nehemiah were talking about some futile attempt to force Jews who married neighboring countries wives (Moabites, Ammonites, etc) to divorce their spouses and get rid of their mixed marriages' offsprings. 
I'm aware that the OT (and the NT!) have a clear agenda, and that they were edited centuries after purported events, but I'm attempting to find resonance of historical events...
July 7, 2019 at 12:49 PM 
Andrzejewski said...
@Bob Floy "So then they probably weren't literally Greek, but something close by and similar."

My bet is on Luwian refugees from the Trojan war, speaking an IE Anatolian language.
Bob Floy said...

"My bet is on Luwian refugees from the Trojan war, speaking an IE Anatolian language" 
Maybe not actual Trojan refugees, but I'm inclined to agree that the Philistines/"Sea peoples" were Anatolian speakers from the west coast, or maybe Phrygians. That's the best working theory, I'd say....
July 7, 2019 at 2:59 PM
FrankN said... 
Two notes - both of them rather meant as "food for thought" than as final explanation: 
1. Among the seven "Sea Peoples" recorded by Old Egyptian sources, two are often linked to the W. Mediterranean, namely the "Sherden" ~ Sardinians and "Sechel" ~ Sicilians. From both suspected sources, we still lack MLBA aDNA. Archeology suggests significant "orientalisation" of the W. Mediterranean during the MLBA, e.g. pithos(amphora) burials spreading as far as SE Iberian El Argar B. Pithos burials appear to have originated in the Caucasus - one of the earliest attestations is Areni 1 (ARM_CA). They were common (albeit not exclusive) for Kura-Araxes, and are a/o well attested for pre-Hittite (Hattian?) NC Anatolia, and Minoan Crete. As such, if "Sherden" and "Sechel" really refer to Sardinians/ Sicilians, this could culturally and genetically have meant some back-flow. IOW - MLBA Sicily might theoretically have hosted a mix of (French-like) BB, Minoan, and Levantine-Caucasian-derived populations that could potentially qualify as source of Philistine ancestry. 
2. While human "steppe" aDNA apparently didn't substantially affect modern Levantine populations, another LBA/early IA entrant did so, for a different species, namely pigs. 
"Unexpectedly, wild boars from Israel have the DNA sequences of European wild boars and domestic pigs. To understand how this anomaly evolved, we sequenced DNA from ancient and modern pigs from Israel. Pigs from Late Bronze Age (until ca. 1150 BCE) in Israel shared haplotypes of modern and ancient Near Eastern pigs. European haplotypes became dominant only during the Iron Age (ca. 900 BCE). This raises the possibility that European pigs were brought to the region by the Sea Peoples who migrated to the Levant at that time. Then, a complete genetic turnover took place, most likely because of repeated admixture between local and introduced European domestic pigs that went feral. 
Replacement of Near Eastern (ANF/EEF) by European pig aDNA commenced during the MN East of the Rhine. It is well documented for German TRB, from other candidate regions (Hungary, Poland, Baltic States) pig aDNA hasn't yet been analysed. The first Central European MN culture that shifted from cattle to pigs as dominant livestock was GAC, following earlier Pontic examples (Darkveti-Meshoko, Crimea, Varna-Gulmenita), whereby the sparse pig aDNA available from Gulmenita still suggests prevalence of Anatolian/Armenian pigs there.

As such, Levantine early IA pig aDNA points backwards to an ultimately Central European connection that could also have transmitted human "steppe" aDNA (not GAC, still without such ancestry, but CW/BB/Unetice a.t.l.). The route is still unclear. For pigs, a trail via the Carpathian EBA Wietenberg Culture into MBA Armenia and E. Anatolia has been evidenced (Srubnaya as possible intermediary), but a Balkans route to W. Anatolia and ultimately the Levante may equally be considered. 
July 7, 2019 at 4:20 PM 
Davidski said... 
Are there any good, mainstream papers online about the potential language spoken by the Philistines? 
July 7, 2019 at 5:04 PM 
Bob Floy said... 
This is interesting. 
July 7, 2019 at 5:17 PM 
Davidski said... 
Did the Neo-Hittite states speak Hittite? 
July 7, 2019 at 8:47 PM 
Labayu said... 
Regarding the Philistine language: 

Of course the only language we have a record of them speaking is a local Canaanite dialect, but the names and potential loanwords give some clues as to what they may have originally spoke. 
July 7, 2019 at 8:54 PM 
Bob Floy said... 
They spoke various languages descended from Luwian, IIRC. 
Lycian and Lydian are the first which come to mind, there are others that I'm less familiar with. 
July 7, 2019 at 9:06 PM
Bob Floy said... 
The neo-Hittite states, that is. 
July 7, 2019 at 9:07 PM 
Labayu said... 
The administrative language of the Neo-Hittite or Syro-Hititte kingdoms was Luwian, but the populations also spoke Northwest Semitic languages. 
Philistine sərān has been connected to tyrannos. However, I think it may be a Northwest Semitic cognate of Akkadian šarru (king) and Hebrew śar (prince, chieftain, commander). The Ugaritic cognate is śrn (prince), more often spelled srn. Which fits with the fact that we now know there had been a Kingdom of Philistia just north of Ugarit prior to their arrival on the southern Levantine coast. The Hebrew Bible spells sərān as srn.

Bob Floy said... 
I also *suspect* that there was never a ton of steppe ancestry in Anatolia, my bet is that when we get more samples from the Hittite period we're only going to see small amounts, probably with a little more in the royal Nes samples, if we're lucky enough to get a look at them. 
Andrzejewski said... 
@Bob Floy Don’t tell me that you agree with Reich and BROAD that PIE came from South of Caspian... 
Bob Floy said... 
Good God no :S 
I just don't think that Anatolian was brought by a massive invasion or anything like that, probably a modestly sized elite which for whatever reason was able to extend it's influence across a large area. How they got there in the first place is another question, as is their exact relationship to the rest of the IE family. 
No, I definitely don't agree with Reich and Co. on that issue, in fact I think what they're doing is kind of bizarre. Makes me wonder. 
Erikl86 said... 
The connection between Northern Palistin or Walistin, the Syro-Hittite, Luwian-speaking kingdom that existed in Northwest Syria in the period of 11th-9th centuries BCE, and the South Levantine Philistia, has never been proven, and is extremely controversial. 
If anything, the connection between Philistines and Aegean people is much stronger, for example the early use of Cypro-Minoan script as well as typical Mycenaean-styled artifacts. 
When examines one of the archaeological remains from the Syro-Hittite Walistin/Palistin, there is no evidence from these artifacts found at sites like at Tell Tayinat, either pictorial nor philological, to indicate a link to known Aegean civilizations, as opposed to the Philistines. 
I don't know if the Philistines were actually Mycenaean per se, but it could be they have been from either Cyprus or Crete, perhaps Minoans with heavy Mycenaean influence. 
And in any case, trying to find similarity between Walistin and Philistines is inherently flawed, because the name Philistines is an english translation derives from the Greek translation of the Hebrew (or Canaanite, as Hebrew was a dialect of Canaanite) word "Plishtim" which means "invaders" or "foreigners", while the name Walistin is comes from the Luwian language and was used by the local population itself to name their kingdom. 
July 7, 2019 at 11:29 PM
Davidski said...
The ancient samples from these papers might end up being useful in figuring out where the Philistines came from. 
Ancient island hopping in the western Mediterranean 
Bob Floy said... 
Wow, those Balearic Island [ed. The Balearic Islands are an archipelago off eastern Spain, in the Mediterranean. Mallorca (Majorca) is the largest island"samples sure do have a lot of steppe. Mallorca_EBA looks like an Irishman. 
July 8, 2019 at 1:29 AM 
Labayu said... 
I have to disagree with Erikl86 on a couple points. The archaeological connection between Syro-Hittite Pilistin and the Philistines is actually quite strong.

Philistine Bichrome is basically locally manufactured Late Helladic IIIC. For Cypriot, Cilician, and Levantine finds, Late Helladic IIIC has become the preferred term over Mycenaean IIIC on the basis of it being a distinct Eastern Mediterranean tradition parallel to a regionally specific Mycenaean IIIC tradition. 
In fact, something like 90% of the pottery from Ta’yinat Phase N is locally manufactured Late Helladic IIIC, decorated in motifs which first appear in Western Anatolia during the Late Bronze. The closest parallels to Tay’inat Phase N pottery are found in Philistine assemblages. Therefore, the archaeological connection between Northern Levantine Pilistin and Southern Levantine Philistia is unambiguous.

Regarding the name, Biblical Hebrew for Philistia is plšt, which is pəlāšet with the Masoretic pronunciation. The Masoretic vowel pointing dates to something like the Eighth or Ninth Century CE, so we can’t really assume it represents the original pronunciation. I’m fairly certain there is no known Semitic etymology for plšt. If anyone has read otherwise, I assume it was simply someone’s speculation. Medinet Habu refers to the “the people of the land of plst”. So comparing consonants, we get the following: 
Plstn = Luwian
Plšt = Hebrew
Plst = Egytian 
For all I know, the final letter in Luwian is grammatical, but then I don’t know much about Luwian. 
July 8, 2019 at 1:40 AM 
Bob Floy said...
It would be a really absurd coincidence if there was no connection. 
July 8, 2019 at 2:06 AM
Erikl86 said... 
@Labayu, I don't disagree, the connection can be found, but it seems like some here have taken this almost as a fact, as if its consensus - it really still isn't. Far from it, while there is some evidence that link the two, it's still not strong enough as other epigraphic and material findings regarding the Philistines and their almost certain Aegean origin. 
Visiting the Philistine museum in Ashdod few months back, the overwhelming consensus right now is still of Aegean origin, not Luwian. If anything, the cultural osmosis between Late Helladic Greeks and Anatolians can be responsible for some similarities which can be found between the two. 
As for the name... while in the Aleppo inscription they did find the name Palistin, in the Shaizar and Meharde inscriptions the names Wadasatini and Padasatini are preferred. 
And as for the difference between the artifacts and architecture between Palistin and Philistia - most of the discoveries at Tell Tayinat indicate a typical Luwian state. For example, the Syro-Hittite inhabitants used predominantly red slipped burnished ware, which is totally different from the Aegean-type pottery used by the early farming inhabitants. And secondly, the names of the kings of Palistin and the kings of the successor state of Pattin are also Hittite, even though there is no evidence of a direct link between Taita and the old Hittite royal house. 
If indeed Palistin and Philistine has similar etymological origin, then I would suggest that perhaps some Philistines also settled also among Luwians, also bringing with them more Aegean-like Late Helladic IIIC pottery, and then got assimilated into the local indigenous Luwian population, similar to what happened to the Philistines and the local Canaanites in Philistia, giving birth to a Neo-Hittite state which has retained a similar name 
Perhaps, the origin of Philistines is the etymologically similar Aegean people called Pelasgians. 
July 8, 2019 at 5:37 AM 
Labayu said... 
Luwian origin and Aegean origin aren’t mutually exclusive propositions. There is both archaeological and linguistic evidence pointing to an origin in southwestern Anatolia, which is along the eastern coast of the Aegean where Luwian was also spoken. The parallels between the material culture of Syro-Hittite Palistin and Philistia suggest either a common origin for Palistin and Philistia or that the Philistines arrived in the southern Levant by way of the northern Levant. Which interpretation seems more plausible partically depends on what chronology one subscribes to. By the Low Chronology, the Philistine material culture doesn’t appear in the southern Levant until about 1125. Jeff Emanuel’s article that Bob Floy linked addresses some of your objections regarding the Palistin issue. 
A couple of bits of relatively recent information worth considering: 
1) Philistine lion-headed cups now appear to be Anatolian/Northern Syrian in origin. 
2) Aegean-like material culture in Cilicia was more prominent than in Philistia. 
Everything I’ve said aside, there is nothing that necessitates a single origin. 
July 8, 2019 at 7:12 AM 
Tropichighlander said... 
@Leron It's a plausible hypothesis. Giving that material finds in Crete, Cyprus and in the Western Mediterranean, especially in Sardinia, support the idea of a strong and direct connection between the Western Mediterranean islands and both Crete and Cyprus during the late Bronze age that seems to have continued even after the Bronze age collapse. 
As for the Philistines, they were a separate group from the Sherden or Shekelesh and their material culture is a mix of Aegean, Cypriot and Anatolian features. Unfortunately the only sea peoples' group whose settlements we know for certain are the Philistines with their well known cities such as Ekron, Gath and Ashkelon, and possibly Dor for the Tjekker. While we don't know any settlement or site belonging to either the Sherden, Shekelesh, Tursha, Ekwesh or Weshesh. If we knew some sites belonging to those peoples then the sea peoples' enigma would have already been unveiled.

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