See Trude Dothan, “What We Know About the Philistines,” BAR 08:04 and Lawrence E. Stager, “When Canaanites and Philistines Ruled Ashkelon,” BAR 17:02.


The Roman numeral distinguishes this papyrus from others obtained by Harris.


See Lawrence E. Stager, “When Canaanites and Philistines Ruled Ashkelon,” BAR 17:02, and Trude Dothan and Seymour Gitin, “Ekron of the Philistines,” BAR 16:01.



Throughout this article, I follow the chronology of Kenneth A. Kitchen in “The Basics of Egyptian Chronology in Relation to the Bronze Age” from High, Middle or Low? Acts of an International Colloquium on Absolute Chronology, Part I, ed. Paul Astrom (Gothenburg, Sweden: Paul Aströms Forlag, 1987), pp. 37–55.


Manfred Bietak, “Response to T. Dothan,” in Biblical Archaeology Today, ed. Janet Amitai (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society, 1985), p. 217, N.K. Sandars, The Sea Peoples: Warriors of the Ancient Mediterranean 1250–1150 BC (London: Thames and Hudson, rev. ed., 1985), p. 120.


John A. Wilson, “Egyptian Historical Texts,” in Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (ANET), ed. James B. Pritchard (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 3rd ed., 1969), p. 262, n. 6; Bietak, “Response to T. Dothan,” p. 217; Sandars, The Sea Peoples, p. 124.


Sandars, The Sea Peoples, p. 131.


William F. Albright, The Excavation of Tell Beit Mirsim in Palestine, vol. 1: The Pottery of the First Three Campaigns, Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) 12 (New Haven, CT: ASOR, 1932), p. 58.


Albrecht Alt, “Ägyptische Tempel in Palästina und die Landnahme der Philister,” in Kleine Schniten zur Geschichte des Volkes Israel I (Munich: C.H. Beck, 1953), pp. 227–228; cf. Martin Noth, The History of Israel (New York: Harper & Row, 2nd ed., 1960), p. 36.


Albright, “The Biblical Period,” in The Jews: Their History, Culture and Religion, ed. L. Finkelstein (New York: Harper & Bros., 3rd ed., 1949), pp. 19 and 58, n. 49 (reprinted as The Biblical Period From Abrahama to Ezra, 1963); “Syria, Philistines and Phoenicia,” in Cambridge Ancient History (CAH), ed. I.E.S. Edwards et al. (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1975) vol. 2, part 2, pp. 509–511. (Although this chapter in CAH was not published until 1975, it was issued as a fascicle in 1966 and was actually written before 1950, see Albright, “Some Oriental Glosses on the Homeric Problem,” American Journal of Archaeology 54 [1950], p. 170, n. 31.)


G. Ernest Wright, “Philistine Coffins and Mercenaries,” Biblical Archaeologist (BA) 32 (1959), pp. 53–66; reprinted in The Biblical Archaeologist Reader, ed. E.F. Campbell and David Noel Freedman (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1964), vol. 2, pp. 59–68, and “Fresh Evidence for the Philistine Story,” BA 29 (1966), pp. 70–86.


See, for example, Abraham Malamat, “The Egyptian Decline in Canaan and the Sea Peoples,” in World History of the Jewish People vol. 3: Judges, ed. B. Mazar (London: W.H. Allen, 1971), p. 34; Benjamin Mazar, “The Philistines and Their Wars with Israel,” in World History, vol. 3, p. 170, Roland de Vaux, The Early History of Israel, transl. D. Smith (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1978), pp. 493, 509, Trude Dothan, The Philistines and Their Material Culture (New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 1982), p. 3, and “The Philistines Reconsidered,” in Biblical Archaeology Today, pp. 170, 172. Note, however, the reservations of V.A. Desborough (The Last Mycenaeans and Their Successors: An Archaeological Survey c. 1200–c. 1000 B.C. [Oxford: Clarendon, 1964], p. 209) and Richard D. Barnett, “The Sea Peoples,” in CAH, p. 378.


Itamar Singer, “The Beginning of Philistine Settlement in Canaan and the Northern Boundary of Philistia,” Tel Aviv 12 (1985), p. 109.


Wilson, “Egyptian Historical Texts,” p. 262.


Interestingly, the other group to be “made ashes,” the Tjeker, also settled along the coast of Canaan, north of the area occupied by the Philistines. In the Wen-Amon tale (c. 1100 B.C.), they controlled Dor, about 15 miles south of Haifa and were ruled by a prince named Beder (see Wilson, “Egyptian Myths, Tales, and Mortuary Texts, in Pritchard, ANET, p. 26).


A.R. Schulman, Military Rank, Title and Organization in the Egyptian New Kingdom, Muncher Agyptologische Studien 6 (Berlin: Bruno Hessling, 1964), p. 123, text 234.


Wilson, “Egyptian Historical Texts,” p. 262.


Schulman, Military Rank, Title and Organization, p. 123, text 236.


On the north wall of the first court of the Medinet Habu temple is an account of a campaign to Syria describing the handling of captives. In actual fact, this campaign probably never took place since it is not recorded in Papyrus Harris I. In all likelihood, the texts were copied from originals of the reign of Ramesses II. Nevertheless, they reflect the normal treatment of captured enemies in the time of Ramesses III:

“Collect the captives whom the valor of Pharaoh, life, prosperity, health, has taken, and place them [in] the offices in the house of Amon-Re … I have carried them away: the males thereof to fill thy storehouse; their women to be subjects of thy temple” (in James Henry Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt [Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1906], vol. 4, p. 71).

As in the previous examples cited, the captives were transported to Egypt and pressed into bondage.


It should be pointed out that the Shardana are known to have served as mercenaries in the Egyptian army in the Amarna period (mid-14th century B.C.) and in the reigns of Ramesses II (1279–1213 B.C.) and III. In fact, Shardana mercenaries participated in Ramesses’ battle against the Sea Peoples (Sanders, The Sea Peoples, pp. 120, 125). Conditions for the Shardana mercenaries were much different than those of the Shardana captives:

“I made the infantry and chariotry to dwell [at home] in my time; the Sherdana and Kehek were in their towns, lying the length of their backs; they had no fear, for there was no enemy from Kush [nor] from Syria. Their bows and their weapons were laid up in their magazines, while they were satisfied and drunk with joy. Their wives were with them, their children at their side [for] I was with them as the defense and protection of their limbs” (Papyrus Harris I; Sandars, The Sea Peoples, p. 133).

The employment of Sea Peoples mercenaries in the Egyptian army is quite a different phenomenon, however, than the mass settlements that occurred in Canaan following the battle of Ramesses’ eighth year (Sanders, The Sea Peoples, p. 111).


For further discussion of Mycenaean IIIC:1b ware, with references, see T. Dothan, “The Philistines Reconsidered,” pp. 167–170; Amihai Mazar, “The Emergence of the Philistine Material Culture,” Israel Exploration Journal (IEJ) 35 (1985), pp. 95–107; and “Excavations at Tell Qasile, pt. 2: The Philistine Sanctuary: Various Finds, The Pottery, Conclusions, Appendixes,” Qedem 20 (1985), pp. 119–120.


F. Asaro, Isadore Perlman and Moshe Dothan “An Introductory Study of Mycenaean IIIC1 Ware from Tel Ashdod,” Archaeometry 13 (1971), pp. 169–175; Perlman and Asaro, “Provenience Studies on Pottery of Strata 11 and 10, ” in M. Dothan and Y. Porath, Ashdod 4: Excavation of Area M, ‘Atiqot 15 (1982), pp. 70–90 (English series); J. Gunneweg et al., “On the Origin of Pottery from Tel Miqne-Ekron,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 264 (1986), pp. 3–16.


William Flinders Petrie, Beth-Pelet I (Tell Fara), Publication No. 48 (London: British School of Archaeology in Egypt, 1930). For a synopsis of his career, see Joseph A. Callaway, “Sir Flinders Petrie, Father of Palestinian Archaeology,” BAR 06:06. In 1929 James L. Starkey and G. Lankester Harding also excavated this site (“Beth-Pelet Cemetery,” in Beth-Pelet 2 ed. E. MacDonald, Starkey and Harding, Publication No. 52 [London: British School of Archaeology in Egypt, 1932]).


Albright, “Syria, Philistines and Phoenicia,” p. 510.


Starkey and Harding, “Beth-Pelet Cemetery,” p. 31; Albright, “Syria, Philistines and Phoenicia,” p. 510; Yael Yisraeli, “Tel Sharuhen,” in Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land (EAEHL), ed. M. Avi-Yonah and E. Stern (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1978), vol. 4, p. 1077; T. Dothan, The Philistines and Their Material Culture, p. 27.


Petrie, “Beth-Pelet 1,” p. 18.


Petrie, “Beth-Pelet 1,” p. 18.


For a discussion of this pottery, see Bryant G. Wood, Palestinian Pottery of the Late Bronze Age: An Investigation of the Terminal LB IIB Phase, Ph.D. thesis, Univ. of Toronto (Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms, 1985), p. 460.


For a full analysis of this pottery, see Wood, Palestinian Pottery of the Late Bronze Age, pp. 460–465.


Eliezer D. Oren, “The ‘Ways of Horus’ in North Sinai,” in Egypt, Israel, Sinai: Archaeological and Historical Relationships in the Biblical Period, ed. Anson Rainey (Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv Univ., 1987), pp. 69–119.


Oren, “The ‘Ways of Horus,’” p. 93.


Oren, “The ‘Ways of Horus,’” p. 94.


Goldwasser, “An Egyptian Store Jar from Haruvit,” Qadmoniot 13 (1980), pp 34 (in Hebrew).


Oren, “The ‘Ways of Horus,’” p. 96.


M. Dothan, Ashdod 2–3: The Second and Third Seasons of Excavations, 1963, 1965, ‘Atiqot 9–10 (1971), pp. 26–27 (English series); “Ashdod,” in EAEHL, vol. 1, p. 108; “Ashdod at the End of the Late Bronze Age and the Beginning of the Iron Age,” Symposia: Celebrating the Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the American Schools of Oriental Research (1900–1975), ed. F.M. Cross (Cambridge, MA: ASOR, 1979), pp. 126–131.


William Dever, H. Darrell Lance and Wright Gezer 1: Preliminary Report of the 1964–66 Seasons (Jerusalem: Hebrew Union College (HUC) Biblical and Archaeological School in Jerusalem, 1970), pp. 22–26; Dever, et. al, Gezer 2: Report of the 1967–70 Seasons in Fields I and II (Jerusalem: HUC/Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology, 1974), pp. 51–54.


W.J. Phythian-Adams, “Report on the Stratification of Askalon,” Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statement (1923), pp. 63–64.


Gus W. Van Beek, “Tel Gamma 1971–1972,” IEJ 22 (1972), pp. 245–246, and “Tel Gamma 1975–1976,” IEJ 27 (1977), pp. 171–176.


Jacob Kaplan, “Jaffa’s History Revealed by the Spade,” in Archaeological Discoveries in the Holy Land, ed. Archaeological Institute of America (New York: Bonanza Books, 1967), pp. 116–117; cf. J. Kaplan, “The Archaeology and History of Tel Aviv-Jaffa,” BA 35 (1972), pp. 81–82; Haya Kaplan and J. Kaplan, “Jaffa,” in EAEHL, vol. 2, p. 535.


Nahman Avigad, “Tell Jerishe,” in EAEHL vol. 2, p. 578.


M. Dothan, “Excavations at Tel Mor (1959 Season),” Bulletin of the Israel Exploration Society 24 (1960), p. 111.


Gitin and T. Dothan, “The Rise and Fall of Ekron of the Philistines,” BA 50 (1987), pp. 201–202. See also T. Dothan, “Ekron of the Philistines, Part 1: Where They Came From, How they Settled Down and the Place They Worshipped In,” BAR 16:01), p. 26.


T. Dothan, “Deir el-Balah, 1979, 1980,” IEJ 31 (1981), p. 129.


M. Dothan, “Tel Mor,” in EAEHL, vol. 3, p. 890.


Wood, Palestinian Pottery of the Late Bronze Age, pp. 582–592.


Bietak, “Response to T. Dothan,” p. 217.


Several phenomena are observed in the archaeological record at this time: the end of Late Bronze imported Cypriot and Mycenaean ware, a series of destructions along the Mediterranean coast, the termination of the Late Bronze architectural tradition at sites occupied by the Philistines and the introduction of a new type of pottery. All these factors combine to reinforce the Philistine horizon as the logical line of demarcation between the Late Bronze Age and the ensuing Iron I period.