Douglas Guthrie

The elegant bird decoration signals the second wave of Sea Peoples settlement in Canaan in the 12th century B.C.E. The wide, two-handled bowl, called a krater, on which this bird appears, was discovered in stratum VI at Ekron, which dates to the last two-thirds of the 12th century B.C.E. The earlier, stratum VII pottery also displays Mycenaean decorations, but the bird motif becomes a “signature” of the Philistines only in the late 12th century. Archaeologists call this later pottery Philistine bichrome ware; as the name implies, most of it was painted in two colors: a dark red and either brown or black.