Avner Raban

Literate Philistines. A cylinder seal impression from Philistine-period Ashdod, along the Canaanite coast, testifies to the Sea Peoples’ literacy. Further evidence comes from incised signs on composite anchors and on metal ingots. The Sea Peoples used a syllabic linear script very similar to several Cypro-Minoan subtypes known from Late Bronze Age Cyprus. Because these scripts have yet to be deciphered, however, the language of the Sea Peoples remains a mystery.

Cylinder seals were rolled over lumps of wet clay, which in turn sealed documents.