Zev Redovan/Israel Antiquities Authority/Ashdod Excavations

Hallmark of a new civilization. Pottery is one sign—though not the only nor necessarily the most important sign—of the arrival of the Sea Peoples along the Canaanite coast. These pitchers and bowls from Ashdod attest to the high level of culture attained by the much-maligned Philistines. Known as bichrome ware because they were decorated with two colors—red and black—this pottery displays typical Philistine designs: ducks and other birds, fish, checkerboard patterns and spirals.

Combined with historical records, such as the Egyptian references at Medinet Habu, and the development of new architecture, new cult building, and new town plans along the eastern Mediterranean coastal lands, pottery such as these herald the emergence of a new culture in Canaan.