Courtesy of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon

The penteconter, the oared galley probably used by the Philistines (highlighted in blue), could only have carried 50 able-bodied rowers, leaving little room for other passengers. And yet, the land-battle scenes at Medinet Habu depict oxcarts transporting men, women and children to their new home. How, asks Yasur-Landau, could those oxcarts have been squeezed onto such narrow ships? Furthermore, if the Philistines had indeed launched a massive seaborne migration to Canaan, why is there such a paucity of archaeological evidence relating to maritime activity at the Philistine Pentapolis sites?