Jack L. Caskey

Matters of the hearth. Yasur-Landau argues that the public buildings the Philistines erected at places such as Ashkelon and Ekron—buildings featuring a central hearth—do not resemble the glorious Mycenaean palaces of Greece, which were destroyed in about 1200 B.C.E. Instead, he writes, they are redolent of the humbler, smaller-scale structures of the Post Palatial Period (the 12th century B.C.E.). Compare, for example, the modest hearth from a building at Ekron with the hearth from the Mycenaean palace at Pylos (seen here). According to Yasur-Landau, this evidence suggests that the first Philistines who arrived in Canaan departed an Aegean world that was far less resplendent than it had been a century before. Their pottery is characteristic of the humbler Post Palatial Period, not of the preceding Palatial one. In addition, the frescoes, seal engravings and Linear B inscriptions so typical of Mycenaean palace sites are absent from the early Philistine strata in Canaan.