The Philistines have been the focus of considerable research over the last 150 years. For much of this time, until the most recent decades, the accepted explanation about the origins, arrival, and cultural development of this group was that of a uniform migrating group, which arrived in the southern Levant just after 1200 BCE, captured the region of “Philistia,” and formed a unique culture, which slowly, throughout the Iron Age, intermixed with the local Levantine cultures. In recent decades, and in particular in the last 20 years, excavations at sites in Philistia produced rich finds that have been analyzed using a broad set of modern techniques and interpretative perspectives. The results led to major changes in the interpretation of the Philistines and their culture. In this article, I will review how the understanding of the Philistines and their culture has changed in light of recent research.

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