The present study explores patterns in choices and use of staple cereals and fruits through the Late Bronze Age and Iron Ages to address the level of Philistine “commonality” with other populations in the region. Analysis of the relevant archaeobotanical data from 34 settlements shows that the Philistines exhibit cultural continuity in patterns of plant use with Late Bronze Age southern Canaan, and with the Shephelah region especially. The study also unravels, for the first time, differences in choice and use of crops between the Philistines and their neighbors during the early Iron Age. In addition, analysis of the spatial spread of date palm fruits in the region shows their localized presence and limited exploitation in the Iron Age southern Levant. The three main results build a holistic picture of the conservation of the Canaanite economy in a “refugium” in Philistia that later spread into Judah and Israel.

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