The people who in The Bible quarrelled with the Israelites are believed to have resided in five cities in what is now Israel and Palestine, usually believed to be Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron and Gath. Archaeologists believed they migrated to the region during some 3000 years ago. Skeletons unearthed in 2013 now link the civilisation to Southern Europe meaning biblical figures such as Goliath may have originated from the region.
Yahoo News reported Eric Cline of the George Washington University who authored a paper ‘1177 BC: The Year Civilisation Collapsed’ described the study of the remains as “extremely exciting and very important”.
Conclusive evidence linking the Philistines to Southern Europe had eluded researchers so far.
Mr Cline explained: “We were all hoping that it might be possible to get genetic information like this, now we have scientific confirmation from DNA that the Philistines do indeed most likely come from that region.”
There were 10 skeletons found in the cemetery near one of the key seaports of the civilisation.
Daniel Master of Wheaton College was the archaeologist heading the investigation, he said: “We see in their DNA a European component from the West that appears in a substantial enough way that we can demonstrate it statistically.”
A colleague, Michal Feldman of the Planck Institute said: “There was this pulse of people coming in, and then they kind of mixed it into the local population, so a few hundred years later they are almost indistinguishable.”
The region the Philistines called home could be anywhere from Cyprus to Sardinia but Mr Feldman said a more specific conclusion required more study: “Until we have more samples from the neighbouring regions, I don’t think we can pinpoint better their homeland or homelands.”
The Philistines are suspected by some of being an origin for the name of Palestine.
Previous studies have suggested the Philistines had a fairly complex economy.
Olive oil production has been estimated by engineers to be 30 percent of present-day Israeli production.
Fermented drink may have had large industry, breweries and wineries have been found in excavations.
Beer mugs have been found in pottery finds.
Published at Thu, 04 Jul 2019 02:18:00 +0000